Southern officially opens Birchwood Power Facility

Southern Company, through its Southern Energy subsidiary, today officially dedicated the 222.2-megawatt Birchwood Power Facility in King George County, Va.

The plant is owned by Birchwood Power Partners L.P., a 50-50 partnership between Southern Energy and Cogentrix Energy. The plant was built to meet the terms of a Power Purchase and Operating Agreement with Virginia Electric and Power Company, dated July 13, 1990.

As a cogeneration facility, the Birchwood plant will provide 220 megawatts of dispatchable electric generating capacity to Virginia Power and will supply up to 100,000 pounds of steam per hour to a 38-acre greenhouse complex operated by Dominion Growers.

"Birchwood is our best example of Southern Energy`s expertise in coal-fired generation," said Marce Fuller, senior vice president of the subsidiary`s domestic operations. "Virginia Power and the King George County residents wanted the reliability of coal-fired generation combined with the best environmental safeguards available. Birchwood provides both."

The plant complies with stringent air, water and noise regulations through the use of a selective catalytic reduction system to capture nitrogen oxide emissions, a dry scrubber to control sulfur dioxide emissions, and a baghouse for particulate removal. The plant also will use low-sulfur coal.

Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the nation`s largest producer of electricity. Southern Company is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. It also markets energy-related services and mobile radio services under the Southern name. Its Southern Energy subsidiary builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of services in the U.S. and international markets.

Southern Company`s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.

Cogentrix, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, develops, builds, owns and operates independent power assets in the United States and abroad. Based on net ownership of total megawatts of electricity produced by its 10 plants, Cogentrix is among the largest independent power producers in the United States.