Environmental Upgrades to Plants
Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC) is committed to improving the air quality in metro Atlanta and throughout the state in compliance with Georgia and federal regulations. To address this issue, the corporation has made hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental improvements to its coal-fired power plants, with more planned for the future.
Between 1994 and 2010, Oglethorpe Power reduced the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) by approximately 70 percent. During the same period, fossil-fuel electricity generation increased by more than 60 percent.
These reductions were accomplished primarily through the installation of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) technology at the Wansley coal-fired plant and by switching to lower sulfur Powder River Basin coal at Units 1 and 2 of Plant Scherer.
These efforts have also significantly reduced the emissions of NOx during the summer ozone season, when air quality problems in urban areas like Atlanta often arise. In fact, the average ozone season NOx emission rate for Oglethorpe Power power plants declined by nearly 80 percent between 1995 and 2010.
Mercury emissions have been reduced dramatically as well. Between 2000 and 2010, mercury emissions dropped by approximately 80 percent with the addition of activated carbon injection and baghouses at Plant Scherer, and the SCR and FGD control technology at Plant Wansley.