Power Plants Keeping Everyone Cool


Friday, July 15th 2011, 5:56 pm
By: News 9


Gan Matthews, News 9

HARRAH, Oklahoma -- Keeping cool requires air conditioning, air conditioning requires electricity, and electricity requires modern power plants.

At OG&E's Horseshoe Lake power plant the turbines are working overtime these days.

Natural gas powers the turbines to make electricity, and keeping the turbines working is the job of people in the control room.

Jo Worthen monitors the turbines, watching out for excess vibrations.

"I'm happy to help in any way I can to keep the power on and keep the air conditioner on for sure," she says.

Every power plant requires a water source for cooling. The plant draws cooling water from the nearby North Canadian River, but the river's level is way down, so low that water can't flow into the plant's existing pumping system.

"The whole plant is dependent on river water for cooling the plant, cooling the equipment, cooling the dentures on the turbines. Without the water we can't run," Worthen says.

So plant engineers have constructed new pumps and extended new pipes below the water surface.

"We were kind of getting into a crisis with our lake. we were getting too low. But now we're starting to make back up. We're getting about an inch or two a day back in the lake," Worthen says.

From the river, to the lake, to the boilers and generators, eventually to your living room. It's a crucial chain that must stay intact to keep the current flowing and Oklahomans cool.