Through her job, Ann procures the opportunity to tour a large coal-fired power plant. I’m mostly curious as a consumer of electricity to see one of the more environmentally problematic methods of power generation up close. The San Juan Generating Station, at 1800 megawatts, would be capable of powering New Mexico by itself if it was wholly owned by the state. It’s a plant that has been criticized for air quality problems, in a county where smog levels recently exceeded federal health standards. Unfortunately I don’t think to take a picture of the very visible brown haze over the San Juan valley, but I get quite a bit of footage of the facility itself. On a brighter note, much of our tour centers on the environmental improvements being implemented as a result of a lawsuit that promise great reduction in pollution emissions. The tour guides were understandably a little touchy about the brown cloud, and suggested that the nearby Four Corners plant was probably the cause. Aside from that, these guys were very open to questions, and proud of their improvements.
To get the rest of the details, click the full screen button at the lower right of the slideshow, then “Info On” at the top:
The satellite view of the plant is a must-see:
In great contrast to the day, we finish by heading to Chaco Canyon for a clear, silent, peaceful Halloween night outdoors.