Oglethorpe Power approved to build plant

Oglethorpe Power Corp. announced Wednesday it has received final approval from its 39 member cooperatives to build a 605-megawatt natural gas power plant, potentially in Smarr.

A final location has not been chosen for the plant, which represents a capital investment of about $750 million (including interest during construction). But the only site that has been publicly discussed is in Monroe County, on company land next to a small Oglethorpe Power gas plant that provides electricity during peak demand periods.

Oglethorpe Power is a nonprofit cooperative of 39 electric membership corporations that provide power to about 30 percent of Georgians. Enough of its EMCs have now committed to buying additional power from a new plant for the company to begin working on site selection, according to a company news release.

Oglethorpe Power has started discussions with the Macon Water Authority about the possibility of providing water to the plant if it is built off Rumble Road in Smarr. The plant would have the potential to become the authority’s largest water customer.