Built in the early 1950ís, Clifty Creek is situated on 820 acres along the Ohio River in Jefferson County, Indiana. All six of its generating units are rated at 217.26 megawatts (MW), for a total capacity of 1,303.56 MW Ė enough to power a city of one million people. When they began operation, the Clifty Creek Station, along with its twin, the Kyger Creek Station, were the largest power plants ever built by private industry.
The Clifty Creek Station was built to provide power to the Atomic Energy Commissionís gaseous diffusion plant sited at Piketon, Ohio. The plantís electricity output helped power that facility until the supply agreement ended in 2003. Since then, power produced by Clifty Creek has been supplied to its sponsoring companies, according to their ownership share.
The plant holds records for efficiency and has an exemplary record for availability. During that first year of operation, Clifty Creek, with a heat rate (the measure of unit efficiency) of 9,143 BTUs per kilowatt-hour of generation, was the nationís second most efficient plant, behind only the Kyger Creek Station. For much of its life, the plant has experienced availability in excess of 90 percent. Clifty Creek continues to perform well as it ages, with availability hovering near 85 percent. 2015 will mark the plantís 60th anniversary.
Coal arrives by barge and is stored in the plantís coal yard. The coal burned at Clifty Creek is from the Illinois Coal Basin. Conveyor belts carry the coal from the yard into the plant where pulverizers grind the coal into a fine, talcum powder-like consistency. The powdered coal is injected into the boilers where it burns at high temperatures turning water circulating in the boilers into steam.
The steam is then directed into the turbines where it turns blades (much like wind turning a windmill). The spinning turbine drives a generator that produces electricity.
Because electricity cannot be stored, it is generated the instant a customer needs it. The generators produce electricity at 15,500 volts. Transformers outside the plant step up the voltage to 345,000 volts so that it can be transmitted efficiently to customers.If you would like to read about Clifty Creek's Emission Controls click here .