On the generation side, GSOC handles the energy demands moment by moment for the EMCs, balancing load with the economic dispatch of generation plants and economy energy purchases.
     Oglethorpe Power operates several power plants across the state. These plants supply — or generate — much of the electricity the EMCs need, depending on the demand. Based on that hour’s load forecast, the GSOC energy control center determines which units should economically be running and generating electricity.
     Sometimes, it’s cheaper to purchase electricity from power marketers or other sources than it is to start up a unit, especially during peak-load periods or if a unit is down for maintenance. The Member scheduling agents — or the Members themselves — make these purchases.
     As a customer's load demand changes continuously throughout the day, electricity must be available the instant the customer needs it. Current economics does not allow for the storage and later use of electricity, so it's important that generation and purchases match the load demand as closely as possible at all times.
     Therefore, monitoring and meeting the demands — which are updated every six seconds — are one of GSOC’s most important roles in the load balancing process. Our goal is to meet EMC load and maintain reliability at the lowest possible cost. Together, generation plus purchases meet the load requirements for any given hour. GSOC dispatches the generation plus purchases to balance to the EMC load.
What Drives the Load?

Weather is a main driver of the demand for electricity.  Hot Georgia summers mean higher demand to keep the air conditioning cooling.  Cold winter days increase demand to keep furnaces heating.

     Therefore, GSOC uses a load forecast to help us predict the system load requirements.  It's updated every hour to follow our daily cycles.  This way, our operators can accurately plan how much generation will be needed and if a generation unit needs to be brought online.

     Using the load forecast allows us to do a better job of next-hour generation planning and dispatching.  Once generated, the electricity then is transmitted where it's needed.