Gulf Power to retire two Smith coal units as of March 31

The Gulf Power subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) on Feb. 24 petitioned the Florida Public Service Commission for authority to create a regulatory asset related to the retirement of the coal-fired Plant Smith Units 1 and 2.

In 2015, Gulf Power finalized its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) compliance strategy for each of its coal-fired generating units. As discussed in Gulf’s 2015 Ten Year Site Plan and in its Environmental Compliance Program Update filed in April 2015, Gulf’s extensive evaluation of various MATS compliance options for Plant Smith Units 1 and 2 resulted in the determination that it is in Gulf’s customers’ best interests to retire these two coal-fired units.

The filing added: “Therefore, after many years of valuable service to Gulf’s customers, Plant Smith Units 1 and 2 will be retired on March 31, 2016. Plant Smith Units 1 and 2 were previously scheduled to be retired in 2030 and 2032, respectively.”

Gulf must make certain entries to its books and records to accurately reflect the early retirement of Plant Smith Units 1 and 2. In addition, Florida code requires a utility’s annual report to include an annual depreciation status report showing changes to categories of depreciation that will require a revision of rates, amortization or capital recovery schedules. This Feb. 24 petition is intended to give notice of such circumstances with regard to Plant Smith Units 1 and 2.

The plant is also known by its full name, Lansing Smith. Unit 1 is 162 MW in size, while Unit 2 is 195 MW. The shutdown plans for the two coal units does not affect gas-fired capacity at the same site.

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.