Plant Washington, the $2 billion coal-fired power plant slated for Washington County, lost its biggest backer Tuesday when the board of Cobb EMC voted to stop funding the project. The Marietta cooperative was providing almost 40 percent of the funding for the 850-megawatt plant, which would be the first coal-fired plant built in Georgia in a quarter century.
Although it was one of five Georgia EMCs left participating in the project, Cobb EMC has been the primary mover behind the project, which is being developed by POWER4Georgians. It’s unclear whether Plant Washington can move forward without the backing of the cooperative and its nearly 200,000 members.
The vote, at a regular meeting of the EMC’s board of directors, removes any obligation for Cobb EMC to contribute $1.7 million to POWER4Georgians in the 2012 budget year, according to a news release from Cobb EMC.
According to the release, the decision was made based primarily on two concerns: new federal environmental rules make the costs of the project uncertain and the cooperative’s energy needs don’t currently justify spending more on permits for the plant.
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Although the state has granted the plant the environmental permits it needs, environmental groups continue to challenge aspects of those permits.
For more on this story, return to macon.com. To contact writer S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.