Better Late than Never – Alabama Power to Retire Gorgas Coal-Fired Plant

Retirement follows PSC-approved investments that will fall to ratepayers

February 20, 2019
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]

Birmingham, AL  – Southern Company subsidiary Alabama Power announced today the closure of the remaining active coal-fired generators at Plant Gorgas, about 45 minutes northwest of Birmingham in Walker County. The units represent approximately 1167 megawatts (MW) of nameplate generating capacity and emitted about five million tons of carbon dioxide annually as of 2017.

In response to today’s announcement, Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director Southern Alliance for Clean Energy issued this statement:

“This coal plant retirement is good news for clean air and progress toward addressing climate change, and we applaud Alabama Power for moving away from coal. We hope cleaner options such as clean renewable energy and energy efficiency will fill the need for electricity as Plant Gorgas is phased out.

“However, ratepayers are still on the hook for about $740 million that Alabama Power has invested at the plant in recent years. It is the Public Service Commission’s job to make sure the money Alabama Power spends — and recoups on customer bills — is prudent. This is another wakeup call showing the PSC can be doing more on behalf of everyday Alabamians to provide checks and balances on Alabama Power. If the Alabama PSC and Alabama Power had been more up front about the market dynamics pulling back from coal we would have avoided these sunk costs and impacts to rate payers.”


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Since 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has worked to promote responsible energy choices to ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast.  Learn more at