Serving the Southeast: A History of the Southeastern Power Administration, 1990-2012

Established on March 21, 1950 with headquarters in Elberton, Georgia, the Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA) is one of four power marketing administrations (PMAs) within the United States Department of Energy. Each PMA, authorized by congressional legislation, is charged with marketing hydroelectric power produced at federal dams operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers or Bureau of Reclamation within a specific geographic region. By statute, the PMAs must give preference to public utility bodies and cooperatives, selling the power at the lowest rate consistent with sound business principles. Today, the electricity produced at federal impoundments accounts for approximately one-half of the hydroelectricity produced in the United States. Marketed by the PMAs, this hydroelectricity currently serves 60 million Americans in 34 states.  In the Southeast, SEPA currently markets federal power from 22 Corps-owned hydroelectric projects to 491 preference customers across 11 states, reaching over 12 million power consumers. Completed in 2012, Serving the Southeast documented the recent history of this small, but powerful federal agency which maintains a staff of just over 40 full-time employees. The history included a study of recent organizational changes, the transition to modern technology, new energy policies for industry de-regulation and non-discriminatory transmission, as well as the effects of drought, the Tri-State Water Wars litigation, and aging hydroelectric equipment.

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