Williams announces power plant plans

Friday, April 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(TULSA) - A planned 1,230-megawatt power plant near Atlanta represents the start of Williams Cos.' efforts to expand in the Southeast, company officials say.

Tulsa-based Williams, already the nation's second-largest pipeline operator, has 14,000 megawatts of power production in its portfolio and plans to expand that to 40,000 megawatts by 2005, said Phillip Scalzo, vice president of gas and power origination.

The company announced its plans Thursday to build a gas-fired power plant near Fairburn, Ga. The plant is expected to be completed by 2004 and will have enough capacity to light 1.23 million homes.

Plans for several other power plants will be announced later this year, Scalzo said.

``We have a very focused strategy, and the Southeast is a very integral part of our strategy,'' he said. ``We have reached a point of critical mass, and we are selling megawatts as fast as we obtain them.''

Cost of the Georgia plant was not disclosed. The 30-acre plant will be located on a 230-acre site.

Williams owns a 170-megawatt power plant in Indiana, a 60-megawatt plant in New Mexico and a 63-megawatt plant in Pennsylvania. The Hazleton, Pa., plant will be expanded to 171 megawatts by the end of the year, said Williams spokeswoman Paula Hall-Collins.

Williams is facing allegations it overcharged Californians for electricity. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accused Williams and other companies of excessive charges in January, February and March. Williams denies the allegations.