Founding the power house
The history of Southern Company can be traced back to the mid-1920s, when Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power became an interconnected system under a holding company known as Southeastern Power & Light. The purpose of the integration was to enable each company to provide more reliable service to its operating areas and to supply a source of capital funds to the companies for construction purposes. The integration also allowed the companies to take advantage of the executive and technical expertise of the system's personnel.
Consolidation and dissolution
In 1930, Southeastern Power & Light merged into the Commonwealth & Southern Corporation to form a system that included five Northern companies and six Southern companies. However, in the late 1940s Commonwealth & Southern was dissolved to meet the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. The dissolution was necessary because the 11 companies of Commonwealth & Southern did not have integrated operations or interconnected lines.
Four of the Southern companies — Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power — were deemed to be an integrated system and thus were allowed to remain under common ownership, this time under a new holding company — Southern Company.
The new holding company was incorporated in Delaware on November 9, 1945 and moved to Georgia in 1950. The year 1949 saw Southern Company's first full year of operation. At that time, Southern Company purchased all of the service company's common stock and the personnel of the holding company became employees of Southern Company Services. Southern Company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange as SO soon thereafter.
Energy to serve your world
In 1981, Southern Company became the first electric utility holding company in 46 years to diversify its operations by forming an unregulated subsidiary. In January 1982, Southern Energy, Inc., began official operations as a global energy company, growing to serve 10 countries on four continents.
Wireless, fiber, and other solutions
In 1985, Southern Company Energy Solutions was formed to research, develop and invest in new business opportunities related to energy products and services.
Savannah Electric became Southern Company's fifth operating company when it was merged into the system in 1988.
Another Southern Company subsidiary — Southern Nuclear — began providing services in 1991 to the system's nuclear power plants.
In 1996, Southern Communications Services began providing digital wireless communications services to Southern Company's subsidiaries and also began marketing these services to the public within the Southeast as Southern LINC.
Southern Telecom, a telecommunications subsidiary of Southern Company was founded in 1997. Southern Telecom provides colocation and dark fiber optic lines to network businesses.
In January of 2001, as the final step in unlocking value created in its worldwide energy business, Southern Company announced plans to spin off its international subsidiary, then known as Southern Energy, into a separate corporation. Southern Energy changed its name to Mirant Corporation and listed as MIR on the New York Stock Exchange. On April 2, 2001, Southern Company completed the spinoff, distributing 272 million shares, or 80.3 percent, of Mirant to Southern Company shareholders of record.
Following the spinoff, Southern Company's strategy focused on growth in three major areas: its traditional retail business in the Southeast, competitive wholesale generation in the eight-state "Super Southeast" and energy-related products and services. Mirant became an independent global power producer.
New wholesale power subsidiary
On January 9, 2001, Southern Company received final approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to form Southern Power, a subsidiary to own, manage and finance wholesale generating assets in the Southeast. The new subsidiary targets wholesale customers.
On July 19, 2002, Southern Company Gas received certification from the Georgia Public Service Commission to enter the retail gas market. The PSC approval cleared the way for Southern Company to acquire the Georgia customers belonging to The NewPower Company, Inc. As a result of this acquisition, Southern Company Gas was formed and entered the Georgia retail natural gas market. On January 5, 2006, after nearly four years of operations, the company was sold and customers transferred to Cobb EMC's newly formed affiliate, Gas South.
Paying dividends for over 50 years
Southern Company is one of the largest investor-owned electric utilities in the United States, ranking near the top in the electric utility industry in terms of the number of common shares outstanding. Southern Company has paid its common stockholders higher or equal per share dividends since 1948, and its stock is one of the 25 most widely held corporate stocks in America. overview
Southern Company's service territory in the Southeast encompasses more than 120,000 square miles, spanning parts of four states — most of Alabama and Georgia, the panhandle of Florida, and 23 counties in southeastern Mississippi.