Coal is formed by chemical changes to plant material over a period of many years, converting it to combustible rock composed of carbon and other elements like oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur and nitrogen. Coal is extracted from the ground and transported to Georgia from other states.
Coal accounted for 62 percent of Georgia Power's energy portfolio in 2011 and was once the most-used electric power source in the United States. Currently, power generated from coal energy is more economically affordable than most other methods.
In our role as stewards of our environment, Georgia Power has invested significantly in cleaner emission technology and development of alternative energy sources like solar and nuclear power.
Coal makes electricity through combustion. The coal is pulverized into a fine powder or gasified state. The fuel burns in a large furnace that superheats water into pressurized steam. The steam carries tremendous force, which is used to turn turbine blades that spin electric generators. The steam is then condensed back into water and returned to the system for reuse.
The byproducts of combustion leaving the plant are in the form of gas emissions or solids residue called particulates. Close to 99 percent of particulates are removed by equipment called electrostatic precipitators. Many coal plants are also fitted with additional emission control technologies that help minimize the quantities and impacts of gaseous emissions.
Georgia Power is working to permanently close all of its 29 ash ponds located around 11 coal-fired generation facilities across the state. The company is committed to closing the facilities safely and in compliance with all state and federal regulations while ensuring reliable service to customers. This page is your central resource for useful information and updates on this process.
The Role of Coal in Powering Georgia
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We’re preparing to permanently close our 29 ash ponds at 11 coal-fired plants across the state. Read details about the process as we work toward this goal.