Thursday, September 27, 2012
KCPL Power Partners Iatan Power Plant Tour
Today, September 27, Sigrid and I visited the Iatan Power Plant with the KCPL Power Partners retiree club. The plant is located just north of Weston, MO on the Missouri River. We had about 75 retirees take the tour which is a big number for this kind of event. Typical tour groups usually have about 30 participants so interest in the plant was high.
The plant has two coal fired generating units. Unit 2 was the focus of our tour since it was just completed a few years ago. It is the largest and most efficient unit in the KCPL fleet. The two units generate about 1500 Megawatts of power for the utility. The plant is said to be the most environmentally advanced plant in the US. It has loads of equipment to remove almost all of the sulfur, ash, and nitrous oxide emission before they reach the smoke stack. Coal generation is the cheapest way to make electricity by far. If you are thinking wind or solar, forget it. Those technologies are very expensive and couldn't even come close to producing enough power to replace one of the Iatan units.
The plant burns low sulfur coal from Wyoming. The coal is brought to the plant by dedicated trains having about 150 cars in each train. The plant burns about one train per day at peak generation levels....that's a lot of coal.
KCPL rates are among the lowest in the Midwest. Nobody, including me, enjoys paying the monthly bill. Take heart in the fact that people in other parts of the country pay more.
I could go on and on with details but I won't. Here a few of the photos we took on the tour.
The retirees gathered in the meeting room for a video presentation on the plant.
Mike Schockey, President of the Power Partners Club.
Carolyn, our club secretary's birthday was today so the whole group sang Happy Birthday to her.
David Williams, Unit Manager at Iatan, made the presentation.
This is water vapor coming from the stack not smoke.
The coal unloading area.
The substation at the plant.
The Toshiba turbine-generator set.
Two turbine driven boiler feed pumps.
Inspecting the generator nameplate.
The control room.
It take a lot of massive and high tech equipment to make electricity. The plant is operated 24/7 so you can turn on your bathroom light any time you want.