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Alabama Power, project partners safely demolish retired Plant Gorgas vent stack

The largest structure at Plant Gorgas – a 750-foot vent stack – was safely imploded by Alabama Power and project partners on Saturday, Jan. 29. Plant Gorgas, a fixture of Alabama Power’s generating fleet, reliably served customers for more than 100 years.

The vent stack, which was brought down to 368 feet before the event, is the final large asset to be demolished as work continues to decommission the Walker County plant after its retirement. Plant Gorgas’ boiler houses and turbines were safely imploded in September 2021 and all material from the plant is being recycled or disposed.

Alabama Power has worked with various companies to carefully dismantle the plant structure, with the demolition a final step in the process.

Watch the demolition of Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas vent stack from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Plant Gorgas began producing electricity in 1917. As technologies advanced during the 20th century, Plant Gorgas advanced as well, adding seven coal units during its lifespan.

Alabama Power retired the plant 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 its 1.5 million customers with power generated numerous ways, including from natural gas, nuclear, coal, hydro and solar.

Plant Gorgas demolition by the numbers:

  • About 1,000 pounds of explosives used.
  • Charges moved at 22,000 feet per second.
  • About 750 tons of concrete from the stack will be recycled.