Alabama Power blames federal rules for closing coal plant


Plant Gorgas (Source: Alabama Power)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A power company is blaming federal environmental regulations for the decision to close a coal-powered plant in central Alabama.

Alabama Power said in a news release Wednesday that it will close the Gorgas plant northwest of Birmingham, mostly because of federal rules on the handling of coal ash and wastewater.

The company said it would cost about $300 million to comply with the latest environmental requirements and continue to operate the three coal-fired generating units.

Senior Vice President Jim Heilbron said the company worried that more regulations will be company that could require more expensive changes in the plant that first opened in 1917.

The company says the plant will close April 15.

Alabama Power said closing the plant will not affect its ability to provide service to its customers.