On February 26th, 2010, City Council, Staff, and Keizer citizenís visited a Natural Gas Fired power plant operated by Puget Sound Energy in Goldendale, WA. This plant is extremely similar to the plant being proposed in the City of Keizer. The Goldendale plant produces 248MW and the plant proposed for Keizer would produce 400MW. While the production is nearly 2/3 larger than the potential Keizer plant, the size of plant would be roughly the same.
During the Keizer groupís visit, the plant was operating at full capacity. Upon arrival, we parked behind the administration building (a one story building, 50ft deep and roughly 50ft from the plant itself) and from this location, noise was minimal and vibration from the plant was virtually nonexistent. In the clear space between the back of the administration building and the plant, a low level noise could be heard and maybe a slight amount of vibration (though that was probably just low frequency sound from the cooling fan blades turning through the air). At no point was the noise uncomfortable or difficult to talk over at normal speaking levels. The plant operator said they take noise readings at the fence line every week (fence line is about 50-feet from the edge of the plant). At no point does the noise exceed 50db at the fence and it is at about 30db at 30-feet past the fence. Normal talking is approximately 45db and a mild wind (6-10mph) is more than 30db. If it were located where the developer is proposing in Keizer, the noise from I-5 would be significantly more noticeable than any noise from the plant.
The steam evaporation tower was relatively unobtrusive. At 150ft tall, it functions as an air cooler and emits no steam at all. The water cooling units are only about 30-feet tall and the steam they produced hovered in a small radius and dissipated shortly after reaching the fence line. There is no smoke. All emissions are pure steam from distilled water. In addition, there was no smell being emitted from the plant.
The Goldendale plant employs 20 employees and hundreds more during the construction phase of the facility.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact Assistant to the City Manager, Kevin Watson. 503.390.3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the City's Facebook page for more information.