WATCH: Alabama Power implodes retired Walker County plant

Local News
October 02 2021 06:00 pm
(Courtesy of Alabama Power)

WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Thursday morning, Alabama Power and their project partners continued the decommission of Plant Gorgas in Walker County by imploding three boiler houses and one vent stack.

Plant Gorgas generated electricity for Alabama Power customers for more than a century.

“Plant Gorgas was an important part of the greater Birmingham economy,” Jim Heilbron, Alabama Power senior vice president and senior production officer, said in a release. “We’re confident this safe demolition will pave the way for future redevelopment and reuse of the site.”

Alabama Power says that they have worked with various companies to carefully dismantle the plant structure, with the demolition a major, final step in the process.

Heilbron added in the release that while no specific plans are in place, this step enables the company to safely recycle or dispose of the structural assets on site, like boiler houses and turbines.

“Safety is our top value and was the foundation of our demolition planning,” Heilbron said.. “To ensure a safe, controlled environment for this effort, we worked with local law enforcement to temporarily close roads and waterways near the plant site in the hours before and after the demolition.”

Plant Gorgas first produced electricity in 1917. The plant was retired in April 2019 as part of company efforts to evolve generation sources to the most balanced, cost-effective energy mix for customers. Alabama Power serves 1.5 million customers with power generated in numerous ways, including from natural gas, coal, hydro and solar.

“It is important to use multiple energy sources to ensure our customers’ lights are always on, no matter what season or weather conditions we face,” Heilbron said.

The aftermath of Plant Gorgas’ implosion of three boiler houses and a vent stack. (Courtesy of Alabama Power)

Numbers given by Alabama Power indicated the following:

  • Over 850 charges were used on the four structures
  • Charges moved at 22,000 feet per second
  • The demolition produced about 25,000 tons of recyclable material

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