Founded inthe company established the first central station generation and transmission system in Alabama. Alabama Power Auburn Al Power Company the first large hydroelectric dam in Alabama and was sending electricity to the Birmingham industrial district by The company's ownership and subsequent donation to the federal government of its dam site at Muscle Shoals on the Tennessee River during World War I threw Alabama Power into the middle of a national debate over public versus private generation and transmission of electricity.

In the World War II era, Alabama Power lobbied to locate defense industries and military bases in the state and after the war encouraged the conversion of these facilities to peacetime use. Sometimes identified as one of the Birmingham "Big Mules," Gov.

Bibb Graves 's term for large corporations in the state's business centerits policies were often at odds with other big businesses, such as its recruitment of industry into the state, which was opposed by some industrialists who were concerned that labor competition might lead to increased wages. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Alabama was an agricultural state with little electricity-generating capacity and no transmission system.

A few industries had generators for lights or motors. InLay secured congressional approval for the construction of a dam on the Coosa River at the U. Army Corps of Engineers Lock 12 site, but he was never able to secure money to build the dam.

Inhe sold his company and its assets, which included only the dam site at Lock 12, to James Mitchell, a Massachusetts engineer with connections to a London investment house. Martin as general counsel. Mitchell opened an office in Montgomery's Bell Building in early He acquired the Alabama Power Development Company, which had a small dam and generating facility at Jackson Shoals on Choccolocco Creek, a transmission line to Talladega and Gadsden, and a steam plant under construction in Gadsden.

In the summer ofMitchell changed his plans after it became apparent that the Central of Georgia Railroad bridge over the Tallapoosa would have to be replaced. He instead decided to build at Lock 12 on the Coosa and construct transmission lines to Birmingham, the industrial heart of the state, and moved the company headquarters there that same year.

The Lock 12 dam now Lay Dam was completed in December and was generating electricity by April and transmitting it to Birmingham by July. The company's coal-fired Gadsden steam plant provided backup generation when water levels in the Coosa River were too low to generate electricity. Incandidates in the Democratic primary attacked the company, making an issue of the foreign money that backed the company's Alabama investments.

Soon after the outcry erupted, the outbreak of World War I cut off the supply of capital from England. In addition, landowners around the Coosa Dam filed suits claiming the rising waters were a breeding place for mosquitoes and were increasing the incidence of malaria. At the same time that Alabama Power began generating power, the company also worked to promote industrial development in the state and was responsible for purchasing and placing into production in Anniston the first electric furnace in the South for the manufacture of steel.

The demand for electricity in Alabama soared with wartime production, and the company built another steam plant on the Warrior River, a facility later named after William Crawford Gorgas. In early Gorgas Steam Plant, Big Frog T Shirt Company. War Department pressured James Mitchell to donate his company's dam site on the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals to the federal government so it could produce chemicals for explosives with an ample supply of hydroelectricity.

Mitchell chose to donate the site to the government because the federal government threatened to appraise the land at northern Alabama farm rates and confiscate it under war powers. Alabama Power ran transmission lines from its Gorgas Steam Plant to Muscle Shoals to supply electricity for construction of Wilson Dam, which was not completed untillong after the war was over.

When the federal government began generating electricity at the plant, Alabama Power was the only utility with transmission lines into the Muscle Shoals area, and it began purchasing power from Wilson Dam and distributing it when needed through connections with Georgia utilities across the southeast as far as North Carolina. Honest Company Sensitive Formula died unexpectedly inand Martin assumed executive authority.

That same year, under Martin's leadership, Alabama Power initiated a rural electrification program and built its first rural line in Madison County. Thomas W. Martin at Lock 18 Site Inthe Alabama State Legislature enacted the Public Utility Act, which was a far-reaching reform effort that gave the three-member Alabama Public Service Commission an increased budget and powers, including the authority to regulate utility rates.

After President William H. Taft's veto of a bill that would have allowed Alabama Power to build a dam at the Lock 18 site on the Coosa River where Jordan Dam was later constructedCongress ceased enacting dam legislation.

This additional generation allowed the company to meet the exploding demand for electricity that occurred in the s because of new inventions and the increased manufacture of appliances and industrial motors and equipment. The electric iron was often the first appliance a family would purchase, followed by ranges, refrigerators, and hot water heaters as well as pumps to draw water from wells and provide indoor plumbing for rural homes.

Over time, she became known as Electra. Martin The financial success of Southeastern Power Email Announcement Of Employee Leaving Company its Stax Company companies attracted Wall Street financiers in and resulted in a hostile takeover of the company by a group backed by New York banking mogul J.

