Oglethorpe Power's History
After considering the idea for many years, 39* of Georgia’s Electric Membership Corporations, or EMCs, joined together in 1974 to form their own power supply cooperative, then known as Oglethorpe Electric Membership Corporation. This new power supply entity was named for General James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia.
Prior to 1974, the electric co-ops that formed Oglethorpe Power had been dependent upon Georgia Power to provide the electricity they needed to serve their consumer-members. Three other Georgia co-ops that were not Oglethorpe Power Member Systems received their wholesale power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and continue to do so today.
With the formation of Oglethorpe Electric (changed to Oglethorpe Power in 1978), this group of EMCs took control of their own destiny, striking a deal with Georgia Power Company to purchase an interest in two large nuclear and two large coal facilities either under construction or on the drawing boards. In addition, they purchased a joint ownership with Georgia Power and others in the state’s primary network of transmission lines and substations, known as the Integrated Transmission System, or ITS.
Through these efforts, the EMCs secured their own source of wholesale electricity and gained the means to deliver it reliably and dependably to EMCs in every corner of the state.
Above: Signing the loan documents for the first power plants
*Now 38 EMCs because of consolidation.