Hunter 4 still down the road
Rocky Mountain Power gave an update at a recent commission meeting. Reg Soepnel, the managing director for both Hunter and Huntington plants explained recent changes within the company. One of the significant statements he made was Hunter 4 has been moved around a little and moved back to 2017 or 2018.
Soepnel reviewed changes in the company with the Mid-America Holding Company being the owner of Rocky Mountain Power and Mid-America itself has four owners. There are several divisions in the company including PacifiCorp, Northern Natural Gas, Kern River, CalEnergy. The company also has holdings in the United Kingdom, Philippines and California. There is also a real estate division offering home services.
PacifiCorp Energy is involved with the generation side of the business and Pacific Power is Oregon, Washington and California with Rocky Mountain Power being the division in Emery County and surrounding states.
In 2006 Hunter 2 had an overhaul completed. The Hunter interchange project was also complete. This interchange was a necessity with 30,000 ton of coal per day going by truck into the plant. This is 650 trucks a day and this coal traffic sometimes peaks at 850-900 trucks per day. Plant personnel worked with the state and the county to accomplish this project.
Hunter Plant is proud they were able to use a local contractor Nielson Construction on the interchange project. Darrell Cunningham, Hunter plant maintenance superintendent said, "This was a $3 million project and the money stayed here and that's good for all of us."
Cunningham reported the overhaul on Hunter 3 began on March 31 and will run for six weeks. Outside contractors will be here working and estimates are 300-400 workers on site. This is a $55 million project. Cunningham said, "This economic growth is a shot in the arm for the community."
Soepnel also said the Hunter 3 overhaul is a significant project with a lot of upgrades and emission control.
In the Huntington Plant update, Gary Denhalter, maintenace superintendent reported the work was done in 2006 to install the scrubber on Huntington 2. Huntington 2 was the first power plant built in the county. At the time it was built it didn't require sulfur dioxide removal, but when Huntington 1 was built it had a scrubber.
Huntington 2 was not required to install the scrubber, but when they compared the emissions from this plant with the other plants, they voluntarily decided to take this step toward pollutant control. It was a nine week project with 750 construction workers on the site.
Parking became a problem at the plant. The workers found somewhere to live and the project was completed. One of the highlights of the project was no lost time accidents and only a few minor accidents on the job site.
Huntington 2 now does an exceptional job and removes up to 98 percent of the sulfur dioxide from the emissions. The legal requirement is 90 percent.
There was also work on the turbine where two rows of blades were replaced. Another project is the rock garden which is a modified farm. The waste water from the plant is used to water the farm. The water is stored in a pond in the winter. The farm can't handle all the waste water. So, the rock garden project was started. This water doesn't run off and only goes so far down into the ground. They have taken a section of the rock garden farm to store coal. Over the years the coal quality from Deer Creek has decreased so coal storage is needed where the higher ash coal can be stored and then blended with higher quality coal to get the right mix for the power plants.
Soepnel said as they look to the future they will continue to improve safety procedures and work on curtailing human error as they make correct decisions. One concern they have is the aging workforce at the power plants and training workers for the future.
After the Hunter 3 overhaul is complete they will be done with major overhauls until 2010 at which time they will start over with Huntington 1.