During these years, Martin maintained his presidency of Alabama Power. InFranklin D. Roosevelt was elected president of the United States and began to implement his New Deal programs, which aimed to help the nation recover from the social and economic strife of the Great Depression. Alabama Power had been supplying electricity to the Tennessee Valley region of Alabama as early asbut when the federally owned TVA began generating power inAlabama Power could not compete financially and sold its Tennessee Valley assets either to TVA or to newly created municipal power systems.

Wall Street investors were uneasy about how far TVA would expand. Jordan Dam The beginning of war in Europe in and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December increased federal spending in Alabama on military bases and defense industries. Alabama's large supply of electricity was one reason the state attracted so many wartime investments. Alabama Power's president Tom Martin was heavily involved in ensuring that the new holding company was freed from all control by northern or Midwestern financial and utility interests.

In a major financial commitment, the company built its first nuclear plant on the Chattahoochee River near Dothan in Joe Farley Through new technology, efficiencies, hydro generation, and economies of scale meaning that increases in production lead to decreases in priceAlabama Power had managed to reduce its electrical rates between and Inhowever, interest rates and inflation increased so much that the company was forced to request a general rate increase for the first time since the Alabama Public Service Commission began regulating utility rates in Governor George C.

Wallacewho by this time was no longer able to exploit the issue of race to garner political support, opposed the utility for seeking higher rates. The governor's attacks, which lasted until and blocked any rate increases, helped drive Alabama Power to the brink of insolvency.

These cuts allowed the company to maintain jobs, services to customers, and avoid financial collapse. Charles D. McCrary InAlabama Power began to regain a firm financial footing in large part from decisions by the Alabama Supreme Court that the Public Service Commission had to allow adequate rates to cover expenses and a reasonable return on investment.

The company also strengthened its economic development team and supported the organization of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, which was jointly founded by Alabama businesses and industries to push economic development in the state. In AprilCharles D. Since that time, he has continued the company's efforts in economic development and outreach programs. He led the company in its efforts to attract the ThyssenKrupp steel plant, one of the nation's largest industrial projects in decades, to the Mobile area.

Hydropower, which had been backed by coal-fired generation, was the basis of the company's first central station system, but by Alabama Power had switched largely to coal-fired generators, accounting for some 69 percent of output. Nuclear power and natural gas accounted for 19 percent and 8 percent of output, respectively, and hydropower provided 4 percent of the company's generation. In the late s and early s, efforts were made to address environmental issues.

A holding company uses the combined assets of its operating companies to maximize its ability to borrow money and provides certain cost-saving services, which prevents duplication in the operating companies. Alabama Power Company is administrated through six divisions: the Birmingham Division, the Mobile Division, Auburn Al Power Company Eastern Division with headquarters in Annistonthe Western Division with headquarters in Tuscaloosathe Southern Division with headquarters in Montgomeryand the Southeast Division with headquarters in Eufaula.

In addition, the company has departments that specialize in power Petaluma Pie Company, transmission, and distribution. Today, Alabama Power remains politically active on the state and federal levels, and often on the county and municipal levels as well.

As a utility heavily regulated at every level of government, and one of Alabama's largest taxpayers, decisions made by the Alabama Public Service Commission and legislature, and policies formulated in Washington can have a significant impact on the company's business. The company thus maintains a strong lobbying presence at the Alabama statehouse. Alabama Power Company has often taken public positions on tax, environmental and energy policy, on education, economic Yakima Steak Company community development initiatives, and other issues.

As for political contributions, the company is prohibited from providing corporate funds to any federal, state or local political candidate, political party or political action committee PAC. However, its employee-operated state PAC pools dollars contributed by company leaders, as well as the company's rank and file. Alabama Power Building Detail Alabama Power has a long history of philanthropy and provides support to United Way campaigns, educational programs, and Project Share, an energy assistance program administrated by the American Red Cross to help low-income families with their energy bills.

Inthe company established the Alabama Power Foundation using stockholders' share of profits to streamline and increase the company's support for communities and improve the lives of Alabamians. Employees and retirees participate in volunteer activities that are coordinated through the Alabama Power Service Organization, founded in Retirees also performed volunteer work through a company-sponsored group called the Energizers.

The company continues its outreach efforts, and the Renew Our Rivers volunteer cleanup campaign, established inhas The Hair Company into the Southeast's largest volunteer river cleanup program and has received national honors.

The company's Target Zero safety program has reduced employee accidents by 75 percent since and has been adopted by all Southern Company operating companies. The program has become a model for other utilities across the nation.

Additional Resources Atkins, Leah Rawls. Birmingham, Ala. Farley, Joseph M. Jackson, Harvey H. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Martin, Thomas W. McCrary, Charles D.

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