Georgia Power dedicated its new Water Research Center at Plant Bowen near Cartersville, Georgia. The state-of-the-art center will focus on finding new ways to reduce, conserve and improve the quality of water returned to the environment from power plants.
The WRC is the first U.S. research facility of its kind, and is made possible through a partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute, the Southern Research Institute and 14 other companies aligned with the power generation industry.
Georgia Power representatives said the WRC will provide a site for testing technologies to address water withdrawal and consumption, as well as explore ways to recycle or improve the quality of any water returned to the environment. The research facility is expected to yield industry-wide insights that will help power companies minimize the use of water and increase conservation of this valuable natural resource.
"We're proud to host the new Water Research Center at one of our largest generation facilities. Efficient water management is the responsibility of every energy company and, through the work of this center, we will lead the industry in developing new ways to use and conserve this critical resource," said Paul Bowers, President and CEO of Georgia Power. "In all areas of our business, we're committed to conducting cutting-edge research that helps us provide clean, reliable and affordable power to customers both now and in the future."
"The results of the Water Research Center's test projects are being shared among Georgia Power, EPRI members and the broader electric generation industry," said Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President of the Research and Development Group for EPRI. "This helps electricity generators all over the world to understand the performance of new technology research and, where appropriate, implement cost-effective strategies to improve water use efficiency and reduce liquid pollutant discharges."
"We are excited to be collaborating with our partners in the Water Research Center," added Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D., Southern Research President and CEO. "The goals of minimizing industry water use and positively impacting conservation not only benefit the power generation industry, but also the environment, and future generations to come. This is a win in every way."
The center is an extension of a pilot project that began in May 2010 at Plant Bowen to identify opportunities to address water withdrawal, consumption and recycling. In the future, the center may also serve as an educational hub for members of the surrounding communities about the importance of water conservation, including schoolchildren, elected officials and community leaders.