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Nevada power plant to close after dispute
AP ^ | 12/30/5

Posted on 12/30/2005 8:01:33 AM PST by SmithL

LAUGHLIN, Nev. - A large coal-fired power plant will close at the end of the year rather than violate a court-ordered deadline to install an estimated $1.1 billion in pollution-control measures.

Southern California Edison said Thursday the Mohave Generating Station, at the center of an environmental dispute several years ago, would close. The plant has provided the utility with 7 percent of its electricity, but the company said its 13 million customers would not be immediately affected because of other power sources.

Under a 1999 consent decree won by environmental groups, the aging Mohave plant was required to upgrade its pollution controls or close by Jan. 1, 2006.

The groups had argued the 1,580-megawatt plant, about 100 miles south of Las Vegas, had repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act, contributing to haze at the Grand Canyon.

The utility, the plant's majority owner and operator, had hoped to keep it open as natural gas prices have continued to rise.

In a filing Thursday with the California Public Utilities Commission, Edison said it planned to continue negotiations aimed at keeping the plant open but expected to close it for at least a few months. The environmental groups have said they would not agree to a deadline extension.

The plant is the only customer of the nearby Black Mesa mine, which provides about 160 jobs to members of the Navajo Nation. The mine, run by Peabody Energy Corp., will likely be forced to close.

"It was the environmental groups that helped bring this about - for altruistic reasons, of course - but the result is that a lot of breadwinners are going to be out of work," said George Hardeen, a spokesman for the Navajo Nation.

Environmentalists said they sympathized with the tribes, but argued Edison had plenty of time to fix the plant's pollution problems. Edison should invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land, which would benefit the people "who have been exploited all of these years by the greater metropolitan centers of the West," said Roger Clark, director of the Grand Canyon Trust's air and energy program.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS: blackmesa; cleanairact; cpuc; ecoterror; greengovernor; judicialactivism; mohave; peabodyenergy; sce
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joy unbounded
1 posted on 12/30/2005 8:01:35 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL

Enjoy your higher bills.


2 posted on 12/30/2005 8:03:39 AM PST by icwhatudo (The rino borg...is resistance futile?)
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To: SmithL

In the words of one of the two punks from the movie Roxanne:

"Thank you, asswipe."


3 posted on 12/30/2005 8:05:00 AM PST by domenad (In all things, in all ways, at all times, let honor guide me.)
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To: SmithL
Edison should invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land, which would benefit the people "who have been exploited all of these years by the greater metropolitan centers of the West,"

Like a casino. Lets eliminate all the real productive jobs, and replace them with make believe jobs.

No need to thank me. Its what I do. I'm an environmentalist.

4 posted on 12/30/2005 8:05:54 AM PST by marron
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To: SmithL

This is just a ploy. They will install scrubbers. It just makes economic sense. The costs of the scrubbers will be pased on to the consumers . . . and life goes on.


5 posted on 12/30/2005 8:08:06 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: SmithL
The groups had argued the 1,580-megawatt plant, about 100 miles south of Las Vegas...

Isn't that Dusty Harry's neck of the woods? Guess he didn't want to be bothered with "constituents".

6 posted on 12/30/2005 8:09:48 AM PST by COBOL2Java (The Katrina Media never gets anything right, so why should I believe them?)
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To: SmithL; LasVegasMac; writer33

Let me guess. The unmarked bills for Harry Reid's family didn't arrive in time.


7 posted on 12/30/2005 8:10:07 AM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (SAVE THE BRAINFOREST! Boycott the RED Dead Tree Media & NUKE the DNC Class Action Temper Tantrum!)
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To: SmithL

> ... the company said its 13 million customers would not
> be immediately affected because of other power sources.

And because it's WINTER.

If you live in CA, plan to get off-grid, or get out
entirely, before summer.


8 posted on 12/30/2005 8:10:36 AM PST by Boundless
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To: Boundless

This certainly doesn't help the Vegas area with their growing energy demands. As long as the enviromental whackos get to call the shots, in a few short years you can kiss that area goodbye.


9 posted on 12/30/2005 8:12:45 AM PST by COBOL2Java (The Katrina Media never gets anything right, so why should I believe them?)
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To: SmithL

Seriously, the tribe itself should see if it can buy or become partners in the power plant, perhaps get the land it sits on declared as tribal land. And then work to get a variance on the pollution controls until they can put together the backing needed to do the work.

