POWER4Georgians expands Taylor deal, taking member EMCs out of funding picture

POWER4Georgians said July 12 that it has expanded its strategic agreement with development partner Taylor Energy Fund LP for the coal-fired Plant Washington power project in Georgia.

The agreement signals the end of the permitting phase and the fact that the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) that are part of POWER4Georgians are no longer involved in the funding of the project. That releases the participating co-ops from future capital commitments to the project.

Through the new arrangement, Taylor Energy Fund will fund the continued development of the 850‑MW supercritical power plant, located near Sandersville. The Denver, Colo.-based Taylor Energy Fund and P4G announced their initial partnership in April.

“This is another positive step in the development of Plant Washington and will ensure that all the necessary pieces are in place as we prepare to move this project into the next phase,” said Dean Alford, spokesperson for POWER4Georgians.

Taylor Energy Fund is managed by Tim Taylor, the former president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado (PSCo), an Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) company.  In 2010, PSCo completed construction of its $1.3bn Comanche Unit 3, a 750 MW coal-fired power plant in Pueblo, Colo. Taylor also was responsible for the development of natural gas and renewable energy projects and managing transmission and distribution assets for PSCo.

“Plant Washington is an important component of the energy supply in Georgia, and will help facilitate in providing affordable and reliable energy for decades to come,” said Taylor. “Equally important, Plant Washington will generate a significant economic boost to the state and local economy. It is a tremendous opportunity to work with the co-ops to drive this project toward the finish line.”

POWER4Georgians said it has secured, through major environmental group opposition, all necessary permits for Plant Washington, which will be one of the cleanest coal power plants ever developed. The company also hopes to be able to get the plant into construction before the end of a one-year grace period under a proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas rule that would require new coal-fired plants to install CO2 controls. The project is expected to provide more than 1,600 hundred construction jobs during the four-year construction period, as well as 200 to 300 new jobs onsite and in supporting industries.

Said the POWER4Georgians website about the reasons for this project: “Although Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC) provides baseload generation for 38 EMCs across Georgia, most also buy supplemental power from wholesalers to ensure reliable and affordable power to meet demand. By 2013, many of these supplemental power contracts will expire. When combined with our forecasted growth, wholesalers are expected to charge substantially higher prices for contracts that are renewed. Most contracts will not be renewed because some contracts have been sold to other companies and renewal terms are unfavorable for members of the respective EMCs. Therefore, the EMCs are seeking ways to develop reliable sources of power at affordable prices.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.