World-Gen Volume 27 No 1 - page 5

CLASS OF 2015
WORLD-GENERATION FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015 V.27 #1
5
As an energy executive with more than
two decades in the industry, Kimberly S.
(Kim) Greene has seen the world of energy
from multiple angles. After starting her
career with Southern Company in 1991 as a
mechanical engineer, Greene progressed
through many areas of engineering, opera-
tions and finance.
In 2007, Greene returned to her home
state of Tennessee and held several key
executive roles with the Tennessee Valley
Authority (TVA), including chief financial
officer and chief generation officer. In early
2013, Greene returned to Southern
Company as president and CEO of its
Southern Company Services subsidiary.
Last year she was named executive vice
president and chief operating officer for
Southern Company.
World-Gen
got Kim’s
perspective on the industry as a member of
the Class of 2015.
WORLD-GEN: KIM,YOU’VE BEEN ON MANY
DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE INDUSTRY AS AN
ENERGYTRADER,A MEMBER OF A GOVERN-
MENT-OWNED UTILITY AND NOW (AGAIN)
AT SOUTHERN COMPANY, ONE OF THE
NATION’S LARGEST REGULATED UTILITIES.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE IMPORTANT
DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES YOU SEE
BETWEENTHESE AREAS?
Kim Greene:
I have been fortunate to
work at two great companies in Southern
Company and TVA. Through these experi-
ences – as well as my broader industry
involvement – I have come to appreciate that
many utilities share Southern Company’s
commitment to provide customers clean,
safe, reliable and affordable power. However
different companies describe this common
commitment, our collective ability to deliver
exceptional service helps improve the quali-
ty of life for all Americans.
The regulatory environment in which
Southern Company’s utilities operate pro-
vides the framework to best meet custom-
ers’ evolving energy needs. Like our regula-
tors, Southern Company is committed to
provide high reliability at a low cost to cus-
tomers. Our utilities’ ability to achieve this
goal while maintaining industry-leading
customer satisfaction provides for the kind
of constructive regulation necessary for
making critical, capital-intensive invest-
ments that best serve the long-term inter-
ests of customers.
WORLD-GEN: OVERTHE NEXT FIVE TOTEN
YEARS,WHAT DO YOU SEE ASTHE BIGGEST
CHALLENGESTHE INDUSTRY FACES AS IT
SEEKSTO FULFILL THE MISSION YOU JUST
MENTIONED?
Kim Greene:
It’s safe to say that
Thomas Edison wouldn’t recognize the
electric industry today. Due to changing
technologies, regulations and customer
expectations, the ways we produce and
deliver power are changing more quickly
than ever before. It is important that utili-
ties drive enhancements to the ways we
produce and deliver power through an
ongoing commitment to energy innovation.
Southern Company approaches energy
innovation as we do other business deci-
sions – by putting our customers at the cen-
ter of everything we do. We have spent
more than 40 years finding real solutions to
America’s energy challenges, through our
research and development program.
For example, amid evolving environ-
mental regulations, subsidiary Mississippi
Power is developing a 21st century coal
plant – the Kemper County energy facility –
that will incorporate proprietary coal gasifi-
cation technology designed to generate
power using native Mississippi lignite while
removing 65 percent of carbon emissions –
resulting in an emissions profile compara-
ble to a similarly sized natural gas plant. In
developing this technology, we believe we
have found a way forward for coal in
America and around the world.
In terms of changing customer expecta-
tions, one of the most notable focus areas
today is the increased interest in distribut-
ed generation and net metering. While
some view these as challenges to the indus-
try, we see an opportunity to develop new
programs to better serve those interested
in emerging technologies while maintaining
our commitment to provide affordable elec-
tricity to all customers.
WORLD-GEN: SO, IN LIGHT OF THOSE CHAL-
LENGES AND ALSO CONSIDERING WE SEEM
TO BE FACING A FUTURE OF VERY LOW
NATURAL GAS PRICES, PRESSURESTO
INCREASE RENEWABLE GENERATION
OPTIONS AND A CONTINUED RELUCTANCE
TO ADD LARGE OR SMALL NUCLEAR
ASSETS,WHAT DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE
MIX OF OUR GENERATION OPTIONS?
Kim Greene:
We are focused on our
customers, and we know that avoiding a
generation mix that is too dependent on any
one fuel source helps protect them against
volatile fossil fuel prices. Utilities can deliver
customer value by developing and leverag-
ing the diverse generating fleets.
As of the end of 2014, the Southern
Company system generated 40 percent of
our electricity from coal, 40 percent natural
gas, 16 percent from nuclear and 4 percent
from renewables. In recent years, we gener-
ated 70 percent of electricity from coal and
35 percent from natural gas. This dramatic
shift from coal to gas is delivering custom-
ers the benefits of today’s low natural gas
prices while preserving the flexibility to put
the lowest-cost generation options to work
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Southern Company
KIMBERLY S.GREENE
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