What’s happened to Georgia Power’s close-in-2002 Coal Plant Arkwright that Putnam County Manager Paul Van Houte used as a bad example?
According to Georgia Power’s own online history:
In 2002, the company retired 11 generating units at three sites including all of the units at Plant Atkinson and Plant Arkwright and two units at Plant Mitchell.
Southern Company has online a press release from 15 May 2002:
For more than 50 years, generating units at Plant Arkwright in Macon, Plant Atkinson in Smyrna and Plant Mitchell in Albany have been producing electricity reliably for Georgia Power customers. Now, for economic reasons, 11 of those units — totaling 415 megawatts (mw) of capacity — are being proposed for retirement at the end of this year.
Units proposed for retirement include: Plant Arkwright units 1 through 4, which are each 40 mw coal-fueled units, plus two 15-mw natural gas combustion turbine (CT) units; Plant Atkinson units 2 through 4, which are each 60 mw coal units; and units 1 and 2 at Plant Mitchell, which are 22.5 mw coal units. All of the units, with the exception of the combustion turbines at Arkwright, began commercial operation in the 1940s.
“This proposal is based on thorough economic analyses,” said David Ratcliffe, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “Since 1995, we have been required by the Georgia Public Service Commission to conduct a unit retirement analysis as part of the Integrated Resource Plan. When we did this analysis for our 2005 plan, the results indicated that it is more economical to retire these 11 units than to continue to operate them.”
Georgia Power will include the plant retirement proposal as part of an amended Integrated Resource Plan that will be filed with the PSC in June. That plan will also include an adjusted demand forecast and a proposal to certify new generation sources to meet the state’s electricity needs in 2005….
Plant Arkwright will be dismantled following retirement. Plant Atkinson will remain in place because it is on the same site as Plant McDonough. Plant Mitchell still will operate a 125 mw steam unit plus three combustion turbine units. The 220-acre Plant Arkwright site on the Ocmulgee River north of Macon will be evaluated for future use.
In this picture posted by Scott Mosher 12 September 2007, Plant Arkwright doesn’t look dismantled. Maybe that picture was taken earlier, because the abstract of Electric Power Research Institute’s 4 November 2004 Decommissioning Handbook for Coal-Fired Power Plants says
At Arkwright, the plant was removed completely and the site no longer used for generating electricity.
D.H. Griffin Companies takes credit for demolishing Plant Arkwright, but doesn’t say when. The site, however, appears to still be fenced off, vacant, and not reused for anything, going by Google Street View:
How much job security is anyone deriving from a vacant coal plant site? Sure looks like a good location for some solar panels….