Georgia Power seeks approval to retire generating units at four plants

Mon Jan 7, 2013 10:00am EST

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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, 21st  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

Mark Williams, +1-404-506-7676, +1-800-282-1696
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