Power Institute, Southern Co. open Ash Beneficial Use Center

Sources: Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif.; CP staff

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Southern Co. have opened the Ash Beneficial Use Center at Plant Bowen, operated by the Atlanta utility’s Georgia Power subsidiary. The facility will test and validate emerging, pilot-scale management methods for coal combustion products (CCPs).   

“Developing cost-effective technologies to recycle coal ash is an important aspect of the clean energy transition,” says EPRI Vice President of Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources Neva Espinoza. “This unique research center provides an opportunity for utilities, researchers, and vendors to collaborate and advance technologies from benchtop to commercial operation.”

“As a part of our ash pond closure efforts, Georgia Power is always looking for opportunities to reuse coal ash that are not only beneficial to our customers, but for our communities and environment as well,” adds Georgia Power Vice President of Environmental and Natural Resources Dr. Mark Berry. “The Ash Beneficial Use Center is paving the way for the latest coal ash technologies to be used productively. We hope to eventually see closed ash ponds and landfills become resources as new and improved uses are developed and proven through this center.”

Emerging technologies may allow CCPs to replace mined virgin materials in a wide range of products, notes EPRI. Early-stage, independent evaluations of these technologies, including feedstock specifications and operational experience, are key to understanding technical feasibility and cost. The center provides access to a range of CCPs, an onsite testing laboratory, along with expertise in beneficial use technology development and power plant operations. Work on pilot technologies will focus on monitoring test bay inputs and outputs (CCP, energy, water, waste), enabling technology developers to retain control of their intellectual property. EPRI invites Ash Beneficial Use Center evaluation or R&D candidates. — www.epri.com

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