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Echols Suggests Alternative Use for Putnam Coal Units | News

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Echols Suggests Alternative Use for Putnam Coal Units
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Next month the Georgia Public Service commission will hold a public hearing on what to do with two coal-fired units in Putnam county.

Last summer, Georgia Power decided to close the 42-year-old units because they don't comply with federal air pollution rules. The company said that would be cheaper than making the upgrades to put the units in compliance.

The public service commission has to sign off the closures, but Commissioner Tim Echols said he supports turning the units into alternative energy sources.

"Take a General Electric gas turbine that works hand in hand with solar and lets put 75 megawatts of solar up there in Putnam County on the plant property, there's plenty of room to do that, convert units one and two to natural gas, and those two work hand in hand, and we can begin to add more renewalble energy to our mix here in Georgia which we need to do to get ahead of federal regulations."

Echols said that plan would save jobs and maintain the economic impact of the units, but he said it would be more expensive than closing the plants.

The public hearing on the issue is scheduled for February 13 at the in Atlanta.

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