Two Years-In-A-Row: Rawhide Energy Station Ranked Among the Cleanest in the U.S.

FORT COLLINS , Colo. -- For the second year in a row, Platte River Power Authority's Rawhide Energy Station has been named the fifth cleanest coal-fired power plant in the nation based on sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission rates in an independent report recently released by Electric Light & Power magazine. The rankings are based on 2002 data.
" Rawhide continues to produce the lowest sulfur dioxide emissions in Colorado ," said Brian Moeck, Platte River 's general manager. "We reduced SO2 by nine percent in 2002 and we plan to reduce nitrogen oxides by 35 percent beginning in 2005. This is another example of how we, a community-owned utility, make improvements because we want to, not because we have to."
The SO2 rankings are "dependent upon two factors: how well a plant's scrubber works and the quality of the coal being used," according to the report.
" Platte River deliberately purchases high-quality, low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming , which makes our scrubber very efficient," said Jason Frisbie, division manager of power production.
Platte River signed a landmark agreement with the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division in October 2002, voluntarily reducing emissions at Rawhide. The Voluntary Emissions Reduction Agreement (VERA) commits to the reduction of SO2, which has been accomplished, and nitrous oxide (NOx).
Even as energy consumption in Platte River 's member communities increases due to growth, the total emissions generated at Rawhide have been reduced. Rawhide currently operates well below its permitted levels. These significant emissions reductions are permanent and are being implemented even though they are not required.
Platte River was motivated to pursue a VERA by its mission to provide reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible electricity to its owner communities. In addition, Platte River's environmental policy states, " Platte River will consider environmental factors as an integral part of operating decisions," and " technology improves and opportunities arise, be proactive in evaluating and implementing improvements that balance environmental and other socioeconomic concerns."
" Platte River 's customers in all four communities have expressed a strong interest in environmental stewardship based on customer surveys," said John Bleem, division manager of customer services. " Platte River 's board of directors provides policy direction for continuous environmental improvement through their leadership. The staff at Rawhide deserves a lot of credit for finding new ways to operate with lower emissions while maintaining high reliability."

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