Oct 24, 2023
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and Mitsubishi Power are celebrating the start of operations at the new 693-megawatt (MW) Lowman Energy Center (LEC), located in Leroy, Alabama.
The LEC, which began construction in 2020, is replacing the now-retired 556 MW Charles R. Lowman coal-fired power plant. Fully operational as of late September, the new plant is designed to support the growing energy needs of PowerSouth’s distribution members in Alabama and Northwest Florida using cleaner, more efficient natural gas technology.
The LEC is a state-of-the-art combined-cycle power plant producing enough energy to supply 300,000 homes annually. The 693-megawatt (MW) power plant features Mitsubishi’s most advanced air-cooled gas turbine, the M501JAC. The M501JAC gas turbine features outstanding operability, including reduced start-up time and reliable long-term performance. Mitsubishi Power will also provide service and maintenance for the turbine under a long-term service agreement.
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“At maximum output, the LEC offers 693 megawatts of reliable, around the clock power that will meet the needs of our distribution members for decades,” said PowerSouth President and CEO Gary Smith. “That capability is important to our enduring mission of reliability and affordability which are being challenged by a rapid push toward intermittent, renewable generation. LEC is vital to our ability to keep the lights on.”
“The Lowman Energy Center is yet another example of how cooperatives and utilities alike are recognizing the need for advanced, cleaner power generation technology to meet the needs of their members and customers,” said Bill Newsom, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Power Americas. “At Mitsubishi Power, we have the technology to support this transition and we thank PowerSouth for choosing us for this important project.”
LEC joins PowerSouth’s portfolio of reliable generating facilities operating with natural gas, including the McIntosh Plant (McIntosh, Alabama), McWilliams, and Vann (both in Gantt, Alabama).