Alabama Power powers up Southern Rockers and others in the heart of Dixie. The Southern Company subsidiary provides electricity to nearly 1.4 million residential and business customers in Alabama. The utility operates almost 92,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines, and it has nuclear, hydroelectric, and fossil-fueled power plant interests that give it a generating capacity of more than 12,200 MW. Alabama Power sells wholesale power to more than 15 municipal and rural distribution utilities; it also provides steam transmission (used for heating and cooling buildings) in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, and sells electric appliances (such as thermostats, ovens, and washing machines).
In 2009 Alabama Power began was exploring the possibility of generating power by burning wood and other renewable fuels at one of its coal-fired plants in repsonse to government regulations calling for lower carbon emissions. In 2010 the company teamed up with The Westervelt Company, agreeing to buy biomass-fuel (waste wood material) from the timber company.
In 2011 Alabama Power was also completing a six-year $1.7 billion clean air project that calls for the installation of scrubbers (air pollution control devices) at all seven of its largest coal fired plants in Alabama. By 2010, six scrubbers were in operation at four power plants in Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, and Mobile counties.
Growing its green energy portfolio, in 2012 the company agreed to buy 202 MW of power from a Kansas wind park being developed by TradeWind Energy and which is expected to commence operations in 2014.
A warmer-the-usual summer and a colder-than-normal winter helped increase power demand. This, and a rate increase, helped to lift retail revenues and overall net income in 2010. The improving economy saw industrial demand pick up as well. However, wholesale sales took a dip in 2010, due to the end of a number of long-term unit power sales contracts which expired mid-year and became available for retail service. – less