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Wygen III: Keeping The Lights On    7/7/2010 4:57:00 PM    ReadCount:639

With consumer consumption on the rise, Black Hills Power needed a new facility. The result, a state-of-the-art, 247 million dollar, 110 megawatt coal fired power plant.
"Burns about 16 hundred tons of coal per day, its one of the cleanest plants in the U.S.,” Director of Engineering and Reliability, Vernon Schild said.
Schild said when your talking about clean energy, this plant has come a long way.
"In some of the emissions were getting down to the same levels as the gas firing generation, and to be able to accomplish that is quite a feat," Schild said.
Black Hills Power says with air-cooled condensers, the plant also uses less water. It's less than half a mile a mile away from the source of the coal, which significantly reduces transportation costs. But that's not all.
"The mercury controls are obviously one of the things this plant is fitted with. There's a PAC system, a power activated carbon tank in the foreground there that is very new to these plants for mercury removal,” Schild said.
Schild said it's the largest capacity plant that the company has. It even has something to help train tomorrows operators.
"This is going to be our first plant that we have a simulator that we're putting in place for operator training purposes," Schild said.
Hopefully keeping lights on for generations to come.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is holding hearings on the rate increase Black Hills Power instituted to pay for the plant.