Coal Plants Washington and Ben Hill not quite dead yet

Somebody’s been watching too much Twilight. Plant Washington now joins the undead. But maybe Plant Ben Hill is really dead.

Dave Williams wrote for the Atlanta Business Journal yesterday, Georgia coal plant project to push on,

Cobb Electric Membership Corp.‘s board of directors voted Tuesday to pull out of the $2.1 billion 850-megawatt Plant Washington project, citing the uncertain impacts of tightened federal regulation of carbon emissions. Cobb EMC was the largest participant in the consortium Power4Georgians.

The consortium began looking for other partners to replace Cobb EMC well before Wednesday’s decision, which had been anticipated, said Dean Alford, spokesman for Power4Georgians.

“This in no way changes the course,” he said. “It’s still full steam ahead.”

But he wouldn’t say who else would help fund it. We’ll see whether he’s blustering or actually has any further backers.

John Roach and Kim Isaza in MJDOnline yesterday, EMC backs out of plan to build coal-fired plant, had a list of the other current partners:

Snapping Shoals, Central Georgia and Washington EMCs are the other partners in Power 4 Georgians consortium which had also proposed to build a second large coal-fired plant in south Georgia to be called Plant Ben Hill.
S. Heather Duncan in the Macon Telegraph today named a fourth backer and had some reaction from several of the backers:
Upson EMC had a board meeting Wednesday, at which Cobb EMC’s decision was discussed, said Neil Trice, CEO of Upson EMC.

“We’re committed to continue,” he said.

He and Christy Chewning, manager of marketing at Central Georgia EMC, said Wednesday that their cooperatives had not been asked to contribute any additional funding now that Cobb EMC has pulled out.

“We regret Cobb EMC’s decision,” Chewning said. “At this moment, we are full speed ahead on (the project).” Central Georgia EMC has about 50,000 meters in 14 counties, including Bibb, Jones, Monroe, Putnam, Lamar, Jasper and Butts.

Washington EMC officials did not return calls Wednesday.

Snapping Shoals EMC is still committed to the Plant Washington project, said Leigh-Anne Burgess, EMC communications specialist. “The effects of Cobb EMC’s decision to exit the project are currently unclear,” she said in an email. “We will be exploring all our options over the next few months.”

So somebody’s got to come up with the 40% backing Cobb EMC was putting in. SOunds like whistling through the coal dust to me.

Speaking of that second plant with the same backers, the ABC article remarked:

The Cobb EMC board also voted to end the utility’s participation in a second power plant proposed by Power4Georgians. The Ben Hill County, Ga., project is not as far along in planning as Plant Washington.
Less than half as far as Washington County, Ben Hill County is only about 60 miles from here as the smoke blows. No coal plant in Ben Hill County!

-jsq

1 thought on “Coal Plants Washington and Ben Hill not quite dead yet

  1. Ruralandprogressive.blogspot.com

    I asked Washington EMC Chair Mike McCoy today after their monthly board meeting what their budget is for 2012 and this boondoggle. They haven’t got a budget. They are meeting next week with the four remaining co-ops (assuming some don’t peel off before then) and they will work on a budget then.
    You can check my blog out for more of the hair raising and mind boggling details of what they are doing in the “best interests” of the owner members and community.

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