Georgia Power seeks approval to retire generating units at four plants
ATLANTA, Jan. 7, 2013
ATLANTA, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Georgia Power expects to request
approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to decertify and
retire 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units totaling 2,061 megawatts (MW),
the company announced today.
The request to decertify units 3 and 4 at Plant Branch in Putnam County; units
1-5 at Plant Yates in Coweta County; units 1 and 2 at Plant McManus in Glynn
County; and units 1-4 at Plant Kraft in Chatham County, will be included in
Georgia Power's updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that will be filed with
the PSC on Jan. 31.
Units 3-4 at Branch, units 1-5 at Yates and units 1-3 at Kraft are coal-fired
generating units. Kraft Unit 4 is oil- or natural gas-fired, and McManus units
1-2 are oil-fired.
The company expects to ask for decertification of the units, other than Kraft
1-4, by the April 16, 2015 effective date of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule. The company expects to seek
a one-year extension of the MATS compliance date for Plant Kraft, and retire
those units by April 16, 2016. The PSC is expected to vote on the
decertification request in the summer of 2013.
Several factors, including the cost to comply with existing and future
environmental regulations, recent and forecasted economic conditions, and
lower natural gas prices contributed to the decision to close these units.
Additionally, the company will ask for decertification of Boulevard 2 and
Boulevard 3 combustion turbine generating units in Savannah upon approval of
the IRP, due to the costs to repair and operate the units.
"We recognize the significant impact that these retirements will have on the
local communities and we took that into account when making these decisions,"
said Georgia Power President and CEO Paul Bowers. "These decisions were made
after extensive analysis and are necessary in order for us to maintain our
commitment to provide the most reliable and affordable electricity to our
customers. We are in the midst of a significant transition in our fleet that
will result in a more diverse fuel portfolio – including nuclear, 21^st
century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency – to ensure we
maintain our commitment for generations to come."
The company will also request that units 6 and 7 at Plant Yates switch from
coal to natural gas. Additionally, Unit 1 at Plant McIntosh, near Savannah,
will switch from Central Appalachian coal to Powder River Basin coal. The fuel
switches are the result of the company's evaluation of the MATS rule, other
existing and expected environmental regulations, and economic analyses.
The company also announced that the conversion at Plant Mitchell Unit 3, in
Albany, from coal to biomass cannot be completed before 2017, should it move
forward, due to continued regulatory uncertainty related to the Industrial
Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule and other EPA rules.
The rest of Georgia Power's coal-fired fleet, including the units at plants
Bowen, Hammond, Scherer and Wansley, are already in the process of installing
additional environmental controls in order to comply with the MATS rule.
Georgia Power will continue to evaluate existing and expected federal and
state environmental rules involving air emissions, water treatment, coal ash
and gypsum to determine the economics of taking actions to comply with
environmental regulations on generating units at Georgia Power plants.
Georgia Power currently operates 11,387 MW of coal-fueled generation at 10
plants across the state. Overall, the company has 18,623 MW of capacity,
including nuclear, natural gas and hydro generation.
Georgia Power received approval in March 2012 for the decertification of Plant
Branch units 1 and 2, which total 569 MW, effective Dec. 31, 2013 and Oct. 1,
2013, respectively; and Unit 4C at Plant Mitchell in Albany, totaling 33 MW,
effective March 26, 2012.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of
the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an
investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average.
Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159
SOURCE Georgia Power
Contact: Mark Williams, +1-404-506-7676, +1-800-282-1696
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