An Alabama energy plant that has operated for greater than a century will shut in April, with Alabama Power saying that the associated fee to adjust to authorities laws on the dealing with of coal ash and wastewater not make the plant economically viable.
Jim Heilbron, Alabama Power’s senior vp and senior manufacturing officer, on February 20 stated the William C. Gorgas Electric Generating Plant close to Parrish, Alabama on the banks of the Black Warrior River, can be shut down April 15. Alabama Power had closed two coal-fired models on the plant in 2014.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) in 2018 proposed a $1.25 million tremendous towards Alabama Power for violations of state clear water legal guidelines associated to coal ash ponds at a handful of the utility’s vegetation, together with Plant Gorgas. The ADEM stated the fines had been for discharge of pollution into groundwater and soil.
$300 Million to Comply With Regulations
“We acknowledge that Plant Gorgas and the women and men who’ve operated it have introduced nice worth to Alabama Power, our clients and the local people,” Heilbron stated in a information launch. The firm in an announcement stated it will price about $300 million to adjust to the newest spherical of environmental mandates and proceed working the plant’s three coal-fired producing models.
“We are additionally involved that extra laws are on the horizon that would require extra, pricey expenditures on the plant,” Heilbron stated.
Plant Gorgas started working in 1917. It was initially often called the Warrior Reserve Steam Plant earlier than being renamed to honor medical researcher and Alabama native William Crawford Gorgas.
Alabama Power stated the plant’s closure won’t have an effect on the reliability of energy to its clients within the area.
Company Has Closed More than Half its Coal Units
Alabama Power stated elevated prices to function coal vegetation have led the utility to cut back its variety of coal-fired models to only seven, down from 23 in 2015. Those seven models remaining after Plant Gorgas is closed function at three energy vegetation. Some of the beforehand retired coal models have been transformed to run on pure fuel.
“Alabama Power is concentrated on offering our clients dependable, reasonably priced electrical energy whereas defending the atmosphere all of us share,” Heilbron stated. He stated the corporate continues to look at its producing fleet and gas combine to fulfill each authorities mandates and in addition stay cost-competitive in what it referred to as “a unstable power market.”
—Darrell Proctor is a POWER affiliate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).
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