Southern Company has again earned the Edison Award, the electric utility industry’s highest honor. The Edison Electric Institute today presented Southern Company the EEI Edison Award for the company’s work involving energy storage research and development.
“As we prepare Southern Company to succeed in the transition to a net zero carbon future, our many energy storage research and development initiatives are advancing energy storage as an effective, technically viable energy solution,” said CEO Tom Fanning.
As the company noted in the award submission document, energy storage is “one of the electric utility industry’s most critical new technologies.” Storage will help pave the way for the future of energy because storage systems have the potential to add more renewables to the grid, improve resiliency and reliability, increase the implementation of distributed energy and microgrids, and improve operational flexibility of the grid. Not only will these developments create value for customers, these technologies become increasingly important considering Southern Company’s dual goals of a 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 and net zero operations by 2050.
The research being recognized includes work being done at the Energy Storage Research Center in Birmingham, an industrywide hub for battery energy storage technology testing, evaluation and large-scale demonstration. The project was developed with Southern Research, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Department of Energy.
Through the Energy Storage Research Center and other energy storage pilot demonstrations, including the Alabama Power and Georgia Power Smart Neighborhoods, Southern Company is providing leadership and technical expertise to advance energy storage as an effective, technically viable energy solution. Furthermore, the Alabama Power and Georgia Power Smart Neighborhoods achieved key milestones last year.
In granting the award, the EEI said judges were impressed with the work, describing it as laying a foundation for the future of the electric utility industry.
“EEI member companies continue to integrate technologies, such as energy storage, into the energy grid, helping to pave the way for the clean energy future our customers want and deserve,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Southern Company’s leadership and technical expertise behind the testing, development and deployment of a diverse portfolio of energy storage solutions improves the resiliency and reliability of the grid and creates tremendous value for our customers. Congrats to the Southern Company team for their outstanding work and for winning this well-deserved award.”
A panel of former energy industry executives selected Southern Company for the 92nd Annual EEI Edison Award.
“We are grateful to receive the electric power industry’s most prestigious honor and proud to personify what the award represents: distinguished leadership, innovation and contribution to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit for all,” Fanning added. “I want to thank Tom Kuhn and the distinguished panel of judges who participated in this year’s selection process. I would also like to thank our many R&D partners in these efforts, including the EPRI and the U.S. Department of Energy. Their collaboration is essential as we move emerging energy storage technologies forward.”
It is just the fifth time the company has won the award. Southern Company previously earned an EEI Edison Award in 2012 for leading the nuclear renaissance in the United States. Other awards were presented to Mississippi Power (1969), Alabama Power (1958) and Georgia Power (1950).
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 190,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.