ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The third and final of Georgia Power's 840 megawatt (MW) natural gas combined-cycle units at Plant McDonough-Atkinson in Smyrna, Ga., became operational Oct. 28. The three units represent one of the largest generation sources on Georgia Power's system, and are capable of producing more than five times the electricity of the coal units that were replaced.
Georgia Power placed the first natural gas unit on-line at the plant in December 2011, and the second on April 26 of this year.
The addition of these clean, efficient natural gas combined-cycle units will provide value for customers by meeting the expected growth in customer electricity needs and ensuring reliability in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. The units will also reduce emissions and help improve air quality in Metro Atlanta.
"We are very proud of our dedicated employees who did an outstanding job reaching this tremendous milestone," said John Pemberton, Georgia Power's senior vice president of generation. "I also want to recognize the Georgia Public Service Commission for its foresight in approving this state-of-the art technology, which is an increasingly important element in Georgia Power's diverse energy portfolio."
With the addition of the third natural gas unit, the new units at Plant McDonough-Atkinson are capable of producing in excess of 2,500 MWs, enough energy to power approximately 625,000 homes.
At the height of construction, more than 2,000 contract and construction workers were involved in building the new units.
Georgia Power retired the two coal units at Plant McDonough-Atkinson on Sept. 30, 2011 and Feb. 29, 2012, respectively. Removal of the historic stack at the plant has begun, and will be complete by June, 2013.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.
SOURCE Georgia Power