July 11, 2024

Oglethorpe Power Announces New Generation Projects to Support Georgia’s Rising Electricity Demands

New, highly efficient natural gas projects will ensure a reliable and affordable power supply for Georgia’s electric cooperatives.

Tucker, GA (July 11, 2024) – Today, Oglethorpe Power announced that its 38 member electric cooperatives and Board of Directors have approved the construction of two new natural gas projects in Georgia: a two-unit combined-cycle plant in Monroe County and a simple-cycle combustion turbine unit at an existing facility in Talbot County.

“Georgia is experiencing tremendous growth, thanks to our state’s favorable business climate, skilled workforce and sound leadership. The electric cooperatives we serve need more energy capacity to meet their increasing demand. These two new natural gas projects demonstrate growth in Oglethorpe Power’s generation portfolio and our focus on reliable, affordable and sustainable energy for our members,” said Oglethorpe Power President & CEO Mike Smith.

Following a successful permitting process, Oglethorpe Power will break ground on a new combined-cycle plant in Forsyth in Monroe County, Georgia. This two-unit, approximately 1,200-megawatt facility will be built on land already owned by Oglethorpe Power, adjacent to the Smarr Energy Facility, an existing natural gas-fired simple-cycle combustion turbine plant operated by Oglethorpe Power. This new state-of-the-art combined-cycle asset will be among the highest-performing, lowest-emitting and most efficient natural gas plants in the state. The development of this new facility will represent a capital investment of approximately $2 billion in Monroe County.

Oglethorpe Power has a long history of partnership with Monroe County. In addition to the company’s operation of the Smarr Energy Facility, Oglethorpe Power is a committed co-owner of Plant Scherer Units 1 and 2. The generation from the new combined-cycle asset will be an addition to Oglethorpe Power’s existing energy portfolio to serve its members’ growing load. Oglethorpe Power has no plans to close or release ownership of its existing assets. In October 2022, Oglethorpe Power donated four acres of land off Rumble Road to the Monroe County Board of Commissioners to construct a new fire station.

In Talbot County, following successful permitting, Oglethorpe Power will begin construction on a new combustion turbine unit at an existing plant in Box Springs, Georgia. This new approximately 240-megawatt unit, which will be the seventh unit at the Talbot Energy Facility, will be the most efficient natural gas peaking plant in the company’s fleet. The unit will also feature dual-fuel capability, enhancing Oglethorpe Power’s year-round resiliency. The development of this new unit will represent a capital investment of approximately $360 million in Talbot County.

Oglethorpe Power strives to be an engaged corporate citizen and good neighbor in the communities where it owns and operates assets. The construction of these new assets will create permanent, high-quality jobs, hundreds of temporary construction jobs, increased local revenue during construction and ongoing tax revenue for schools and county operations.

“We have owned and operated power plants in Monroe and Talbot Counties for many years,” said Smith. “Thanks to these good partners and their skilled leadership, we are poised to make bigger investments to help these communities grow and thrive and, at the same time, generate more electricity to meet our members’ increasing energy demands.”

Over the years, Oglethorpe Power has made strategic shifts in its generation portfolio, including the recent acquisition of Walton County Power, a natural gas-fired peaking plant, as well as its significant investment in emission-free nuclear energy with the completion of the Vogtle expansion project. Through these strategic investments, Oglethorpe Power projects that its carbon emissions intensity rate will decline by 47 percent in 2025 compared to 2005 while at the same time anticipating a 61 percent increase in the energy it generates for its member cooperatives.

Once all necessary permits have been received, additional details on the construction process and timeline for both projects will be available at www.opc.com/newgeneration.

About Oglethorpe Power

Oglethorpe Power is among the nation’s largest power supply cooperatives and is one of the largest energy producers in Georgia. With more than $16 billion in assets, Oglethorpe Power owns and operates a diverse portfolio of resources to provide reliable, affordable, safe and environmentally responsible energy to 38 consumer-owned, not-for-profit Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs) that provide retail electricity to approximately 4.5 million Georgians. Through its investment in nuclear, natural gas, hydro and coal resources, Oglethorpe Power’s generation fleet has a combined capacity of more than 9,300 megawatts. For more information, visit www.opc.com.


Contact:  Blair Romero
Phone Number:  770-270-7290
Email:  blair.romero@opc.com ­­­­