In 2016, MEAG Power saw bright lights turned on repeatedly, as our communities and the State of Georgia focused on what matters most.
The relationship between MEAG Power and our 49 Participant communities is a fundamentally positive energy partnership. MEAG Power provides asset strength and economies of scale, while our Participants provide professional,responsive local utility service. The result is public power at its best — low-cost, reliable electricity to power hometown growth. This partnership has existed for over 40 years, and during that tenure we have experienced a multitude of successes and addressed important challenges.
Record-Setting Nuclear Plant Performance One of the notable successes in 2016 was the performance of our nuclear facilities at Plants Hatch and Vogtle, which each produced utilization, energy production and refueling outage records. MEAG Power shares ownership of these plants with Georgia Power Company (GPC), Oglethorpe Power Corporation and the City of Dalton. The capacity factor at Plant Hatch was 93.2% in 2016, surpassing a record set in 2014. It further set another record, successfully completing a refueling outage in just 25 days and 19.75 hours, the shortest in the history of the facility.
Plant Vogtle Units 1&2 posted similar performance. The facility achieved a record capacity factor at 96.4% for the year, surpassing its record set in 2010, and notably Unit 1, itself, had a 100% capacity factor for the year. As with Plant Hatch, Vogtle attained a refueling outage record of just 22 days, a record not just for the plant, but for the entire Southern Nuclear fleet.
Advantage: Diversified Fuel Portfolio MEAG Power has a track record of being successful in managing our diverse fuel portfolio. As the price for natural gas reached all-time lows in 2016, we were able to use our combined cycle facility to significant advantage in providing economical power, while also creating opportunities for the sale of excess power into the wholesale market, helping drive down costs to our Participants. When advantageous, we made economical off-system energy purchases that allowed us to augment the diversified energy we provided to our Participants.