Energy and sustainability
Smelting has always been an electricity-intensive process. Because of this fact, and because the cost of electricity is a key component of the cost of aluminum, our smelting facilities are usually closely allied with power generation systems. In some cases, Alcoa operates its own hydroelectric or coal-fired power plants that provide power both for smelting and for municipal use.
By constantly working to improve the efficiency of our smelting process, we have been able to reduce both our production costs and our impact on the environment. Before 1945 the consumption of electricty in aluminum smelting averaged around 23.3 kilwatt hours per kilo of metal produced. Today, our most efficient pots run at about half that rate.
Our environment Value also commits us to minimizing the impact of the process itself on the air, water and land that surround our facilities.

Alcoa Energy

This Alcoa business develops and manages energy and energy resources.

A pioneer in hydropower

See the web site of Alcoa's Yadkin-APGI business, representing more than 75 years of sustainable power and water management for industry and municipal use.

Smelter power in Australia

Read how an Alcoa power operation supplies electricty for Australian operations.