Plant Hammond generic

An aerial shot of Georgia Power Plant Hammond west of Rome.

Tuesday is D-Day for Georgia Power Plant Hammond.

The Georgia Public Service Commission is slated to rule on the utility’s Integrated Resource Plan which calls for the decertification of the plant almost immediately following the ruling.

Once the plant is officially taken offline, Georgia Power plans to move on with a demonstration of solar power on the old coal ash ponds at Plant Hammond.

The solar project, which has already been given approval by the PSC will give Georgia Power a better understanding of the requirements to permit and build solar generation facilities over closed solid waste sites, remediated sites and undeveloped plant properties.

The closure of Hammond will be a major tax blow to Floyd County and the Floyd County Schools, removing millions of dollars in revenue. It is difficult to pinpoint a value since the utilities digest is set in Atlanta each year and local officials do not get a break-down on how taxes are paid per property.

Earlier this year, Georgia Power said the workforce at Hammond had dwindled to about three dozen employees. Some are eligible for retirement but Georgia Power has indicated that positions are available elsewhere across the system for employees who want to stay on.

The coal-fired plant opened in the mid 1950s and had been a major source of power on the grid until early 2017 when Hammond was relegated to a peaking power plant, going into service only on the hottest days of summer or coldest days of winter when demand for power was at its highest.

In the event some unexpected new information arises at the Tuesday morning hearing, the statutory deadline for the PSC to issue a final order in July 29.

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