Gorgas Steam Plant

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Gorgas Steam Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Southern Company near Parrish, Alabama.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Parrish.

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Coal retirement

In August 2014, Alabama Power announced that they will retire its two older 125 MW units at the Gorgas facility ahead of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards 2015 compliance date.[1]

Units 6-7 were retired in 2015.[2]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Alabama Power Company
  • Parent Company: Southern Company
  • Capacity: 1,417 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 125 MW (1951), 125 MW (1952), 188 MW (1956), 190 MW (1958), 789 MW (1972)
  • Location: 460 Gorgas Rd., Parrish, AL 35580
  • GPS Coordinates: 33.645028, -87.19875 (exact)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: East Brookwood Mine, Fleetwood Mine, Gibson Mine, L Massey Mine, Johnson Mine (Alabama Coal)[3]
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 8,141,864 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 81,268 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 13,076 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 1,004 lb.

Coal Waste Site

Gorgas ranked 7th 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]

Gorgas Steam Plant ranked number 7 on the list, with 2,888,290 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[4]

Carbon Capture and Storage research

In June 2010 the University of Alabama announced that it had "been awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant totaling more than $4.85 million for a multidisciplinary project that will characterize geologic formations for carbon dioxide storage in Alabama". The project aims to "define an estimated 28 gigatons of carbon dioxide storage capacity underlying northwest Alabama". The funds originated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. UA News reported that the project will "investigate the possibility for storage in an underground reservoir in the vicinity of the Alabama Power Gorgas Steam Plant. Successful completion of the project has the potential to extend the useful life of coal-fired power plants throughout the region. By investigating the geology near existing power plants, transportation costs to a carbon dioxide storage area would be greatly reduced." Other groups involved in the project are the Alabama Geological Survey and Rice University and industry co-funders are Alabama Power and Southern Company.[6]

Citizen Groups

See also Alabama and coal

Articles and Resources


  1. "Alabama Power changes driven by federal regulations," AP statement, August 12, 2014.
  2. "Alabama Power agrees to shutter 3 coal-fired units, convert 4 others to natural gas in EPA deal," AL.com, June 25, 2015
  3. "EIA 423 and Schedule 2 of EIA-923," EIA 923 Schedules 2, 2011.
  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. "UA Receives DOE Grant for Carbon Storage Research", UA News (University of Alabama), June 8, 2010.

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