From a tour of the power plant taken February 28, 2005.
Story and pictures copyright 2005 by BigValleyNews.net
Trucks haul in the fuel (wood chips) and unload here.
A large pile of chips is in the outdoor storage pile. This pile will grow larger as more fuel is brought in.
The fuel consists of from two primary areas overstocked with stands of conifer timber ripe for a conflagrationá (fire) and from juniper stands. The product is ground up in the forest and loaded onto trucks. When Big Valley Power receives the fuel, it looks like this.
The boilers take a mix of sawdust and chips. Wheeled loaders and conveyor belts are used to move the fuel to this area which is near the entry to the boilers. Some processing, i.e. drying, sorting, mixing etc. take place here.
The cubical building on the left is where the boilers and generator are located, the boilers below, and the generator above on the second floor. The conveyor belt loads chips into the round boiler feed on the right, and a long thin tube feeds blown sawdust into the left boiler feed.
The steam turbine of the generator uses water but the steam is recycled to the cooling towers and reused. Some water escapes to the air. Anything you may see coming from these towers is water vapor, or steam!
The larger squared off housing toward the front is the steam turbine. The other end is the actual generator.
This is what it takes to monitor the power
This is the "shipping department", the transformer that connects to the electric grid.
During my tour I noticed that the two real bosses were making sure all the employees were hard at work, earning their pay. These two were busy making sure time is not wasted. As we all know, all cats are experienced at generating static electricity, these 2 are experts at generating power electricity!