Major coal-fired power plant project in Georgia loses largest investor

By Dorothy Davis 

Cobb EMC’s board of directors voted this week to end financing for development of a proposed 850-megawatt (MW), supercritical coal-fired power station in Georgia.

Cobb served as a member of the Power4Georgians electric co-op consortium behind the Plant Washington project. They have been the largest contributor with over $13 million invested toward the estimated $2.1 billion coal-fired power project. 

According to reports the decision alleviates Cobb of any further financial obligations toward the Plant Washington project, including a budgeted $1.7 million contribution slated for 2012.

Power4Georgians began as a consortium of 10 electric membership cooperatives. It lost four of these in 2009 due to concerns over the impact of pending federal regulations on emissions for coal-fired projects such as Plant Washington. Since then Cobb has taken the lead, with a 39.4 percent stake in Power4Georgians, LLC. 

A news release from Cobb cited similar regulatory concerns as one of the primary catalyst behind the board’s decision, followed by a determination that the co-op’s current energy needs did not justify the cost of additional permits for project. 

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, Power4Georgians spokesman Dean Alford commented the consortium was already in the process of seeking new partners well before Cobb’s recent decision, but was unable to name potential partners while talks were ongoing.

“This in no way changes the course,” Alford told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. “It’s still full steam ahead.”

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