Renewable Energy Strategy for Southern Company (2011)

Client Organization: 
Southern Company
Project Location : 
Summary of Project Idea: 

The objective of this year-long masters project was to develop renewable energy investment timelines and strategies for Southern Company over the next twenty years under various plausible federal energy and climate legislation scenarios. Phase one of the project was comprised of benchmarking renewable energy investments from other comparable regulated utilities to identify the key drivers and barriers to such investments and the types of technologies being deployed. After this initial research phase, we developed a model with input from the client to identify the quantity, type and timing of renewable energy deployment under various policy scenarios, focusing primarily on a federal Renewable Energy Standard and a price on carbon. Primary inputs for this model include existing load capacity for Southern Company, projected cost estimates for renewable and fossil fuel technologies, renewable energy potential within the territory, capacity values for each technology and policy factors. Finally, we performed primary and secondary research on project costs for renewable energy technologies for the next twenty years to established breakeven costs under the different scenarios.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Environmental Policy and Planning
Sustainable Systems
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
John DeCicco
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Nicolas Abstoss, MS Sustainable Systems
  • Christian Hicks, MS Sustainable Systems
  • Michelle Quibell, MS Sustainable Systems
  • Jennifer Ritchey, MS Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Alanya Schofield, MS Sustainable Systems
Project Status: 
Past Project