POWER4Georgians

Plant Washington

  • The Power4Georgians EMCs have come together to build a modern, state-of-the-art, supercritical, coal-fueled power plant.
  • The plant will be designed and operated with Best Available Control Technologies and Maximum Achievable Control Technologies to minimize emissions.
  • Located in Washington County, near Sandersville, Plant Washington will provide about 850 MW of much needed base load electricity.
  • Plant Washington will cost approximately US $2.1 billion to build.
  • During the four-year construction period, Plant Washington will provide employment to up to 1,600 workers and provide over 45,000 person-months of work.
  • During the operational phase, Plant Washington will require a permanent workforce of about 120 to 130 skilled professionals, generating over $7.0 million in direct wages and benefits each year.

Factoids

For more information about the Plant Washington, please visit the FAQs

Element

Description

Locations:

The power plant will be developed on approximately 1,600 acres near, Sandersville, Washington County, in rural east-central Georgia.

Generation:

Plant Washington will be a base-load - the consistent, steady, 24/7 supply of electricity we use to power our homes and businesses – power generation facility. The steam-electric generating station consists of a supercritical once-through boiler/ steam turbine/ generator installation along with state-of-the-art emissions control systems.

Output:

The facility will have the capacity to generate about 850 megawatts (MW) of base load power and is expected to produce about 6.7 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year.

Cost:

Capital investment in the power station is expected to total approximately $2.1 billion. By comparison, the new KIA plant being built in West Point Georgia will require an investment of approximately $1.2 billion..

Fuel:

Plant Washington will use a mixture of pulverized low-sulfur Powder River Basin and Illinois Basin coal. Coal usage will depend on the coal type and blend being used, but is expected to be between 3.65 and 4.27 million tons per year. The plant will keep a 60 to 90 day supply of coal on site.

Water Requirement:

Plant Washington is expected to use about 13.6 million gallons per day (MGD) of water on average and up to 16.1 MGD during peak usage. About 1.5 MGD will be returned to the Oconee River. The difference between water intake and return is attributable to the water used by the wet scrubbers and water lost through evaporation into the atmosphere in the cooling towers.

Water Sources:

Plant Washington will obtain its water primarily from the Oconee River and secondarily from the Cretaceous Aquifer. When the flow of the river is below minimum withdrawal standards, the plant will draw water from the Cretaceous Aquifer using a series of wells located along a 27-mile pipeline. When water is being withdrawn from the aquifer, no water will be withdrawn from the river. Studies show the Oconee River can meet the needs of Plant Washington about 93% of the time or about 56 months out of every 60.

Impact on the Oconee River:

Plant Washington will have minimal impact on the Oconee River. According to USGS records, the average flow of the Oconee River is about 1.4 billion gallons per day. On an average day, Plant Washington will use less than one-percent of the flow of the river. On a peak day, this creeps just above one percent. When the river flow is such that water must be obtained from the aquifer, Plant Washington will continue to return about 1.5 MGD into the river—thus helping to enhance its downstream flow even during “dry” periods.

Controlling Emissions:

Plant Washington will be one of the cleanest coal plants in the nation, using the best available control technologies:

  • a highly-efficient supercritical boiler that produces more energy with less coal and emissions;
  • a state-of-the-art wet scrubber to greatly reduce sulfur dioxide emissions;
  • selective catalytic reduction to greatly reduce nitrogen oxides emissions;
  • fabric filter baghouses to greatly control and remove particulate emissions; and
  • sorbent injection to greatly reduce mercury and sulfuric acid mist emissions.

Plant Efficiency:

This particular plant will be a highly efficient supercritical facility. “Highly efficient” refers to the effectiveness of the thermodynamic process of a coal-fired power plant. The efficiency describes how much of the energy that is fed into the plant is converted into electrical energy.

The greater the output of electrical energy for a given amount of energy input the higher the efficiency. Improving efficiency levels increases the amount of electric energy that can be extracted from a single unit of coal.

In a nutshell, the plant will require less than two-thirds the amount of coal and emit less than two-thirds the amount of carbon dioxide to produce the same amount of power as traditional/older coal-fired power plants. Additionally, this plant will also use the best available emissions control technology.

A Coal-fired Plant:

This plant is in line with the U.S. energy independence strategy of relying less on foreign, price-volatile fuels and more on stable domestic energy sources. The U.S. has the world’s largest known reserves of coal - over 27 percent - enough to meet our needs for the next 200+ years. From an energy standpoint, we have more coal than the Middle East has oil. Coal is a tried and true, readily available, price-stable source of energy. By 2030, price of oil is expected to increase by 261 percent, natural gas by 175 percent and coal by 53 percent.

Efficiency:

This particular plant will be a highly efficient supercritical facility. “Highly efficient” refers to the effectiveness of the thermodynamic process of a coal-fired power plant. The efficiency describes how much of the energy that is fed into the plant is converted into electrical energy.

The greater the output of electrical energy for a given amount of energy input the higher the efficiency. Improving efficiency levels increases the amount of electric energy that can be extracted from a single unit of coal.

Benefits:

Plant Washington offers a wide range of economic benefits to Washington County.

  • Almost 1600 construction jobs
  • Over 44,000 person months of construction work
  • Almost double the county’s tax base
  • Create over 120 new full-time direct jobs
  • Create over $7 million in new wages and benefits
  • Create over 200 new spin off jobs in the Washington County area
  • Require $1 to $4 million in long term support services
  • Generate up to $1 million in new business growthv
  • Become a catalyst for new industry.
  • Unlike other industrial development projects that may come and go with the economy, technology and times, the useful life of a power plant is about 50 years.
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