Energy Blend: Hayden Station going above and beyond to control emissions |

Energy Blend: Hayden Station going above and beyond to control emissions

The coal pile at Hayden station keeps the site well stocked with the material, provided by Twentymile Mine, with a supply of up to 60 days worth of coal. The plant burns about 5,000 tons of coal per day. To the right is the plant's reservoir with water from the Yampa River. About 3 million gallons of water are used daily in plant operations.
Andy Bockelman/file

Hayden Generating Station has been a part of Northwestern Colorado since the 1960s, supplying energy to parts the northwest region of the state, particularly communities in Moffat and Routt counties. The station is located near the city of Hayden, about 22 miles east of Craig.

In addition to Xcel Energy, the station actually has two additional owners, according to Xcel’s Senior Media Representative Mark Stutz. The other owners are PacifiCorp, a Portland-based company, and Salt River Project, a Phoenix-based company.

Xcel Energy has full operational control, however, as the station was acquired by the Public Service Company of Colorado, a predecessor to Xcel Energy, in 1992. Other current owners acquired interest in Hayden Station in 1992 from Ute Electric Association.

Coal from the nearby Twentymile Coal Co. is the station’s primary fuel source for its steam turbines, which generate 441 megawatts of power from two power units, Stutz said. The station uses an estimated 5,000 tons of coal each day and keeps 60 days worth of coal in reserve.

The 3 million gallons of water required each day is provided by the Yampa River.

The station controls air emissions with various types of technologies, including a baghouse, an air pollution control device and dust collector that remove harmful particulates from emissions, and a dry scrubber, a system designed to remove harmful materials specifically from exhaust gases.

The station also uses low-NOx burners, which are designed to control the fuel/air mixture at each burner to create larger,  more branched flames, reducing peak-flame temperatures and producing lower concentrations of nitrogen oxide pollutants.

In tandem, he said, these controls work to remove large amounts of harmful substances from emissions, including flue gas, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

In 2016, the station took additional action to reduce emissions, as requested by the Colorado Clean Air Clean Jobs Act. Hayden Station also doesn’t discharge water offsite.

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