Types of Power Plants
Base power plants represent the backbone of the power supply system. These facilities are built for economy, reliability and durability rather than speed. Like their name implies, base plants are designed to provide the constant base of power that is needed around the clock and throughout the year. It takes time to bring them up to full power and shut them down again, and they generally operate year-round, except during maintenance periods.
In Georgia, base plants are most often powered by coal or nuclear fuel. Plant Scherer, a coal-fired plant near Forsyth, and Plant Vogtle, a nuclear plant near Waynesboro, are two examples of base load plants in Georgia. Each is co-owned by Oglethorpe Power on behalf of 39 of Georgia’s EMCs.
Like base plants, intermediate facilities can operate for extended periods at a time but generally don’t run all of the time. One example of an intermediate plant is the Chattahoochee Energy Facility near Carrollton, a combined-cycle plant owned by Oglethorpe Power. This facility uses natural gas as its primary fuel but also captures and reuses waste heat to generate even more efficiently.