Southern Power, the subsidiary of Southern Company that acquires, builds, manages and owns generation assets that have been constructed for the wholesale market, today began commercial operation of Plant Cleveland, a 720-megawatt (MW) natural gas facility located in Cleveland County, N.C.
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.
"We are excited about growing Southern Power's presence in North Carolina to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to customers while positively impacting the local economy," said Southern Power President and CEO Oscar C. Harper. "We are committed to being a strong business partner in the communities where we're located and I'm pleased that we have strong relationships with our neighbors in North Carolina."
Plant Cleveland represents an investment of about $330 million in the community 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 eight permanent positions have been created 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 Corporation (NCEMC) and North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1 (NCMPA1).