Sponsor Highlight: Alabama Power
Alabama Power was founded in 1906 and since its earliest days, company leaders have believed Alabama Power should help bring new business and industry to the state. In fact, Alabama Power created the state’s first, and for many years only, economic development department.
Over the years, Alabama Power has played a major role in bringing the textile, pulp and paper and automotive industries to Alabama, and continues to partner with organizations like the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to bring new industry to our state. Between 2006 and 2010, Alabama Power played a substantial role in bringing an estimated 17,000 jobs and approximately $7.5 billion in new and expanding businesses to Alabama.
While luring new industry is important, so is protecting the natural resources that make Alabama one of the nation’s most biologically diverse states. For years, Alabama Power has worked to reduce its impact on the environment. The company’s hydroelectric plants provide emission-free power while creating reservoirs with 157,000 acres of water and more than 4,000 miles of shoreline. And through the Renew Our Rivers program, company and community volunteers have removed more than 10 million pounds of trash and debris from state waterways. Since 2000, the grass roots effort has drawn more than 50,000 participants who have collected up to a million pounds of trash and debris each year. This year, volunteers have scheduled 32 cleanups. As Renew Our Rivers volunteers continue their efforts, Alabama Power has partnered with schools and civic groups to create and distribute more than 50,000 “Message in the Bottle” coloring books across the state to educate students about environmental stewardship. The Alabama Power Foundation has also supported the effort by providing grants to teachers for aquatic environmental education projects. Educators interested in the “Message in the Bottle” program should contact Michelle McAndrews at 334-616-4452.
While devoted to protecting the environment, Alabama Power is equally passionate about helping people. Last year, the 5,000-plus members of the Alabama Power Service Organization donated more than 66,000 volunteer hours supporting nonprofit groups and charitable events across the state. In addition, the Alabama Power Foundation, founded in 1989 with an investment by Alabama Power shareholders, has the goal of strengthening and spurring additional growth in communities across the state. The Alabama Power Foundation does many things. It makes medical services accessible to those in need and strives to prepare students for the workplace. It supports programs that inform people about the state’s history and improve the environment. The Foundation supports innovative programs and organizations around the state hoping to spur long-term opportunities.
In December Alabama Power began receiving energy from the Oklahoma-based Chisholm View Wind Project as part of a 2011 power purchase agreement. This energy, along with the approval of a similar agreement in September with the Kansas-based Buffalo Dunes Wind Project, positions Alabama Power to be a leading purchaser of wind-generated energy in the Southeast by 2014. The agreements also give the company the option of keeping the environmental attributes, or green credits, from the wind projects or selling the credits for the benefit of customers.
“We are always looking for ways to provide our customers with affordable, reliable energy options that are environmentally friendly,” said Richard Hutto, Alabama Power Southeast Division Vice President. Alabama Power employees are also working hard to keep costs down and prices stable for customers, while supporting the communities the company serves. “We have pledged to keep our base rates flat in 2013 and we are working with our regulators to try to keep them flat in 2014 as well,” Hutto said. “Our commitment goes beyond keeping the lights on. At Alabama Power we believe in making Alabama a better place and we strive everyday to do just that.”
Article By: Linda Brannon, Alabama Power