Georgia Power to close many coal-fired plants

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Following the current trend of coal-fired power plant closures, electric utility Georgia Power has announced plans to retire 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units by April 2016.

Georgia Power is a vertically-integrated investor-owned public utility serving most of Georgia.  A Southern Company subsidiary, Georgia Power currently has 18,623 MW of generating capacity.  While its portfolio includes nuclear, natural gas and hydro generation, the bulk of Georgia Power's capacity is fueled by coal, with 11,387 MW of coal-fueled generation at 10 plants across Georgia.

This week, Georgia Power announced that it will request approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission to decertify and retire 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units, with a total capacity of 2,061 MW.  The company plans to request decertification of most of the units by April 16, 2015, the effective date of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule requiring more stringent air emissions controls for fossil fuel-fired plants.  The utility cited factors including the cost to comply with existing and future environmental regulations, recent and forecasted economic conditions, and lower natural gas prices, as contributing to the decision to close these units.

Georgia Power's announcement follows other similar utility decisions to close coal-fired power plants, including Progress Energy Carolinas and Dominion.

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