The replanting project will take place in a 33,000-acre state forest near the Okefenokee Swamp, a portion of southeastern Georgia that was devastated by wildfires two years ago.
Officials from Oglethorpe and the Georgia Forestry Commission, partners in the project, announced the initiative at an environmental conference in Savannah.
We believe that planting more trees to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is an important part of addressing the climate change issue while also restoring our valuable forestlands and providing important wildlife habitat, said Michael W. Price, Oglethorpes chief operating officer.
Under the plan, Oglethorpe will gain title to the carbon dioxide the replanted trees remove from the air for the first 25 years, then will share those rights with the state for an additional 50 years. Carbon dioxide is among the greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
Proposals allowing utilities to receive carbon credits for replanted trees to help offset power plant emissions are part of climate change legislation pending in Congress.
Oglethorpe is the nations largest power supply cooperative with about $5 billion in assets. The utility serves 38 electric membership corporations with a total of 4.1 million customers.