This is political, and needs a political solution. Republicans should look for an opportunity to salvage this situation. It could be a two-fer for them, they get to outmaneuver the enviros, and penetrate a Dem constituency, at the same time. And keep a tribe from falling back into government-caused-dependency.


10 posted on 12/30/2005 8:13:01 AM PST by marron
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To: Blurblogger
Let me guess. The unmarked bills for Harry Reid's family didn't arrive in time.

Something tells me you are right.

11 posted on 12/30/2005 8:14:29 AM PST by marron
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To: SmithL

Good Grief!

12 posted on 12/30/2005 8:14:37 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tagline Repair Service. Let us fix those broken Taglines. Inquire within(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: BipolarBob
This is just a ploy. They will install scrubbers. It just makes economic sense. The costs of the scrubbers will be pased on to the consumers . . . and life goes on.

I wonder how much power they'd have to produce in order to generate a billion dollars of profit just to break even.

I'm guessing you probably don't run a business.

13 posted on 12/30/2005 8:15:11 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: marron

Or it could be that Dingy Harry's lips are so far up the lunatic environmentalist fringe's butt that he couldn't intervene even if the unmarked bills came in sufficient quantities.


14 posted on 12/30/2005 8:16:20 AM PST by COBOL2Java (The Katrina Media never gets anything right, so why should I believe them?)
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To: Dog Gone
" I'm guessing you probably don't run a business."

And I'm guessing you don't know much about the generation buisness. Watch the headlines, somebody will install scrubbers on this.

15 posted on 12/30/2005 8:21:56 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: COBOL2Java

> This certainly doesn't help the Vegas area with their
> growing energy demands.

And growing water demands, and of the two, the water
may be the more serious problem.

Somehow I don't expect to see this story in the WaPo,
with an "indian women and children hardest hit" subtitle.


16 posted on 12/30/2005 8:22:29 AM PST by Boundless
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To: SmithL

LOL! The plant is less than 300 miles from the largest clean-burning coal deposit in the world (Clinton's Escalante Staircase Nantional Monument).


17 posted on 12/30/2005 8:22:38 AM PST by an amused spectator (Bush Runner! The Donkey is after you! Bush Runner! When he catches you, you're through!)
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To: Dog Gone; BipolarBob

A lot of people have the impression that a power plant is a license to print money. It isn't, those guys walk a very tight line. I had the experience of sitting for a while next to the guy whose job it was to make the daily deals that kept a power plant running. Some days they are making money, some days they lose a small amount, but its better to keep running, some days they shut down because the money isn't there.

They are constantly calculating the cost of fuel versus the price offered on the market, and some days they run, and some days they don't. This is a pretty big plant, not a peaker. But the economics are always borderline.


18 posted on 12/30/2005 8:25:12 AM PST by marron
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To: SmithL
The real losers will be the consumers who won't have enough electricity this summer. The gummint will take care of the displaced Navajo workers. There's plenty of taxpayer-funded welfare money to hand out, although exchanging productive, honest work for a gummint check somehow seems like a loser to me.

The wackos got a bunch of things shutdown in CA (Rancho Seco, SONGS-1) and elsewhere (Trojan), and now they're going after facilities in NV. Arizona is next.

So another 1600 MW of capacity is lost. I hope the people in CA remember this incident, and where the blame lies, when they're looking at blackouts sometime in the future. But, being mostly idiots, they probably won't, and will blame the "evil corporations", the utilities, for "price fixing".

19 posted on 12/30/2005 8:25:23 AM PST by chimera
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To: SmithL

Oh those quirky environmentalist, aren't they a fun group! Killing off jobs and people. They should be made to support everyone who loses their income due to environmental activism.


20 posted on 12/30/2005 8:26:12 AM PST by pepperdog
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To: Dog Gone

Utilities can pass through these costs to their rate payers. Taking 1500 mw off line doesn't make sense.


21 posted on 12/30/2005 8:27:23 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: SmithL
Why do I suspect that those responsible for the shut down live nowhere near Mohave Generating Station?
22 posted on 12/30/2005 8:28:40 AM PST by oyez (Appeasement is death!)
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To: SmithL
Edison should invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land, which would benefit the people "who have been exploited all of these years by the greater metropolitan centers of the West," said Roger Clark, director of the Grand Canyon Trust's air and energy program.

