Located in Leroy, Ala., the Charles R. Lowman Power Plant was named after former General Manager Charles R. Lowman, who served 38 years with PowerSouth. The Lowman Plant operates three generating units. Lowman Plant’s Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1969. Units 2 and 3 went commercial in 1979 and 1980, respectively.
The plant has a generating capacity of 556 megawatts — enough to power approximately 556,000 homes.
Coal, transported either by barge from the Tombigbee River or by rail, is the primary source of fuel used at Lowman. The coal is burned at temperatures greater than 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit to produce steam.
Since their construction 30 years ago, units 2 and 3 use scrubbers, or Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) technology to remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from flue gases. All the plant’s units are equipped with electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), which preserve air quality by preventing particulate matter from entering the atmosphere.
Despite PowerSouth’s early commitment to the environment, recent regulations necessitated an Air Quality Control (AQC) project in 2009, which included adding a new scrubber system for units 1 and 2. Units 2 and 3 employ a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and mercury emissions when used in combination with the units’ scrubbers. The plant’s existing scrubbers were upgraded to further reduce SO2 emissions from unit 3.