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Industry News

Generating Company Tries Grass Fuel

LCG, May 29, 2003-A Georgia power plant owner has started mixing grass with coal to power one of its plants.

Southern Company is using switchgrass, along with other grasses, to make cubes. The cubes are to be fed along with coal to power Plant Mitchell, located near Albany, Georgia.

According to the company, the grass-coal blend results in reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide emissions are unavoidable no matter what fuel is used because combustion produces carbon dioxide from any carbon-based source, be it coal, grass, or natural gas. However, some unhealthy emissions are associated solely with coal combustion.

In 2002, Plant Glasden was honored for its switchgrass pilot project. The Southeastern Electric Exchange and the Electric Power Research Institute both gave the plant environmental awards.

Southern Company officials are positive that using switchgrass and coastal Bermuda grass will yield important knowledge on bio-mass co-firing, in addition to improving emissions levels.

The grasses for the project are grown in Alabama and Georgia.

Southern Company has some 4 million customers and owns roughly 37,000 megawatts of capacity.

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