State Power Grid Gets $90 Million in Federal Loan Guarantees

Apr 15, 2013

Georgia’s power grid is getting $90 million in federal loan guarantees for system upgrades.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the loans to the Georgia Transmission Corp., which  manages the grid for 38 of the state’s 41 electric management cooperatives, including Cobb EMC and Jackson EMC. The loans will finance more transmission lines and new smart grid technology such as remote switching devices and fault indicators.

“Every year we are doing upgrades and modifications to the system so that we can keep the lights on and keep the outages to an absolute minimum,” said Tom Parker, the corporation's vice president of external affairs. 

Georgia Transmission Corp. is in charge of roughly 20 percent of the state's electric lines. Georgia Power manages a good portion of the rest.

Parker says planning in 10-year increments has helped the state avoid the massive power outages experienced in other parts of the country.

“We have been making a significant effort for a number of years to look into the future to see where growth will be, where demand will change, where we might need to upgrade facilities.”

Parker says maintaining and upgrading the corporation's portion of the grid costs roughly $100 million per year.