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Southwest 2 Power Plant is Dedicated

The new power plant in Springfield is up and running. KSMU's Michele Skalicky reports on a dedication held for SW2...

The new 300 megawatt coal-fired plant in Springfield has been producing electricity for more than a week. Wednesday, City Utilities, city and Greene County officials held a dedication for the Southwest 2 power plant. The event followed a five-year planning period and a three-year construction phase.Mark Crisson is president and CEO of the American Public Power Association…

"With the dedication of this state-of-the-art unit, we see the culmination of the public power model. Through a broad-based community effort, City Utilities has secured a valuable asset that will provide benefits to the community for many years to come."

The 697-million-dollar plant has built-in pollution controls. According to Crisson, that technology will ensure the strictest emission standards are met. SW2 is among the first coal plants in the nation that include emission controls specifically designed to meet mercury limits.He says many resources are needed to maintain a diverse and reliable power supply including natural gas, renewable energy, nuclear power and coal.Greene County Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod says growth in the area relies on energy, but that must be balanced with preserving and conserving our natural resources, in particular water.He’s pleased that the new facility keeps that in mind…

"The new unit, which is very innovative, has figured out a way to use no groundwater and tie into the gray water discharge that we have from the sewage treatment plant or sanitary sewage treatment plant just to our east. And so that water will be pumped into our new unit. It'll be tested by CU and then it will be sent back to the wastewater treatment facility for additional treatment and release."

Springfield voters rejected plans for the new plant in 2004, but it was approved two years later along with a 16% rate hike to pay for it.