James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant

Mobile River Bucks, Alabama Combustion turbine
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James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant
Barry Power Plant Bucks Alabama.jpg
The plant in 2009
  • United States
LocationBucks, Alabama
Coordinates31°0′22″N 88°0′40″W / 31.00611°N 88.01111°W / 31.00611; -88.01111Coordinates: 31°0′22″N 88°0′40″W / 31.00611°N 88.01111°W / 31.00611; -88.01111
Commission dateUnit 1: February, 1954
Unit 2: July, 1954
Unit 3: July, 1959
Unit 4: July, 1959
Unit 5: October, 1971
Gas Units: May, 2000
Owner(s)Alabama Power Company
Thermal power station
Primary fuelBituminous coal, natural gas
Turbine technologySteam, Combined cycle Steam, Combined Cycle Combustion turbine
Cooling sourceMobile River
Power generation
Nameplate capacity2,671 MW

James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant, also known as Barry Steam Plant or Plant Barry is a coal- and natural gas-fired electrical generation facility in Bucks, Mobile County, Alabama, United States.[1] It lies on the west bank of the Mobile River, using it both for coal delivery as well as for cooling water. The plant was named for James M. Barry, President of Alabama Power Company from 1949 to 1952.[2] As of 2018, the plant has 9 units, seven of which are powered by gas and two which are powered by coal.[3]

Design and specification

The Barry Plant has two coal-fired units but originally had five coal-fired units, which came online in 1954–1971, with respective generating capacities of 138 MW, 137 MW, 249 MW, 362 MW, and 750 MW (year-around). Five natural gas-fired units, including three combined cycle combustion turbines (173 MWe each of winter capacity) and two combined cycle steam turbines (193 MWe each of winter capacity), were installed in 2000.[4]

Environmental impact


A 2007 survey by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project found that the Barry Plant ranked 25th of the top 30 mercury emitting power plants in the United States, releasing 711 pounds (323 kg) of mercury into the atmosphere annually. The plant ranked 28th for the amount of nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere, with 24,000 tons released. Additionally, the survey found that the plant released a yearly total of 61,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 11 million tons of carbon dioxide.[5][6] A company spokesman for Alabama Power, Michael Sznajderman, noted that scrubbers are being installed at all of the company's coal-fired plants, which will reduce emission levels in coming years.[6]

Waste heat

The plant discharges all of its waste heat (about twice its electrical output) into the Mobile River.


  1. ^ "Generating plants". Alabama Power. Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  2. ^ "Manuscript Collections". University of Alabama Libraries. University of Alabama. Archived from the original on December 15, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  3. ^ Adkins, 01/03/2018 | Jason (2018-01-03). "Collaboration and Innovation Drive Retrofit Success at Plant Barry". POWER Magazine. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  4. ^ "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2008" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  5. ^ "Barry Power Plant". Asbestos.com, Mesothelioma Center. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Spencer, Thomas (November 21, 2008). "Coal-fired plant in West Jefferson County puts more mercury in air than any other in nation". The Birmingham News. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2010.