Coffeen Power Plant Tour

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

On August 21, 2019 Vistra announced the closing of the Coffeen Power Plant located in Montgomery County Illinois. The power plant ceased operations November 1, 2019. A couple weeks prior to closing, on behalf of the Historical Society of Montgomery County I was allowed to photograph the entire facility while the plant was still operating. I want to thank Terri Mackey for helping set up the tour.

Beautiful view of Coffeen Lake from the roof of the Coffeen Power Station.
Beautiful view of Coffeen Lake from the roof of the Coffeen Power Station.

Coffeen Power Station - Coal To Kilowatts

(From 1965)

Coal from the nearby Truax-Traer mine is burned to produce heat which changes the water circulating through the tubes in the boiler to steam. This high-pressure, high-temperature steam then moves into the turbine where it strikes the turbine blades, causing the turbine to revolve at 3,600 rpm. The turbine and generator are attached to the same shaft, both whirling in unison. In the generator, an electric current is produced as magnets attached to the shaft rotate within a huge bank of copper wires attached to the inside of the generator. Electricity is generated at 22,000 volts. A giant transformer, located just outside the power station building, "steps up" the voltage (pressure) to 345,000 volts for transmission over the CIPS power lines. After the steam passes though the turbine, it is condensed back to water, then returned to the boilers, in a continuing cycle. Cooling water is then returned to the lake, also in a continuing cycle.


Unit One Built By:

  • Consolidated Coal Co. - Truax-Traer Division

  • Babcock & Wilcox Co. - Universal Pressure Boiler

  • General Electric Co. - Turbine Generator

  • Worthington Corp. - Condensing Equipment

  • Westinghouse Electric Corp. - Transformers


Photo Release: November 1, 2021

01-Turbine deck looking east at Unit 1 turbine

02-Turbine deck looking southeast at Unit 1 boiler

03-Turbine deck looking at Unit 1 main steam STOP valves and control valves

04-Unit 1 soda fountain (turbine extraction valves) and main steam STOP valves

05-Turbine deck looking west at Unit 1 high pressure steam line

06-Turbine deck looking at U2 main steam STOP and control valves

07-Unit 1 control valves and turbine

08-Digital control system equipment

09-Digital control system equipment

10-Main control room

11-Main control room

12-Main control room

13-Standing on Unit 1 boiler roof looking north at the main switch yard

14-Standing on Unit 1 boiler roof looking southwest at the scrubber

15-Standing on Unit 1 boiler roof overlooking scrubber equipment and the crib house (lake intake equipment)

16-Standing on Unit 1 boiler roof looking at "C" belts (coal conveying belts). Auxiliary boiler stack is on the right.

17-Standing on Unit 1 boiler roof looking south at the abandoned stack, coal pile, crusher house, coal pile settling pond, and Coffeen Lake

18-Unit 2 precipitator with the coal pile to the left of it

19-Dewatering bins

20-Steam soot blowers

21-Nuva system (fly ash collection system)

22-(L) "Old" Unit 2 precipitator, (R) Unit 2 precipitator, (middle)-old stack

23-"C" coal conveyor belts above Unit 1 axial fans

24-"A" coal conveyor belts

25-Coal crusher

26-Coal crusher

27-"C" conveyor belts feeding the boilers; ID (induced air) fans duct work

28-Coal conveyors

29-"A" conveyor belts feeding the crusher house

30-Scrubber recycle pump motors

31-Scrubber auxiliary air blowers

32-Scrubber equipment

33-Scrubber air compressors

34-Scrubber ball mills

35-Scrubber area

36-Scrubber product tank

37-Side shot of a scrubber stairwell

38-Electrical and product raceways from the scrubber to the gypsum ponds

39-Looking east towards Unit 1 SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system and boiler building

40-Looking west at Unit 2 ductwork going to the scrubber

41-Looking east at the old Unit 2 ID (induced draft) fans

42-Crib house intake at Coffeen Lake & circulating water pumps

43-Crib house building on the right with Coffeen Lake on the left

44-Scrubber stack on the right emitting clean water vapor; scrubber product raceway

45-Main office building (painted gray); water plant to the right of the main office

46-Unit 2 cyclone coal burner

47-STOP (slag tank overflow pump) house

48-Unit 2 stator coolers on the right; stage tank service water pumps to the left

49-Unit 2 main floor aisle way with slag tank service water pumps on the right

50-Unit 2 main and auxiliary power transformers

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