Georgia Power opts to repair damaged Plant Bowen coal units

Boston (Platts)--22 Aug 2013 518 pm EDT/2118 GMT

Georgia Power said Thursday it has decided to repair two 700-MW coal units badly damaged by an April 4 explosion, and already has fixed and restarted one of the units.

Georgia Power spokesman Brian Green said Plant Bowen Unit 1, which suffered less damage than Unit 2, returned to service earlier this month. He declined to specify when Unit 2 will restart, saying only it will be "sometime in the future."

Plant Bowen is Georgia Power's largest power facility. Its four coal units came online in the early 1970s and are fitted with scrubbers and other environmental controls. Units 3 and 4 are somewhat larger, with a capacity of 880 MW each.

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The April 4 explosion, which occurred as Unit 2 was being taking offline for maintenance, forced all four units at Plant Bowen to immediately shut down. Georgia Power returned units 3 and 4 to service by early May, but Green said the utility had needed to assess the extent of the damage to units 1 and 2 before deciding whether to repair them.

Georgia Power has not indicated what the total cost of the Plant Bowen repairs and replacement power will be, or whether it will seek to recover some or all of those costs from ratepayers, Green said.

"'We've had a pretty mild summer,' which has held down demand for electricity and enabled Georgia Power to meet its peak-demand needs without needing to turn to purchased power from outside the state, he said.

--Housley Carr,
--Edited by Katharine Fraser,

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