Gadsden Steam Plant

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Gadsden Steam Plant is a 138.0-megawatt (MW) gas-fired power station near Gadsden, Alabama.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Alabama Power Company[1]
  • Parent: Southern Company[2]
  • Location: 1000 Goodyear Ave., Gadsden, AL 35903
  • Coordinates: 34.009396, -85.967952
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 138.0 MW
    • Unit 1: natural gas[1] steam turbine[1] 69 MW[1] (start-up in 2015[3], retiring in 2023)[1]
    • Unit 2: natural gas[1] steam turbine[1] 69 MW[1] (start-up in 2015[3], retiring in 2023)[1]
  • Gross generating capacity (retired): 138.0 MW
    • Unit 1: coal, 69 MW (start-up in 1949, retired in 2015)[4][3]
    • Unit 2: coal, 69 MW (start-up in 1949, retired in 2015)[4][3]
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 69.0 MW (1949), Unit 2: 69.0 MW (1949)
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Both units switched to only natural gas.[4]

Unit Retirement

The plant's two coal-burning units were converted to using natural gas only in 2015.[3]


The Gadsden plant has the capability to produce steam and electricity using coal or natural gas, or both, and by 2011 was using mainly natural gas. The plant also was an experimental site for burning wood biomass and switch grass fuels, but as of 2012 the plant does not burn biomass.[5]

Gadsden Steam Plant and Environmental Justice

Southern Company's Gadsden Steam Plant has 24,955 residents within a 3-mile radius and 3,487 within a one-mile radius; in the 3-mile radius, 49.9% of residents are non-white with a per capita income of $13,600, below the U.S. per capita income of $21,587,[6] raising issues around environmental justice and coal. The plant does not have a scrubber to reduce emissions.[7] Gadsden Steam Plant is among over 100 coal plants near residential areas.

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 764,053 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 9,344 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Coal Waste Site

Gadsden ranked 93rd 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.[8] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[9]

Gadsden Steam Plant ranked number 93 on the list, with 249,740 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[8]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (based on Form EIA-860M as a supplement to Form EIA-860) - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  2. "LEI Search 2.0". Retrieved 2022-12-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Federal environmental mandates force elimination of coal at Plant Gadsden - Alabama NewsCenter". Alabama NewsCenter. Retrieved 2022-12-20.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory", 860m March 2020
  5. Dana Beyerle, "Alabama Power's switch to natural gas an asset for Goodyear," Times Montgomery Bureau, December 19, 2011.
  6. United States - Income and Poverty in 1999: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.
  7. Clean Air Markets - Data and Maps, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2009.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  9. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

Related articles

External Articles