The utility which is leading construction of the first new nuclear reactor units in years has named its new CEO effective next week.
Chris Womack will be CEO and Chairman of Georgia Power on June 1. He replaces the retiring Paul Bowers.
Bowers has led the Southern Co.-owned Georgia Power for more than a decade, including as it persevered to build the Vogtle Units 3 and 4 nuclear expansion in that state (pictured). The $27 billion Vogtle project has overcome cost overruns, the bankruptcy of a lead contractor and calls to abandon the first new-build nuclear energy plant unit since Watts Bar went online six years ago.
The utility clearly aimed for a longtime company hand to follow Bowers. Womack joined Southern Company in 1988 and has held several leadership positions within the company and its subsidiaries, serving as executive vice president of external affairs at Georgia Power and senior vice president and senior production officer of Southern Company Generation, where he was responsible for coal, gas, and hydro generation for Georgia Power and Savannah Electric.
“I am supremely confident Chris is the type of extraordinary person to lead Georgia Power,” said Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. “His depth of experience across our system, the energy industry as a whole, and his record of public service within Atlanta, the state of Georgia, the entire Southeast and nationally will prove to be incredibly valuable as Georgia Power continues to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy for millions of Georgians. I look forward to working with Chris as he bolsters Georgia Power’s great legacy of service and citizenship.”
Prior to being named president of Georgia Power, Womack served as executive vice president and president of External Affairs for Southern Company since 2009, leading overall external positioning and branding efforts including the company’s public policy strategies and overseeing the company’s governmental and regulatory affairs, corporate communication initiatives and other external and strategic business engagements.
“As I shared eight months ago when I came back to Georgia Power, it is an exciting time to be a part of this company,” Womack said. “We’re not only making history as we move closer to bringing online the first new nuclear units in the U.S. in decades, we’re also growing and evolving as a company,” said Chris Womack, president of Georgia Power. “We’re focused on finding new, innovative ideas and energy solutions that we believe will help build a sustainable energy future for our state and bring incredible value to our customers. Our company has a legacy of providing world class customer service and reliability to Georgians, and we are committed to continuing that great work.”
Vogtle’s new units will provide more than 1 GW of carbon-free energy source for the next 60 to 80 years and be an essential part of supporting Southern Company’s, Georgia Power’s parent company, goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Georgia Power’s partners on the Vogtle project include Dalton Power, Oglethorpe Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and lead EPC contractor Bechtel, which took over after Westinghouse declared bankruptcy in 2017.
The company also continues to invest in a diverse generation fleet, helping solidify a sustainable energy future for Georgia. It expects to grow its renewable generation by more than 72 percent by 2025 – increasing its total renewable capacity to 22 percent of the portfolio.