Plant Bowen

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Plant Bowen is an operating power station of at least 3498-megawatts (MW) in Taylorsville, Bartow, Georgia, United States.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Plant Bowen Taylorsville, Bartow, Georgia, United States 34.126022, -84.92075 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

Loading map...

Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4: 34.126022, -84.92075

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - bituminous 805.8 supercritical 1971 2035[1]
Unit 2 operating coal - bituminous 788.8 supercritical 1972 2035[1]
Unit 3 operating coal - bituminous 952 supercritical 1974 2035
Unit 4 operating coal - bituminous 952 supercritical 1975 2035

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]
Unit 2 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]
Unit 3 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]
Unit 4 Georgia Power Co [100.0%]

Retirement discussions

Georgia power announced on November 5, 2021 that two of the four units at Plant Bowen would tentatively close by 2028;[2][3]

In 2022, the integrated resource plan of Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, proposed closing 3,500 MW of coal plant capacity by the end of 2028. The closures would affect 12 coal units at five coal plants. However, the company proposed operating two coal units with a combined capacity of 1,904 MW at the Bowen plant until 2035. By 2035 the units would have been operating for 60 years. The proposed plan will be subject to public hearings and is likely to be finalised in mid-2022.[4][5]

In their 2023 Integrated Resource Plan Update, Georgia Power expected that Units 1 and 2 would now retire by the end of 2035.[6]


Old Courthouse in Cartersville, Georgia, near Plant Bowen.

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 22,756,191 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 206,442 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 28,636 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 967 lb.

Coal Waste Site

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Plant Bowen

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[7] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[8]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Plant Bowen

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 150 $1,100,000,000
Heart attacks 210 $23,000,000
Asthma attacks 2,500 $130,000
Hospital admissions 110 $2,500,000
Chronic bronchitis 92 $41,000,000
Asthma ER visits 150 $56,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Plant Bowen ranked 25th 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.[9] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[10]

Plant Bowen ranked number 25 on the list, with 1,684,118 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[9]

Carbon dioxide emissions

According to a 2009 report by Environment America, "America's Biggest Polluters," Plant Bowen is the third dirtiest plant in the nation, releasing 23.2 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007. Ranking is based upon Environmental Protection Agency data.[11]

In January 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new website that identifies most of the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Two Southern Company coal plants near Atlanta are identified as the biggest contributors to U.S. global greenhouse gases - the Scherer Steam Generating Station in Juliette and Plant Bowen west of Cartersville, respectively - with a third Southern plant in Alabama identified as the third-biggest emitter, the Miller Steam Plant in Quinton.[12]

Legislative issues

House Bill 276, proposed by Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), would put a 5-year moratorium on building new coal plants and eliminate the burning of Appalachian coal mined by mountaintop removal by mid-2016. The Appalachian Mountain Preservation Act would gradually prohibit Georgia coal consumers from using Central Appalachian mountaintop removal beginning in 2011. The bill is backed by environmental groups including Appalachian Voices but received strong opposition from POWER4Georgians, a coalition of 10 electric co-operatives seeking to build a $2 billion 850-megawatt supercritical coal plant in Washington County.[13][14]

Citizen groups

Focus the Nation: Valdosta State University

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2024. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. "Southern Will close More than Half of Coal Fleet". Power Magazine. 11/6/2021. Retrieved 11/8/2021. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= and |date= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "Southern Co. plans to retire, repower fossil-fueled plants," S&P Global, December 6, 2021
  4. "Georgia Power outlines shift from coal and toward renewables," Power Engineering, January 31, 2022
  5. "Georgia Power files plan preparing for future energy landscape, building upon solid foundation to meet needs of customers and state," Georgia Power, January 31 2022
  6. "2023 Integrated Resource Plan Update," Georgia Power, October 2023
  7. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  8. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  10. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  11. "America's Biggest Polluters: Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Power Plants in 2007" Environment America, November 24, 2009
  12. David Ibata, "Study: Southern Company plants are 3 biggest greenhouse gas emitters" Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 11, 2012.
  13. "Georgia bill proposes moratorium on new coal plants," Reuters, February 4, 2009.
  14. Margaret Newkirk, "Bill would restrict coal power plants," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 4, 2009.

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.