Georgia Power to build new generating units

Georgia Power is proposing to build two new natural gas units at its Plant Wansley site in order to meet the electricity needs of customers in Georgia. Additionally, the company is purchasing power under a long-term contract from an independent power producer.

Georgia Power filed a request with the Georgia Public Service Commission on Wednesday to certify contracts for approximately 1,450 megawatts of capacity for use during the period of 2002 – 2009.

The power will come from two projects – a Georgia Power combined cycle project at Plant Wansley near Roopville, Ga. and a combustion turbine peaking plant in Thomaston, Ga. owned by West Georgia Generating Company (a subsidiary of Sonat Energy Services Company).

“We identified a capacity need for generation beginning in the year 2002 due to continued growth in the demand for electricity,” said Fred Williams, Georgia Power’s senior vice president of resource, policy and planning. “We have reviewed the numerous bids from the request for proposal process, and believe that these projects best suit the long-term needs of our customers.”

The Plant Wansley project will consist of two 566-megawatt combined cycle generating units that are scheduled to be in service by June 1, 2002. These natural gas units are designed to achieve superior fuel efficiency. The combined cycle units achieve a high level of efficiency by burning natural gas to generate electricity with combustion turbines and then using the waste heat to make steam that is used to make additional electricity. Savannah Electric will purchase 200 megawatts of the plant’s output from Georgia Power.

Beginning June 1, 2002, Georgia Power will buy an additional 310 megawatts of power from the Thomaston plant. Georgia Power had previously purchased 215 megawatts from the project beginning in June of next year. On May 31, 2005, the 215- megawatt contract will expire. At that time, the new contract amount will increase from 310 megawatts to 465 megawatts. The new contract will expire on May 31, 2009.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, the nation’s largest generator of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility, serving customers in 57,000 of the state’s 59,000 square miles. Georgia Power’s rates are more than 15 percent below the national average and its 1.8 million customers are in all but six of Georgia’s 159 counties.