Except, dear Roger, Edison & Peabody are not welfare, make-work corp.'s

There ain't no money in your "invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land" plan.

23 posted on 12/30/2005 8:32:29 AM PST by Lester Moore (The headwaters of the islamic river of death and hate are in Saudi Arabia.)
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To: BipolarBob
Watch the headlines, somebody will install scrubbers on this.

I don't think so, because Peabody has been battling the Navajo Nation and enviro's for some time over it's coal mining and tremendous use of water to transport it's coal to Edison's plant. The coal mine has been in the cross hairs for years & years and was, I think, going to end up shut down anyway. Edison, having no readily available coal for their plant, was going to have to shut down.

The enviro's got a two-fer out of this.

24 posted on 12/30/2005 8:37:53 AM PST by Lester Moore (The headwaters of the islamic river of death and hate are in Saudi Arabia.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Utilities can pass through these costs to their rate payers. Taking 1500 mw off line doesn't make sense.

In a deregulated electricity market, you can't just pass along the costs. You're competing against other power plants. You can't just jack up your rates to cover the cost or customers will get their power elsewhere.

The question Edison had to ask itself is whether making a $1.1 billion investment was going to make a satisfactory rate of return. I don't know what the profit margin at this plant is, but it undoubtedly would take many year's profits to pay back that $1.1 billion.

Edison would be infinitely better off to shut the plant down and buy Treasury Bills with that billion bucks.

25 posted on 12/30/2005 8:40:04 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: SmithL

Note that the AP doesn't actually name the watermelons who filed the suit. To the AP, they're just cute fluffy forest creatures who travel around making people happy every place they go.


26 posted on 12/30/2005 8:45:41 AM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: Lester Moore

Maybe so, I have no specific info on Mojave at hand, but I daily keep up with the generation buisness. But I know a station that large with a nearby available coal supply would not let scrubbers come between them and staying operational. If there are other killers to the deal, it may not be feasible. Many times fuel transportation cost is the largest expense to a coal-fired plant.


27 posted on 12/30/2005 8:45:44 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: SmithL
"rather than violate a court-ordered deadline to install an estimated $1.1 billion in pollution-control measures."

Scrubbers reduce the undesirable emmissions, they don't eliminate them.

After the utility floats bonds and make other crippling committments to this reduction in emissions, all the enviro-nazis have to do is get one of their old hippie judges to move the decimal point one or two more places to the left on allowables and the utility has to go through the whole thing again.

It appears that the real aim of the enviros is control, not the environment.

28 posted on 12/30/2005 8:45:49 AM PST by nightdriver
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To: Dog Gone

A 1500 MW coal plant has to be higher on the dispatch list than any natural gas plant. I think Edison could get the job done for a lot less than $1.1 billion, especially with the new manganese based flue gas scrub technology now coming on line.


29 posted on 12/30/2005 8:46:52 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Perhaps so, but whatever it might cost is still going to have to be viewed by the company as a capital investment and whether it makes financial sense.

In the meantime, they face a hard deadline of Saturday night and nothing is going to change that.

Edison will also gain by receiving pollution credits under an EPA program which it will be able to sell to other utilities.

Closing the plant is not a bluff. It's a business decision in response to environmental activism.


30 posted on 12/30/2005 9:02:29 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: nightdriver

That's a fact, Jack.


31 posted on 12/30/2005 9:02:56 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: SmithL
It was the environmental groups that helped bring this about - for altruistic reasons, of course...

LOL! It amazes me how many people still think:

1) Altruism = noble self-sacrifice rather than sacrificing somebody else to advance your own interests.

2) Environmentalists act for the benefit of anything but their own interests.

32 posted on 12/30/2005 9:06:13 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When government does too much, nobody else does much of anything." -- Mark Steyn)
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To: marron

I work for one of the outside power companies that works on devices to generate power that power companies used to have people on site do.

Service...Jobs that only Americans can do...so far....


33 posted on 12/30/2005 9:07:30 AM PST by RaceBannon ((Prov 28:1 KJV) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.)
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To: SmithL; All
A 1600 MW coal plant burning low sulfur Western coal will consume about 54 tons of coal a minute (not hour). Think 80,000 tons of coal a day.

A scrubber will evaporate and lose to the air about six pounds of water per pound of coal so scrubbers at the Mohave plant will evaporate about 500,000 tons of water a day at full load.

