Alabama Power has completed more than $1.2 billion in environmental improvements at Plant Miller in Jefferson County – an investment that will both meet more stringent regulations and lead to better air quality in the Birmingham area.
Plant Miller has put into service its fourth and final “scrubber” – state-of-the-art technology that reduces sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by more than 95 percent and helps prevent the formation of fine particle pollution in the atmosphere. The design and construction of scrubbers on all four units at Plant Miller, the company’s largest coal-fired generating facility, took more than five years and represent an investment of $870 million in clean-air technology.
The company also has installed Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology on all four units at Plant Miller. SCRs reduce by up to 80 percent the emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a component of ground-level ozone. The SCRs took more than three years to design and build, at a cost of $365 million.
Plant Miller now has some of the most advanced air quality technology on all four of its coal-fired generating units. Combined with similar improvements at other company generating facilities, Alabama Power has invested nearly $2.6 billion in clean-air technologies over the past 10 years.
In total, Alabama Power scrubbers and SCRs are helping reduce SO2 emissions by more than 200,000 tons per year and NOx emissions by more than 100,000 tons per year. That’s a 72 percent reduction in NOx emissions and a 62 percent reduction in SO2 emissions since 1997.
With the completion of the final scrubber at Plant Miller, two-thirds of Alabama Power’s coal-fired generating capacity is now equipped with these clean-air technologies.
“We’re pleased to be part of the efforts in the Birmingham area and in other communities across the state to improve air quality,” said Charles McCrary, Alabama Power president and CEO.
Alabama Power completed these improvements on existing generating facilities without affecting the reliability of customers’ electric service. Alabama Power ranks among the best in the U.S. electric utility industry for reliability.
The clean-air improvements at Alabama Power plants are just one facet of the company’s multi-pronged efforts to preserve and protect Alabama’s environment. To learn more, please visit Alabama Power’s new environmental site on the World Wide Web at www.alabamapower.com/environment.