Mississippi Power announced today that units 1 and 2 at Plant Watson in Gulfport have been retired and are no longer available for dispatch.
The gas-fired units were retired based on their age and impending federal regulations that stand to substantially increase costs of operating the units.
“These units have reliably served Mississippi Power customers for nearly 60 years,” Vice President and Senior Production Officer Allen Reaves said. “In recent years, they’ve been dispatched only during periods of peak demand and during severe weather events. Retiring these units reaffirms our commitment to provide affordable and reliable electricity for our customers.”
Unit 1, which produces 75 MW of power, began operating in 1957 and is 58 years old. Unit 2, which also produces 75 MW of power, started operating in 1960 and is 55 years old.
The decision to retire the units is based on a need for projects to maintain reliability and the need to install environmental controls to meet a variety of existing and expected environmental regulations. Complying with these rules makes the operation of the units uneconomical for customers.
In anticipation of the potential retirement of these units, Plant Manager Kathy Russell said any positions that would have been impacted have already been reduced through attrition.
“The three remaining steam units and the combustion turbine at Plant Watson are all operating on natural gas and helping to meet our customers’ energy needs,” Russell said. “Additional energy needs during peak demand will be met through other company generating units.”