Biz Briefs: Georgia Power closes coal units

Biz Briefs: Georgia Power closes coal units

January 8th, 2013 by Staff Reports in Business Around the Region

Georgia Power closes coal units

Georgia Power Co. wants to close 15 of its coal and oil-fired units to comply with stricter environmental rules targeting power plants.

Subject to approval of the Georgia Public Service Commission, the utility wants to close coal or oil units at Branch in Putnam County, Yates in Coweta County, McManus in Glynn County, and Kraft in Chatham County. Georgia Power also wants to convert two coal-fired units at Plant Yates so they run on natural gas. Georgia Power and its parent, Atlanta-based Southern Co., have reduced the amount of electricity they get from coal from 70 percent five years ago to 47 percent now. Customer bills will not be immediately affected by the plant closings, but Georgia Power is allowed to recoup shutdown costs from ratepayers.

Local gas prices up

Chattanooga drivers are hoping 2013 doesn't start off like 2012 at the gas pump. In the past week, the average price at the pump rose 7 cents a gallon, according to AAA. But Chattanooga gas prices still remain under $3.15 a gallon for regular gas, or 15 cents per gallon below the U.S. average and a dime cheaper than a year ago. Oil prices should dictate what happens next with pump prices. On Monday, benchmark crude rose 10 cents to finish at $93.19 a barrel in New York.