Alabama Power re-permits coal-less Gadsden power plant

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management is taking comment until Jan. 21 on a reviewed Title V air permit for Alabama Power‘s Gadsden plant that excludes coal as an allowed fuel at the Etowah County facility.

The significant sources of pollution at Gadsden are two tangentially-fired boilers (Nos. 1 and 2) that now burn natural gas; an auxiliary steam boiler that burns natural gas; and six stationary internal combustion engines. The two gas-fired boilers are each rated at 70 MW.

Said an Alabama DEM statement of basis document for this permitting: “[Alabama Power’s] application reflects that Units 1 and 2 are no longer burning coal. Furthermore, the facility is no longer equipped with coal handling or delivery systems. As such, these units are characterized as natural gas-fired electric generating units (EGUs) and are no longer required to operate the electrostatic precipitators (ESPs).”

The auxiliary boiler was originally permitted to burn both natural gas and fuel oil, but with this permit renewal that will be limited to natural gas only.

In a 2016 integrated resource plan released this past September, Alabama Power said that in response to various environmental mandates, it has proceeded with fuel switching strategies from coal to natural gas at several units, totaling 920 MW. Those fuel-switched units are Greene County 1-2, Gaston 1-4, Barry 1-2 and Gadsden 1-2. In addition, the company retired the Barry 3 and the Gorgas 6-7 coal-fired units, totaling 425 MW.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.