The Tennessee Valley Authority says they safely demolished two 500-foot coal stacks and two boilers at its shuttered Widows Creek Fossil Plant in Alabama.

Small explosive charges were used to ensure debris is in manageable sizes and can be recycled as TVA readies the site for economic redevelopment.

“For over 60 years this facility and the dedicated employees who staffed it supplied electricity to power our homes and build our region’s economy,” said Bob Deacy, TVA’s senior vice president General Projects & Fleet Services. “Today, the site is home to a large data center and this demolition is an investment in the future, making room for further development opportunities.”

Over the coming months, the utility will process the metal and concrete to get the location ready for redevelopment. “TVA cares about the environment, and 100 percent of the metals once used for power production at Widows Creek Fossil Plant will be recycled, with more than 80 percent of the metal going to local recyclers in our seven-state service area,” Deacy said.

Widows Creek Fossil Plant, named for the creek that flows through the property, spans approximately 1,500 acres. The facility began generating power on July 1, 1952, and was able to produce up to 1,800 megawatts — enough electricity to power over 1 million homes. TVA idled the plant in October 2015, due to a changing economic environment.

The TVA has closed five fossil plants over the past seven years and is planning to close two more fossil plants by the end of 2030. Currently, nearly 60 percent of the electricity TVA generates is carbon-free and the utility calls for continued carbon reductions over the next 20 years.

“TVA never stands still, and our unique public power model ensures we can deliver large amounts of cleaner, reliable low-cost energy that creates quality jobs and drives investment for the communities we serve,” Deacy said.