Black & Veatch has announced that it will design, engineer and manage construction of a combined-cycle gas turbine facility for PowerSouth to deliver clean energy across Alabama and northwest Florida.

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Image: The new combined gas facility is planned to be constructed near Leroy, in Alabama. Photo courtesy of Pexels/Pixabay.

Black & Veatch said that PowerSouth is a generation and transmission electric cooperative serving 16 electric co-ops and four municipal electric systems in the two states and the new facility allows it to take advantage of affordable natural gas market.

The new combined gas facility is planned to be constructed near Leroy, in Alabama, featuring the latest high-efficiency combustion gas turbine technology, and is expected to start construction in mid-2020.

The company said that the new power plant also includes a robust water-cooling and air-quality strategies to meet the growing demand for cleaner energy among PowerSouth customers.

Black & Veatch power business president Mario Azar said: “Our expertise in power plant conceptual and detail design, and construction management gives PowerSouth a focal point to streamline the project for on-time and on-budget delivery.

“Combined cycle technology offers clear advantages in terms of efficiency and scale, and the cost of natural gas means PowerSouth can take advantage of an affordable and plentiful energy source well into the future.”

The new facility is expected to generate the power adequate to replace the output of three coal-fired units owned by PowerSouth, which are scheduled to stop operations by 2020.

Black & Veatch said that the addition of the natural gas unit will add to PowerSouth’s existing diverse generating mix including natural gas, hydroelectricity, compressed air energy storage and purchased power agreements.

PowerSouth CEO Gary Smith said: “As technology evolves and natural gas continues to be an efficient source of energy we’re prepared to meet the changing demand for power. Our Lowman plant has served as a strong source of baseload generation for decades and has been an important part of our reliable and cost-effective portfolio.

“With Black & Veatch’s expertise in advanced combined cycle units, we’re confident that as we meet the changing needs of our members, we’ll continue to deliver safe, reliable and efficient power to the region.”