There are other water losses involved besides evaporation having to do with the gypsum type sludges discharged by the process. The total water consumption is about 700,000 tons or about 169 million gallons of water a day. The water will have to come from somewhere, and must be fresh water (salt water is much harder, read expensive and polluting).

700,000 tons of water a day is about 22,500,000 cubic feet per day or enough water to require a two foot diameter steel pipe flowing full speed. At the published San Diego water consumption rate this is the water required by 375,000 households and the commerce that supports them.
34 posted on 12/30/2005 9:15:58 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7

Well, I guess the plant will be closed for awhile then. LOL.


35 posted on 12/30/2005 9:21:30 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone; Eric in the Ozarks
The question Edison had to ask itself is whether making a $1.1 billion investment was going to make a satisfactory rate of return.

The plant's already been running for 34 years, so can't have too much of a life left in it. That $1.1 billion (for a plant that cost $214 million to build, still less than a billion in today's dollars) won't be spread out over too-long a time, maybe only 10 or 20 years.

36 posted on 12/30/2005 9:32:52 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; All
Your remark about manganese process scrubbing led to Enviroscrub and the Pahlman process. Interestingly their "our technology" site area contained only this diagram:



No technical details whatever were given. No consumption rates, no description of the technology, no cost estimates, nothing. The 2,000 cubic feet per minute demonstration trailer has a toylike capacity but looks to be an overweight load. The process appears to consume a large volume of water although probably less than wet scrubbing. the reaction reagents are proprietary. Rather looks like a catalytic process with associated catalyst poisoning problems, etc. Makeup water strangely needs RO. Reagent is electrolytically regenerated. Looks like high energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Am I seeing this wrongly?

http://www.enviroscrub.com/index.asp
37 posted on 12/30/2005 9:58:39 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7

I think they have a couple full size scrub units on line at Minnesota Power. Can't say why they haven't updated their web page. They claim the manganese is recycled and there is no need for a big sludge pond. Power consumption is much less than a typical scrubber, which I'm told can consume 25-30 percent of the power plant's production.


38 posted on 12/30/2005 10:04:44 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Dog Gone
Combustion turbines consume negligible water. The $14 per million Btu natural gas fuel cost at a major fuel hub can be passed on to the consumer by government edict. At 50% efficiency (pretty high) wholesale fuel cost is five cents a kilowatt hour at the generator.

Figure on fuel only cost at the wall socket from natural gas combustion turbines at eight to ten cents per kilowatt hour. Total aggregate cost per kilowatt hour is unknowable in advance but one can say that electricity will cost five to ten cents per kilowatt hour more than last summer for combustion turbine generated electricity.

Mohave has been producing cheap electricity that will now have to be replaced with marginal electricity bid up in price by those who want it the most.
39 posted on 12/30/2005 10:22:52 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7
The $14 per million Btu natural gas fuel cost at a major fuel hub can be passed on to the consumer by government edict.

It could, but that's that's the opposite direction of where we've been moving.

40 posted on 12/30/2005 10:52:41 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Iris7
A 1600 MW coal plant burning low sulfur Western coal will consume about 54 tons of coal a minute (not hour). Think 80,000 tons of coal a day.

Where do these figures come from? I calculate 23 to 25 thousand ton/day.

41 posted on 12/30/2005 11:16:18 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: antiRepublicrat
The plant's already been running for 34 years, so can't have too much of a life left in it.

What is your estimate of lifespan of a 1500 mw powerplant? Bear in mind boilers can be re-tubed, turbines rebuilt and auxillary equipment replaced. Longevity estimates are sometimes made for bond issues, regulators or other single issue bodies. These estimates may have no real basis.

42 posted on 12/30/2005 11:31:00 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: BipolarBob

It uses 13-14 thousand tons/day.


43 posted on 12/30/2005 11:38:50 AM PST by MARTIAL MONK
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To: SmithL
Environmentalists said they sympathized with the tribes, but argued Edison had plenty of time to fix the plant's pollution problems. Edison should invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land, which would benefit the people "who have been exploited all of these years by the greater metropolitan centers of the West," said Roger Clark, director of the Grand Canyon Trust's air and energy program.

Oh please, shut the hell up.

Renewable energy my arse. There's companies in my neck of the woods that are approaching landowners about installing wind turbines. You should hear the "outrage". "We support renewable energy, but...", "wind power is good, but...".

