Southern to add 6,600 Mw of gas-fired generation

With demand growing at 3%/year, Southern Co. said it will add 6,600 Mw of gas-fired generation by 2004, including 4,600 Mw to serve the competitive wholesale market in the region. Southern Co. Pres. Allen Franklin said peak demand is projected to reach 34,917 Mw by 2004, compared to 31,854 Mw in 2000. He said the company is targeting a peak demand reserve margin of 13.5-15% to insure the four-state region served by Southern doesn't experience major supply interruptions in the future.

Feb 20th, 2001


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Feb. 20�To avert future shortages, Southern Co. Tuesday said it will add 6,600 Mw of gas-fired generation by 2004, including 4,600 Mw to serve the competitive wholesale market in the region.

Southern Co. Pres. Allen Franklin said demand is projected to grow 3%/year for 3 years with peak demand projected to reach 34,917 Mw by 2004, compared to 31,854 Mw in 2000. He said the company is targeting a peak demand reserve margin of 13.5-15% to insure the four-state region served by Southern doesn't experience major supply interruptions in the future.

"Our experience shows that this margin is adequate to provide a highly reliable supply of electricity to our customers,'' he said. "The critical shortages and high cost of electricity in California today clearly show what can happen when generating capacity does not keep pace with economic growth, and when dependence on a single fuel source�primarily natural gas�increases the cost of production,'' Franklin said.

He noted Southern maintains a diverse fuel mix with coal producing 72% of the electricity generated in 2000; 15% from nuclear; 3% from hydroelectric dams, and 7% from oil and natural gas. Southern's installed generating capacity in the Southeast from all sources in 2000 was 32,000 Mw.

In addition to meeting the demands for electricity, Franklin said the company also is investing $950 million over the next 3 years for additional environmental controls, including selective catalytic reductions systems, on several of its plants to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

With more than 48,000 Mw of electric generating capacity worldwide, Southern subsidiaries and their affiliates serve 12 million retail customers worldwide and millions more through the wholesale market. Based in Atlanta, Southern Co. is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, Savannah Electric, and Mirant Corp., which is to be spun off.

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