Report: Reservoirs in Alabama are Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions




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ReportsReservoir EmissionsPublished   10/1/2022

Executive Summary

  • Both R. L. Harris and Weiss reservoirs are sources of greenhouse gasses.
  • At Weiss Reservoir, greenhouse gas emissions attributed to hydroelectric generation were 5 times greater than the proposed Clean Energy threshold.
  • Emissions at Weiss Reservoir were comparable to the 2020 average of emission intensity from Southern Company electric utility plants in Alabama using coal and gas.
  • At R. L. Harris Reservoir, greenhouse gas emissions during 2021 attributed to hydroelectric generation were 1.5 times greater than the proposed Clean Energy threshold.
  • The G-RES tool is web-based, has excellent documentation and responsive technical support staff and is a useful tool for a broad audience, including researchers, regulators, and advocates.

About this report: This independent analysis was completed by the Virginia Scientist-Community Interface (V-SCI). V-SCI is a graduate student organization dedicated to reviewing and synthesizing science related to environmental issues across the southeastern United States. V-SCI analysts on this project include graduate students with formal training and expertise in civil and environmental engineering, biosystems engineering, reservoir biogeochemistry, hydrology, and stream ecology. We are happy to discuss our findings in more detail if we can be of greater service.

Corresponding authors: Sam Bickley (


Read more about the validation process and results at

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