Originally created 05/16/02

Georgia Power seeks to close 11 generating units

ATLANTA -- Georgia Power said Wednesday it will seek regulatory approval this summer to close 11 older generating units at three power plants.

The move would eliminate 82 jobs, including 68 at a power plant near Macon that would close.

The company said the capacity of the 11 units, 415 megawatts, would be more than compensated by new generating units scheduled to begin production this year.

The company will submit its proposal to the Public Service Commission next month as part of an amended document regulators require on how the utility plans to meet the state's electricity needs.

"This proposal is based on thorough economic analyses," said David Ratcliffe, Georgia Power's president and chief executive. "When we did this analysis for our 2005 plan, the results indicated that it is more economical to retire these 11 units than to continue to operate them."

Georgia Power's study of future energy needs found that slowing economic activity will reduce the amount of generation capacity needed in 2005 and beyond, company spokesman John Sell said. Officials declined to discuss specific details about how much lower that revision would be, citing competitive concerns.

The closures are at the following plants:

-Plant Arkwright, Macon, coal-powered units 1 through 4 and two gas-turbine units. The 220-acre property, on the Ocmulgee River north of Macon, will be evaluated for future use, the company said.

-Plant Atkinson, Smyrna, coal-powered units 2 through 4. Fourteen positions will be eliminated at the plant.

-Plant Mitchell, Albany, coal-powered units 1 and 2. The plant will continue to operate a steam unit and three combustion turbine units.

Georgia Power serves about 1.9 million customers in 153 counties.

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