Georgia Power plans to close coal-fired power plants, favors nuclear for replacement

Georgia Power close 15 coal-fired power plants convert to natural gas Plant Vogtle Plant Branch Georgia Solar Utilities Southern Co

Georgia Power Co., a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), is asking permission from state regulators to close 15 coal-fired power generators or convert them to gas and that closing plants to add solar power would increase rate prices, according to a report from the Athens Banner-Herald.

The company’s testimony came during a series of hearings on its long-term plans before the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Executives from Georgia Power are seeking to close 15 coal-fired generators across the state or convert them to natural gas, which would remove 2,100 MW of generating capacity, the Banner-Herald reported. That number is roughly the amount that will come online in 2017 with the addition of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro and would still leave a 25 percent excess in capacity.

Georgia Power also said a proposal to make Georgia Solar Utilities Inc. a monopoly provider of solar power was unworkable, according to the report. Georgia Solar Utilities has been pushing a plan for the monopoly in the state Lesiglature and in front of the commission and has said it would build a large installation in Putnam County, where Georgia Power is closing its Plant Branch.

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