Alabama Power, a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), says federal regulations have forced the utility to close two coal-fired units and reduce or eliminate the use of coal at two more power plants by 2016.
Two smaller units at Plant Gorgas are slated to close, while two units at Plant Barry will stop using coal but will remain available on a limited basis using natural gas. A third unit at Plant Barry will be switched to burn natural gas. Plant Greene County will also switch from coal to natural gas, and plans to reduce its workforce by about half through attrition and transfers.
Alabama Power says it has spent about $3 billion to meet current regulations and will spend another $1 billion to comply with new air emissions rules.