Jul 5, 2011 5:47 PM by David Ortiviz

Group proposes cleaner technology for Canon City plant

A group in Canon City has a bold plan to stop a power plant from closing. They want to re-purpose the plant--adding new technologies and creating dozens of jobs. However, the group, faces an uphill battle.

The Clark Power Plant in Canon City is scheduled to close by the end of 2013. Twenty-two people will lose their jobs. "We are trying to save the jobs," said Edie McLish, with the Fremont County Economic Development Corporation.

The group wants to retrofit and re-purpose the facility. Their plan is to use cleaner technology to produce power--fuels could include wood waste and even sewage. "The plan we have right now would consist of putting in a fluidized bed boiler as well as a gassification plant," said McLish.

McLish says they would also continue to burn coal which would help support a new coal mine in Florence. "The project would be pivitol for the North Hill coal mine to open, which would create another 70 jobs," said McLish.

All told, the group says the project could add more than a hundred jobs. "For Fremont County right now, that's very important. Our unemployment rate is over 9% right now," said McLish.

However, there are still many unanswered questions such as who will own it? and how much will the project cost? The group hopes to get the governor's support at a meeting in denver next week, then they plan to study those specific issues.

It's an bold vision and there are still challenges ahead. "We're very confident, Fremont County is very supportive for us," said McLish.

The group plans to meet with several state government leaders in Denver on July 14 to pitch their proposal.



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