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Kansas Gets 1st Combined-Cycle Power Plant with Conversion of Coal-Fired Plant

Empire District Electric Co.'s Riverton Power Plant being converted from coal-fired to combined-cycle

Kansas’ first combined-cycle power plant is slated to go online by mid-2016.

Empire District Electric Co.’s Riverton Power Plant is in the process of being converted from coal to natural gas – the company’s response to new emission standards for mercury, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.

A new steam turbine will capture the exhaust from the plant’s natural gas turbine, which is expected to improve efficiency by nearly 70 percent.

Per the Joplin Globe, Blake Mertens, Empire vice president of energy supply and delivery operations, says the high efficiency will help control the cost of fuel, lower emissions and ensure reliable energy for the company’s customers.

More than 100 years ago, Riverton Power Plant supplied hydro- and coal-fired electricity to the Tri-State Mining District.  The conversion saw two coal-fired units in operation since the 1950s retired.

Construction is expected to cost between $165 million and $175 million.