Harllee Branch Generating Plant

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Harllee Branch Generating Plant is a retired power station in Milledgeville, Putnam, Georgia, United States.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Harllee Branch Generating Plant Milledgeville, Putnam, Georgia, United States 33.194486, -83.2996 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 2, Unit 4, Unit 3, Unit 1: 33.194486, -83.2996

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 2 retired coal - bituminous 359 subcritical 1967 2013
Unit 4 retired coal - bituminous 544 supercritical 1969 2015
Unit 3 retired coal - bituminous 544 supercritical 1968 2015
Unit 1 retired coal - bituminous 299.2 subcritical 1965 2015

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 2 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]
Unit 4 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]
Unit 3 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]
Unit 1 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]


The Harllee Branch Generating Plant was owned and operated by Southern Company's Georgia Power near Milledgeville, Georgia.

The power station was shut down from 2013-2015; Unit 2 was retired in 2013, unit 1, 3, and 4 in 2015.[1]

Proposed retirement

In March 2011, Georgia Power announced that it expects to request approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission to decertify two coal-generating units 1 and 2 at the Harllee Branch Generating Plant, totaling 569 megawatts. The company expects to ask for decertification of the units as of the effective dates of the Georgia Multipollutant Rule, which are currently anticipated to be Dec. 31, 2013 for unit 1 and Oct. 1, 2013 for unit 2. GP said the costs of upgrades would be uneconomical for its customers. The commission is expected to vote on the decertification request in spring 2012.[2]Georgia Power confirmed the retirements at the Harllee Branch Generating Plant in July, 2011, and added that one more unspecified unit would be shut down in the company's system. [3]

On January 7, 2013, Georgia Power said it plans to seek approval from Georgia regulators to retire 15 coal-, oil- and natural gas-fired power plants in the state, totaling 2,061 megawatts (MW). The coal plants would include units 3 and 4 at Plant Branch. The company said it expects to ask to retire the units by the April 16, 2015, effective date of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule.[4]

2005-2006 Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 9,903,919 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 95,990 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 20,961 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 424 lb.

Coal sources

According to 2009 EIA documents, the power station sourced its coal from the following places:[5]

Coal Waste Site

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Harllee Branch Plant

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[6] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Harllee Branch Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 140 $1,100,000,000
Heart attacks 200 $22,000,000
Asthma attacks 2,500 $130,000
Hospital admissions 100 $2,400,000
Chronic bronchitis 90 $40,000,000
Asthma ER visits 150 $55,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Branch ranked 12th on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[8] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[9]

Harllee Branch Generating Plant ranked number 12 on the list, with 2,433,945 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[8]

"High Hazard" Surface Impoundment

One of Harllee Branch's coal ash surface impoundments is on the EPA's official June 2009 list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not assess of the likelihood of such an event.[10]

Legislative issues

House Bill 276, proposed by Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), would put a 5-year moratorium on building new coal plants and eliminate the burning of Appalachian coal mined by mountaintop removal by mid-2016. The Appalachian Mountain Preservation Act would gradually prohibit Georgia coal consumers from using Central Appalachian mountaintop removal beginning in 2011. The bill is backed by environmental groups including Appalachian Voices but received strong opposition from POWER4Georgians, a coalition of 10 electric co-operatives seeking to build a $2 billion 850-megawatt supercritical coal plant in Washington County.[11][12]

Citizen groups

Focus the Nation: Valdosta State University

Articles and Resources


Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.