Jenna Garland, (404) 607-1262 x 222, (404) 281-6398 cell
Georgia Power To Retire Old,
Dirty Coal Power
Sierra Club Applauds Decision,
But Calls for Additional Retirements and Clean Energy Investments
GA – Today, the Georgia Public
Service Commission approved the retirement of two coal-burning units at Georgia
Power’s Plant Branch in Putnam County, and one oil-fired unit at Plant Mitchell
near Albany. Sierra Club welcomes the news of the retirements, which will close
some of the dirtiest coal burners in Georgia.
However, the Sierra Club views Georgia Power's choice to
defer a decision on the retirement of additional old and polluting coal burners
as saddling ratepayers with unnecessary expenses which keeps Georgians tied to
old, dirty, forms of power.
from Plant Branch has been making Putnam county residents ill for nearly 50
years. My mother lives less than a mile from Plant Branch’s smokestacks, and
suffers from three forms of cancer. Retiring such an old and polluting plant is
good for my community and for my family. Georgia Power must take responsibility
for its pollution and for the impact its plants have had on families like mine,
and retiring these plants are the first step,” said Lisa Massari, a Sierra Club
supporter, nurse, and former Putnam County resident.
decision retires two coal-burning units at Plant Branch, with a total of 569
megawatts of capacity, and one unit oil-fired unit at Plant Mitchell, with 33
megawatts of capacity. Georgia Power's
over-reliance on coal-fired power has caused it to fall far behind other
utilities what have invested in reliable, clean energy production. The company’s
continued use of coal in lieu of cleaner forms of electricity is costing ratepayers
as coal becomes more and more expensive.
Power’s continued use of dirty, outdated fossil fuels like coal and natural gas
is strangling Georgia’s job market. At a time when communities are most in need
of good jobs, Georgia Power is deciding to prioritize profits over smart energy
investments that could help meet demand affordably, and create thousands of
good jobs in Georgia communities,” said
Seth Gunning, Associate Organizing Representative with Sierra Club. “Energy
efficiency and clean energy projects also create more jobs per dollar spent
than coal plants. If Georgia Power, the PSC, and state leadership were truly
interested in creating jobs and moving Georgia into the twenty-first century,
they would prioritize energy efficiency and clean energy.”
Power chose to defer a decision to retire an additional 2,000 megawatts of
coal-capacity, largely from Plant Yates near Newnan, with 1,250 megawatts capacity despite extensive company analysis which indicated that continued
operation of existing coal units was uneconomical.