BOUNTIFUL — Standing outside the updated Bountiful Light & Power building at 200 West, the sound of a single cars driving by is louder than all three natural gas generators, even when they run at full bore.
In fact, the generators that can supply electricity to all Bountiful residents and businesses are disguised by their building’s updated architecture to an extent that the building fits right in with homes and other businesses in the neighborhood.
“We worked hard to make it quiet and aesthetically pleasing as you drive by,” said Bountiful City Power Director Allen Ray Johnson on a recent tour with the city council. “We paid extra for enclosures, the building, the hospital-grade mufflers.”
Inside, the city’s two new generators are encased in painted metal boxes that are nearly as big as a semi-trailer. They contain giant silver spheres wrapped with dozens of industrial tubes leading to a second, smaller shaft.
During Tuesday’s tour, councilmembers curiously examined the new machine. Their ears were stuffed with foam earplugs to lessen the roar of the turbine, whose doors are usually closed. Standing close to the doors of the turbine proves the quality of their soundproofing С even without earplugs, you can’t hear a thing, Johnson demonstrated.
On the roof, hidden behind a brick facade and a light-up electricity logo, are dozens of blue-lined air filters plus cooling towers, old concrete and rust emissions towers and a maze of painted beige pipes that bring in natural gas.
The new turbines and updates to the building, including a new dispatch and control center, cost about $25 million. The city took out bonds for $15 million of that and paid for the other $10 million outright.
Three months after their installation, the new turbines are saving money, Johnson said. They have also cut pollution dramatically, creating fewer than 100 tons of nitrogen oxide annually while creating 24 megawatts at a time, compared to up to 900 tons of nitrogen oxide emitted by older diesel generators that created one-third of the electricity.
Bountiful leaders also praised the new generators as environmentally friendly because they are air-cooled and therefore use much less water than the old models.
For more information check out the Oct.11 edition of Davis Clipper.