Southern Energy Inc. proposes Town of Neenah, Wis., electric generating plant

Southern Energy Inc., a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Company, plans to build a 300 megawatt natural gas-fired electric generating plant in the Town of Neenah, Wis., for use when demand for power is high.

Wisconsin identified a need for additional electric generation to meet growing demand, particularly on hot days when demand is highest. Wisconsin Electric has reached an agreement with Southern Energy to buy the plant’s electricity for eight years.

“This new generation would address Wisconsin’s specific energy needs in an environmentally friendly manner and allow Southern Energy to expand its business into the area,” said Tom Boren, Southern Energy’s president and chief executive officer. “The combustion turbines we hope to build are a good match for Wisconsin’s current needs.”

Southern Energy hopes to have the new plant operating by June 1, 2000. Initially, the facility is scheduled to operate during times when demand for electricity is high – on hot days or during system emergencies. The cost of the project would total more than $100 million. The project is subject to certain regulatory approvals, including approval by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

The plant site Southern Energy has chosen is south of County Trunk O and west of the new extension of County Trunk CB. Already slated for industrial development, the site is next to existing gas pipelines and electric transmission lines, minimizing impact on the community.

Southern Energy also potentially could seek to add heat recovery equipment to the turbines in the future, allowing the plant to operate more efficiently and expanding its capacity to 525 megawatts as Wisconsin’s demand for electricity grows. The plant then would operate 50 to 80 percent of the time.

Southern Energy plans to hold a public meeting about the project at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Town of Neenah Town Hall.

Southern Energy Inc., a unit of Southern Company, develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of services to utilities and industrial companies around the world. Southern Energy, through its subsidiaries, supplies electricity in 10 countries on four continents. Its Southern Company Energy Marketing subsidiary, jointly owned with Vastar Resources Inc., provides energy trading, marketing and financial services and other energy-related commodities, products and services to customers in North America.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is also the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.