The company said that, upon conversion, Plant Mitchell would be capable of producing 96MW of renewable energy or enough electricity to power 60,000 homes. It is expected to have lower fuel and operating costs when compared to continued operation using coal, reportedly making the plant more cost-effective for customers.

The surplus wood fuel for Plant Mitchell would come from suppliers operating within an approximately 100-mile radius of the plant.

The Georgia Public Service Commission is expected to rule on the proposal to convert Plant Mitchell to biomass by the spring of 2009. Retrofit construction would begin by the spring of 2011 and the biomass plant would likely begin operations in June 2012.

Mike Garrett, president and CEO of Georgia Power, said: By converting Plant Mitchell to biomass, we hope to not only help grow the renewable resource base in Georgia but also to expand the market for renewable energy credits, which ultimately will foster additional renewable energy development.