Georgia Power plans to decertify coal-fired Mitchell Unit 3

Georgia Power, after some months ago deciding not to proceed with a coal-to-biomass fuel conversion at Mitchell Unit 3, told the Georgia Public Service Commission in a Jan. 27 letter that it now plans to decertify that unit.

In July 2014, the Georgia PSC approved Georgia Power’s Fifth Mitchell Construction Monitoring Report and Request to Cancel the Conversion of Plant Mitchell Unit 3 to Biomass. “Currently, Plant Mitchell Unit 3 operates on coal and can continue to operate as needed until the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule becomes effective April 2015,” said the Jan. 27 letter.

“As Georgia Power explained in the Fifth Mitchell Construction Monitoring Report, the Company plans to request decertification of Mitchell Unit 3,” this Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary added. “This letter serves as notice that the planned date of the Georgia Power’s request for decertification of Plant Mitchell Unit 3 will coincide with the Company’s filing of its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan.  In that filing the Company will propose a method for cost recovery of the Plant Mitchell Unit 3 remaining net book value, unusable materials and supplies and Biomass Facility conversion costs.”

In 2009, the commission had issued its order certifying the Mitchell Biomass Facility. The company planned to convert the 155-MW, coal-fired Unit 3 into a 96-MW biomass-fired station. At that point, the Mitchell Biomass Facility was anticipated to begin serving customers in the summer of 2012. But regulatory delays and unsuccessful feasibility work eventually killed the project. The GenerationHub database shows the only other coal units at Mitchell, Units 1 and 2, as already being retired.

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.