Georgia Power plans retirement of coal units, conversion to natural gas

Plant Bowen

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), filed its 20-year Integrated Resource Plan calling for the closure of 15 coal- and oil-fired power plants and the sale of a 32 MW power plant, totaling 2,093 MW of capacity that will be off its grid.

As part of the filing, the utility is requesting to decertify and retire 2,061 MW of coal- and oil-fired generation from units 3 and 4 at Plant Branch; units 1-5 at Plant Yates; units 1 and 2 at Plant McManus, units 1-4 at Plant Kraft; and units 2 and 3 at Boulevard. In addition, the company is requesting to decertify and sell the 32 MW Plant Bowen Unit 6.

The company seeks to decertify the units other than Kraft units 1-4, Bowen Unit 6 and the Boulevard units by the April 16, 2015 compliance date of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (MATS). The company plans to ask for a one-year extension of the compliance date for Plant Kraft, and retire those units by April 16, 2016. As part of its MATS compliance,it will install two baghouses at Plant Bowen units 3 and 4, and will use an activated carbon and hydrated lime injection system on units 1-4 at Bown and all units at Plant Hammond and Plant Wansley.

Georgia Power is asking the PSC to decertify Bowen Unit 6 by April 16, 2013 to facilitate the sale of the unit, and is seeking to decertify both Boulevard units effective as of the date of the final order in the IRP.

Georgia Power is also requesting a conversion of units 6 and 7 at Plant Yates from coal to natural gas, and will switch from burning Central Appalachain coal to Powder River Basin coal at Plant McIntosh Unit 1.

The PSC is expected to vote on the IRP this summer.

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