Southern Company subsidiary drives economic growth with new North Carolina gas facility

Tue Dec 4, 2012 11:30am EST

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Southern Company subsidiary drives economic growth with new North Carolina gas facility

PR Newswire

ATLANTA, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Power, the subsidiary of Southern Company that acquires, builds, manages and owns generation assets that have been constructed for the wholesale market, today began commercial operation of Plant Cleveland, a 720-megawatt (MW) natural gas facility located in Cleveland County, N.C.

The plant expands the company's natural gas portfolio and is the third generating facility that Southern Power owns and operates in North Carolina. In addition to Plant Cleveland, Southern Power acquired Plant Rowan, a 925-MW gas facility, in 2006 and in October announced with Turner Renewable Energy, Inc., the acquisition of the 2.5-MW Granville Solar Facility.

"We are excited about growing Southern Power's presence in North Carolina to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to customers while positively impacting the local economy," said Southern Power President and CEO Oscar C. Harper. "We are committed to being a strong business partner in the communities where we're located and I'm pleased that we have strong relationships with our neighbors in North Carolina."

Plant Cleveland represents an investment of about $330 million in the community and is expected to contribute $30 million in new state and local tax revenue over the next 20 years. Some 300 jobs were created at the height of construction and eight permanent positions have been created to operate the plant.

The generating plant consists of four Siemens F Class gas turbine units that occupy a portion of a 275-acre site near Kings Mountain, N.C. Plant Cleveland will, in part, provide electric power through long-term contracts with North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) and North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1 (NCMPA1).

NCEMC is a generation and transmission cooperative that supplies all or part of the energy needs for the majority of the state's electric cooperatives. Electric cooperatives provide energy to 2.5 million people in 93 of North Carolina's 100 counties, primarily in rural parts of the state.

NCMPA1 is a joint action agency composed of 19 municipalities in western North Carolina, with a total load of approximately 1,100 MWs. NCMPA1 has a 75 percent ownership interest in the Catawba Nuclear Station Unit 2 and is active in the wholesale power market. NCMPA1 is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C.

Southern Power is among the largest wholesale energy providers in the Southeast, meeting the electricity needs of municipalities, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. The company owns and operates more than 8,600 MWs with facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and New Mexico and has an additional 30 MWs under construction in Nevada.

With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company is leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and is demonstrating its commitment to energy innovation through development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Platts' 2011 Power Company of the Year and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the investment of the project in the community. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities; and the ability of counterparties of Southern Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Southern Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

SOURCE Southern Company

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