Barry Steam Plant

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Barry Steam Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Southern Company's Alabama Power near Bucks, Alabama.

Unit 3 has been retired, and Units 1 and 2 have been converted to natural gas.

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Conversion to gas

In January 2014 Alabama Power said it plans for its older, units 1-3 at the Barry coal plant to be running on natural gas in 2016. The company said the Barry units will lose the capability to use coal going forward. The company also plans to add gas capability to the four 255-megawatt Units 1-4 at its Gaston Steam Plant in Alabama by 2016 so they can run primarily on gas going forward.[1]

The company ceased using coal at units 1 and 2 of Barry in April 2015, which will be available on a limited basis with gas as the fuel source. Southern Co is debating whether to convert unit 3 to gas, close it, or keep it as a coal plant.[2]

According to the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan, Barry 3 has been removed from service.[3]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Alabama Power Co.
  • Parent Company: Southern Company
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,771 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 153 MW (1954), 153 MW (1954), 272 MW (1959), 404 MW (1969), 789 MW (1971)
  • Location: U.S. Highway 43, Bucks, AL 36512
  • GPS Coordinates: 31.005908, -88.011383
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 12,449,918 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 52,621 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 16,800 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 881 lb.

Coal Waste Site

Barry ranked 13th on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[4] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[5]

Barry Steam Plant ranked number 13 on the list, with 2,350,349 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[4]

Southern Company abandons carbon capture and storage project

In December 2009, Southern Company received a $295 million grant from the Department of Energy to retrofit 160MW at the Barry Steam Plant for carbon capture. The company plants to compress and transport the CO2 through a pipeline and store up to one million metric tons per year in deep saline formations. The company will also explore using the captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.[6]

However, on March 1, 2010 it was announced that Southern Company had abandoned its $700 million carbon capture project at the Barry Steam Plant. Company spokesperson Steve Higginbottom said, "It's really about the efficient deployment of resources. Really, we felt it was in the best interest of our customers and shareholders to not move forward with the expanded CCS project at Plant Barry." He added, "The current economic conditions also factored into the decision."[7]

Later in September 2010, Southern Company reported that they had captured carbon emissions at its Yates Steam Generating Plant for the first time and then released it during a pilot project. The technology uses a solvent to remove carbon gas from emissions. The company stated that while the they released the captured carbon at Yates, it will be catching carbon and storing it underground at its Barry Steam Plant in 2011.[8].

Other coal waste sites

To see a nationwide list of over 350 coal waste sites in the United States, click here. To see a listing of coal waste sites in a particular state, click on the map:

<us_map redirect=":Category:Existing coal waste sites in {state}"></us_map>

Citizen Groups

See also Alabama and coal

Articles and Resources


  1. "Southern to repower three Alabama coal power plants with natgas," Reuters, Jan 16, 2014
  2. "3 Basins to Serve the Surviving US Coal Fleet," Coal Age, 20 July 2015
  3. "2016 Integrated Resource Plan Summary Report," Alabama Power, page 2
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  5. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  6. "Laura Miller gets her clean coal grant," Dallas News, December 4, 2009.
  7. " Daniel Kessler March, 1 2010.
  8. "Southern captures carbon emissions for first time" Margaret Newkirk, Atlanta Journal-Constitution September 23, 2010

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