28 Mar 2012

FAST FIX: single biggest emitter of CO2 in the U.S.? Scherer coal plant in Georgia

Written by Jim Pierobon

The Robert W. Scherer coal complex in Juliette, Georgia includes four 880-megawatt boilers. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

The Scherer complex of four coal-burning power plants near Macon, GA, co-owned and operated by Georgia Power, is the single largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It spewed almost 23 million tons of CO2 in 2010.

According to Natural History magazine, it ranked as the 20th in the world in terms of carbon dioxide emissions by the Center for Global Development on its list of global power plants in November 2007. It was the only power plant in the United States that was listed in the world’s top 25 CO2 producers.

Other owners of the complex are Georgia Power’s sister company Gulf Power; the city of Dalton, Georgia; Florida Power & Light; the Jacksonville Electric Authority in Florida; the Municipal Electric League of Georgia and Oglethorpe Power, also in Georgia.

Its two 1,000-foot chimneys and four cooling towers are not hard to see on a clear day from commercial jetliners headed into and out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport. Don’t confuse the cooling towers with Georgia Power’s nuclear power stations, which have similar-looking cooling towers.

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