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Home / Business / Alabama Kraft to close coal plant, says environmental legislation

Alabama Kraft to close coal plant, says environmental legislation



Alabama Power Company announced Wednesday that there was permanent retirement of William Crawford Gorgas Electric Generating Plant in Walker County due to "federally driven environmental mandates."

The plant, usually just called Plant Gorgas, has been producing electricity since 1917 on the banks of the Black Warrior River near the town of Parrish, and currently operates three coal-fired units.

A combination of stricter federal environmental laws, growing concerns about the legacy of coal mining dams and low natural gas prices since the expansion of fracking techniques at the beginning of 201

0 has led to dramatic coal plant departures in Alabama and across the country.

Jim Heilbron, Alabama Power senior vice president and senior production officer, cited environmental legislation and coal ashes in a press release announcing the closure.

"We recognize that Plant Gorgas and the men and women who have operated have given great value to Alabama Power, our customers and the local community," said Heilbron. "We are also concerned that more regulations are on the horizon that may require extra and costly expense on the facility. "

Heilbron said in the press release that it could take another $ 300 million to run the facility in accordance with the latest Environmental Mandates.

After the three remaining litter units of Georgia have retired, Alabama Power will Only seven coal-fired generation units at three plants across their fleet, down from 23 hill units at the top, the other units have either been retired or converted to run on natural gas.

Plant Gorgas will officially close on April 15. Alabama Power says the pension will not affect its ability to provide electricity to its customers, and that "Alabama Power and its employees will continue to be part of and involved in supporting communities a. "

" Alabama Power focuses on providing our customers with reliable, affordable power while protecting the environment we all share, "said Heilbron. He added that the company is continually investigating its generating fleet and fuel mix to determine the most cost-effective way to meet the needs of customers while meeting all governmental requirements.


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