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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 10:25am

Georgia Power Touts 20-Year Plan

Georgia Power made its final presentations Tuesday to state utility regulators considering the company’s 20-year plan.

The company is asking the Georgia Public Service Commission to retire 16 coal- and oil-fired generating units at six power plants. Two plants – Plant McManus in Brunswick and Plant Kraft in Savannah -- will close altogether.

Commissioners and individuals who spoke at Tuesday’s hearing worried how shuttering the plants would impact surrounding communities that depend on the taxes and jobs the plants bring.

Georgia Power executives said the company is open to redeveloping the sites.

“If the company determines that it’s not in the best interests of customers for a particular site to be redeveloped at some point in the future as a future generating facility, then the company would contemplate, are there other economic development opportunities there?” said Kyle Leach, director of resource policy and planning.

Leach says it’s too soon now to say what those might be.

“But we also recognize – and we’ve heard today – that there is cost to the local communities,” he said.

Georgia Power is shutting down the generating units because of reduced power demand and the cost of meeting new federal air-quality standards.

Critics also say the company is not planning to use enough solar power over the next two decades.

The PSC could continue the final hearing into Wednesday. Commissioners are set to make a final decision on the plan July 11.

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