The United States is one of the leaders in the world’s production and supply of energy. According to International Energy Statistics, it is also one of the planet’s largest consumers of energy, making up around of 19% of the world total, primary energy consumption. As the third largest industry in the United States, it should come as no surprise that there is an enormous variety of energy providers across the nation, all looking for new and varying ways to generate power for their customers.
Pacific Gas & Electric
With the largest number of customers (just over 5.2 million), annual revenue of nearly $15 billion, and a workforce of nearly 19,500 employees, it is fair to say that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is the largest energy company within the United States. Founded in 1905 and based in San Francisco, PG&E provides natural gas and electricity to nearly two-thirds of California. Incorporating a wide range of energy generation methods, PG&E is actually the largest private owner of hydroelectric facilities in the United States, utilizing 174 dams and 172 miles of canals across the state. The company also owns and runs one nuclear power plant and one natural-gas fired power plant.
Independent oil and gas production company Cunningham Energy was formed in 2008 and is based in Charleston, West Virginia. The company was created with the purpose of exploring, acquiring, and producing oil and gas within three major North American basins. The company’s headquarters and primary operational area is located within the heart of the Appalachian basin. While actively exploring and drilling new oil wells, Cunningham Energy also re-work older wells, which have either previously declined in production or have been abandoned by their previous operators. With an oil and gas production area of over 20,000 acres, there is plenty of scope for further shale and deep drilling, providing a good opportunity for future expansion of the company.
Florida Power & Light
Although this company is not the largest in the United States, it does provide the largest volume of sales of energy (MWh). Founded in 1925 and based at Juno Beach, Florida Power & Light is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. By using a combination of gas, nuclear and solar power plants, Florida Power & Light is able to provide roughly 4.4 million customers with energy throughout the state of Florida. The company also owns and operates the largest fossil fuel burning power plant in the United States.
Providing energy to over 2.3 million Americans in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties, Georgia Power is one of the largest energy companies in the southern United States. Founded in 1945 and based in downtown Atlanta, the company makes use of a variety of power generating facilities, including 20 hydroelectric dams, two nuclear power plants, and 14 fossil fueled power generating plants. Georgia Power also plays an important role in transmitting power to the neighboring states of Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina.
As you can see, energy providers within the United States range from enormous companies to specialist local providers. We can also see a range of strategies, with some companies supplying energy to literally millions of customers across entire states. Other companies are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to identify and extract sources of energy for their customers.