TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) — Six smokestacks at a decommissioned power plant in Alabama crashed to the ground Wednesday in a controlled implosion that began with the boom of dynamite and ended with a huge cloud of dust.
Once charges were set, workers toppled the structures in mere seconds at the Colbert Fossil Plant, which operated in northwest Alabama for more than six decades beginning in 1955. TVA said the project was part of its move away from coal toward cleaner fuel options.
Video of the implosion captured a man counting down and then yelling: “Fire in the hole. Light it up, Roger,” referring to Roger Homrich, owner of the demolition contracting firm Homrich, based in Michigan.
Flashes appeared at the base of the stacks and four of the towers collapsed almost immediately, followed by two larger ones.
TVA said the implosion was part of a $43 million project to prepare the site for development and cleaner energy. The utility announced plans last month to spend $500 million, adding to generating units that are fueled by natural gas and operate on the 1,300-acre (526-hecatare) Colbert plant site.
TVA, which is the nation's largest public power utility, said it has imploded four other old, coal-fired generating plants since 2017.
Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, TVA operates in seven Southeastern states and provides electricity to about 10 million customers through more than 150 local utilities. It said it could shut down all its coal-fired plants by 2035 pending approval.
The Associated Press