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Southern Co. Co-Chairs Diversity-Focused Clean Tech Energy Innovation Fund

Gaby M. Rojas

Energy Impact Partners (“EIP”) has announced the completion of fundraising for its inaugural Elevate Future Fund I LP (“Elevate”), one of the largest funds of its kind, with $111.9 million of limited partner commitments.

Southern Company was a founding investor in EIP and Chris Womack, current president and CEO-elect of Southern Company, will co-chair Elevate’s advisory board.

Elevate is focused on driving diversity in the energy ecosystem by providing capital to underrepresented founders of clean technology companies and supporting diversity and minority-owned businesses in the associated supply chain.

“Together with EIP, we celebrate the completion of fundraising for the Elevate Future Fund,” says Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president and chief commercial solutions officer for Southern Company. “Today, less than 3% of venture funding goes to minority entrepreneurs. That must change. We remain exceedingly enthusiastic about the important work of this fund to support diverse entrepreneurs who are creating critical energy solutions for a more sustainable energy future.”

Adda Cummiskey, “We are steadfast in our commitment to the ongoing success of Elevate, and we are pleased to serve in an advisory capacity.”

Underscoring its commitment to advancing clean energy solutions and workplace diversity, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are actively engaged in collaborations with various companies funded by Elevate, including ChargerHelp! and Rheaply.

ChargerHelp! is an electric vehicle charging station and maintenance company. Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power is currently collaborating with ChargerHelp! on a series of local employee trainings and an 18-month pilot focused on electric vehicle infrastructure and renewable technologies.

Rheaply is a cloud-based resource exchange platform that enables organizations to trade materials and resources more efficiently, avoid carbon emissions and reduce spending. Southern Company subsidiaries are collaborating with Rheaply to leverage this resource management solution. Nicor Gas has piloted Rheaply software, and Georgia Power, Southern Company Gas and Southern Company Services are currently working with Rheaply to implement a similar pilot program in Georgia. Additionally, Southern Company is exploring the potential for additional deployments of Rheaply’s solution more broadly.

“Having Southern Company’s support at the helm of what we’re building at Elevate is invaluable,” explains Anthony Oni, managing partner at EIP. “Their commitment to helping our companies test, learn and scale provides us with important data, insights and partnerships to better support underrepresented founders. They exemplify the EIP model of collaboration, and we look forward to many more partnerships that support diversity, equity and inclusion within the energy ecosystem.”

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