Southern Power starts operations at 720 MW natural gas power plant

Southern Power, the unit of Southern Co. that acquires, builds, manages and owns generation assets constructed for the wholesale market, began commercial operation of Plant Cleveland, a 720 MW natural gas facility located in Cleveland County, N.C.

Plant Cleveland represents an investment of about $330 million 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 the project also created eight permanent positions 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 Corp. and North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1.

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.

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 about 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 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.

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