ATLANTA, March 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today announced a new beneficial reuse project for coal ash stored at Plant Mitchell, a retired coal-fired power station near Albany, Georgia. The project at Plant Mitchell marks the first time that stored ash from existing ash ponds at sites in Georgia will be excavated for beneficial reuse as part of an ash pond closure project.
"As part of our ash pond closure efforts, Georgia Power is always looking for opportunities to reuse coal ash that are beneficial for our customers and communities," said Dr. Mark Berry, vice president of Environmental & Natural Resources for Georgia Power. "The coal ash beneficial reuse project at Plant Mitchell will save space in landfills and ultimately serve to help produce a valuable product."
With the Plant Mitchell project, approximately two million tons of stored coal ash will be removed from the existing ash ponds for reuse in Portland cement manufacturing beginning this year.
Today, the company already recycles more than 85 percent of all ash and gypsum, including more than 95 percent of fly ash, it produces from current operations for various beneficial reuses such as concrete production as well as other construction products.
Coal ash has been demonstrated to provide significant value to certain products, such as concrete, in which it adds strength and durability. Opportunities for beneficial reuse of stored coal ash could help produce millions of tons of Portland Cement, concrete and other products, which would also reduce the need for raw materials otherwise used in production.
Plant Mitchell was retired in 2016 following approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission through the company's 2016 Integrated Resource Plan. At completion of the project, the ash pond site will be restored as a useable property.
Beneficial Reuse Request for Proposal (RFP)
Earlier this year, Georgia Power announced it is seeking to identify opportunities for the beneficial reuse of coal ash stored at active and retired coal-fired power plants across the state. Georgia Power is reviewing responses to the RFP the company issued early this year. The next steps will be to issue the RFP details to qualified participants, likely to occur by the end of April, with the company continuing to explore additional beneficial reuse opportunities.
Ash Beneficial Use Center
Georgia Power is partnering with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to open a research facility in 2020, the Ash Beneficial Use Center, to identify, test and speed the development of beneficial uses of coal ash. The facility will be located at Georgia Power's Plant Bowen and will allow for pilot projects and testing of technologies to continue to increase the recycling and reuse of coal ash.
The research center will be a collaborative project with other electric power utilities through EPRI, an independent, non-profit organization with members in 35 countries, and the center will be available for research projects by EPRI, utilities, technology developers, and academia.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the Company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the Company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the Company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the method and timing of planned closure of coal ash ponds. Georgia Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, including environmental laws and regulations and tax and other laws and regulations to which Georgia Power Company is subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation or regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction and operation of facilities; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses and to satisfy any environmental performance standards; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events, or other similar occurrences; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard-setting bodies. Georgia Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
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SOURCE Georgia Power