February 11, 2019 Read More →

Soon-to-close Georgia coal plant could host new solar power demonstration project

Rome News-Tribune:

If the Georgia Public Service Commission approves Georgia Power’s plan, Plant Hammond would be taken out of service as soon as the order is signed. A hearing schedule established by the PSC indicates that could happen as early as August.

Georgia Power has planned to decertify Hammond for years and, in fact, committed during the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan to limit capital investment at the plant to no more than $5 million annually.

In the meantime, Georgia Power is moving forward with plans for the development of a demonstration of solar power on closed coal ash ponds at Plant Hammond.

The PSC had previously approved the solar project to evaluate different technologies including both traditional and non-traditional racking systems. Specifically, the project will provide the utility with a hands-on detailed understanding of the requirements to permit and build solar generation facilities over closed solid waste sites, remediated sites and undeveloped plant properties.

Preliminary plans for the development of up to 10 megawatts of solar demonstration projects are currently under review by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division as part of the coal ash pond closure permits.

The IRP also includes accounting language related to the cost recovery time period related to the retirement of certain assets at Plant Hammond. “The years for the remaining useful lives were set in the last rate case in 2013, and recovery over those lives means a smaller impact on annual rates than a quicker recovery,” said Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft.

More: Hammond closure would be immediate following PSC approval

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