Alabama Power Company has completed the first phase of a $500 million initiative to install nitrogen oxide-reduction technology at its plants.
The utility expects to spend $1.5 billion through 2010 on environmental upgrades to meet future air standards.
The electricity provider unveiled $62 million of the technology at its Gorgas plant in Walker County as part of the first phase.
In a press release issued Monday, the company said the improvements are designed to significantly reduce NOx emissions, a component of ground-level ozone.
The second phase is under construction at the company's Miller Plant in Jefferson County, with completion expected in less than a year. The third phase, also at Miller, is expected to be completed in spring 2005.
Improvements also are scheduled for the Barry Steam Plant in Mobile County in 2006, and environmental improvements are being made at other Alabama Power generating units.
The installations at Gorgas are expected to reduce NOx emissions from the plant by more than 40 percent this summer compared with last year.