There's claims by groups that oppose wind power that the light flickers from the turbines can cause seizure in some people, that birds get killed in large numbers, etc. I asked by brother's girlfriend whose parents live ~2000' feet from a farm of nine wind turbines and she indicated that the noise is very low, they have very few (< 30 dead birds) in the ~5 years the turbines have been running, etc. Another person who lives down the road from this wind farm says they have experienced none of the problems that opponents of wind farms are claiming.

Sorry, but if people believe that most eco nuts support renewable energy, think again, at least based on the recent experience around these parts...

44 posted on 12/30/2005 11:41:48 AM PST by Fury
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To: MARTIAL MONK
It uses 13-14 thousand tons/day.

That is possible but it may not be running full load. Also I would need to know the btu value of the coal and the efficiency of the unit to make a realistic estimate of fuel usage.

45 posted on 12/30/2005 11:46:57 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: Iris7
For decades, investor-owned utilities in the US were the envy of the world. Power companies could reliably project their future needs and build generation to meet this need when it arrived. Stockholders (for widows and orphans was how the stock was characterized) could expect steady but unflashy dividends and knowledgeable state utility commissions exercised oversight so things rarely got out of hand.
Then, in the early 1980s, utilities began to see other utility companies as the source of new growth. Utility executives voted themselves large quantities of stock, then sold out and cashed in when the company changed hands. Other utilities reinvented themselves as non-regulated holding companies with their utility interests relegated to almost sideline status. Minnesota Power sells used cars. The former Iowa Power and Light Company of Des Moines and Iowa Public Service of Sioux City are part of Warren Buffet's conglomerate. Four or five other Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa utilities are now headquartered in Madison, WI.
This is not a healthy trend.
46 posted on 12/30/2005 12:05:22 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: BipolarBob
There have been a LOT of meetings on this. I attended some. It is snagged in between Navajos vs Hopis, traditionalists vs progressives, state vs federal, etc. The only constant has been the eco-freaks.

Stakes in the operation have been sold recently so someone sees a future in the plant. It will shut down and that should have a focusing effect on a bunch of people. This baby is too big to let go. Las Vegas will lose 6% of their power but new gas plants are coming online. The big loser will be SoCal.

47 posted on 12/30/2005 12:05:47 PM PST by MARTIAL MONK
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To: BipolarBob
Hi, Bob,

You are correct and I was in error.

1600 MW = 1,600,000 KW

1,600,000 Kw * 24 hrs./day = 38,000,000 Kw/hr/day)

38,000,000 Kw/hr/day * 3412 Btu/(Kw/hr) = 130,000,000,000 Btu/day

Western low sulfur coal about 11,000 Btu/lb at 33% efficiency is 3,600 output/11,000 input.

(130,000,000,000 Btu/day)/(3600 Btu/lb) = 36,000,000 lb./day

36,000,000 lb/day * ton/2000lb = 18,000 tons per day. 12.5 tons per minute.

Dang. Was working from memory using info I remember from a different plant. I must have confused pulverizer capacity with full load coal usage. I had better use a pencil, paper and calculator instead of just a calculator these days!

An excuse! An excuse! Quick, blame someone else! At least blame it on coefficient confusion!

Your 25% efficiency is likely more accurate than 33% since you seem to be working from coal to MW/hrs metered into the grid and I was using only coal to generator output.

48 posted on 12/30/2005 12:18:47 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7

PRB coal is 8500 BTUs. Illinois Basin would be in the 11,000 range.


49 posted on 12/30/2005 12:21:36 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Active in the Illinois Basin.)
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To: SmithL
"Environmentalists said they sympathized with the tribes, but argued Edison had plenty of time to fix the plant's pollution problems. Edison should invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land, which would benefit the people "who have been exploited all of these years by the greater metropolitan centers of the West," said Roger Clark, director of the Grand Canyon Trust's air and energy program."

Typical 'environmental' solution to their perceived problem. Demolish all conventional infrastructure and build unsightly windmills and solar photovoltaic farms to occupy the entire landscape so no natural vistas remain in the desert. Won't the Grand Canyon look grand thouroughly dotted with supersized windmills, initial construction financed by government subsidies, without sufficient maintenance funds to demolish after they run for about 10 years and then are abandoned in place.

Look what they've done to Palm Springs.


50 posted on 12/30/2005 12:31:28 PM PST by Cvengr (<;^))
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