New Provo Power Plant

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Thanks to a major transformation of the Provo Power Complex, power generation will continue to be part of Provo’s self-sustaining industry—only it will be dramatically cleaner and even more reliable. The current plant produces emissions equivalent to about 555 cars each traveling 12,000 miles per year. The new plant, expected to be operational by June 2017, will emit the equivalent annual emissions of only eight cars, while producing the same amount of electricity!

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  1. When is the open house or is there going to be one and what time if there is

    1. There are two phases to the entire project, the first is the Provo Power Administration offices. This will be completed in the fall, and yes there will be an open house for the new building but the date is still to be determined. The second phase will be the completion of the actual power plant. This will not be complete until later in the fall 2017. We will offer tours for the new power plant upon completion.

  2. jared

    Can we get more data on the old and new plants? Not that I don’t want to believe this but it would be nice to have a way to validate claims.

    1. We invite you to contact Utah Municipal Power Agency (Agency) at 801-798-7489 or to learn more about the differences between the old power plant and the proposed new power plant. The Agency is responsible for building and operating the new Provo Plant.

      Generally, the old Provo Power Plant operated four 2300 kW engines manufactured in the 1970’s by Fairbanks Morse. These engines were dual-fuel meaning that they could either operate on diesel only or a combination of 10% diesel and 90% natural gas as fuel to produce electricity. Using natural gas was cleaner and the plant operated most of the time using natural gas however there was no emission control equipment on these older engines.

      The new engines will be manufactured by Caterpillar and will operate only on natural gas which is much cleaner to burn than diesel fuel. Also the new engines will use the best control technology for emissions. There will be a selective catalytic reduction equipment and oxidation catalyst equipment on the new units. Using only natural gas and with the new emission control equipment, the nitrogen oxide or “NOX” will be reduced 97% from the existing plant. For NOX, the old engines were roughly 6.0 grams/kWh and the new engines will be approximate 0.1 grams/kWh. In summary, these new engines with the new emission controls are significantly cleaner for producing peaking power in serving our community.

      1. Jared
        This can be really confusing given all the numbers and plant history. We will attempt to clarify with the following response to your questions.

        The old Provo Power Plant. As noted in your reference, there were 4 dual fuel engine-generator units (total 10 MW) and a steam turbine-generator unit (7.5 MW) in the building. The 1948 boiler to feed the steam turbine was originally heated by coal and was later converted to natural gas. However, this steam turbine has not been operated in more than fifteen years due to high production costs. The cost to generate electricity from the steam turbine was five times higher than the alternative sources. Since we don’t currently operate the steam facility, it was not considered in our analysis.

        The proposed plant consists of 5 new 2,457 kW natural gas-fired engines with selective catalytic reduction and oxidation catalysts to control emissions (total 12.2 MW). In our example, we examined the reduction of nitrogen oxide or “NOX” on a per kilowatt basis, and not the entire plant. The difference between 0.1 grams (new engines) and 6.0 grams (old engines) of NOX per kilowatt-hour of electricity is 1/60. However, the exact NOX numbers are 0.98 grams for the new engines and 6.31 grams for the old engines. With some rounding of the numbers, we get a 97% reduction of NOX as shown on the graph.

        If you’d like to go through the calculations and plans for the new Provo Power Plant please contact Utah Municipal Power Agency at 801-798-7489 or

      2. Jared

        Thanks for the information so far.

        EPA website- NOX (0.693 g per mile driven) x (12,000 mi/yr) x 1 lb/454 g) = 18.32 lbs of NOX per car

        You have a power plant that produces (before emissions control) .98 g NOX per KWh

        (.98 g NOX kwh) x 12,000 kwh (12 mwh) / 454 (grams per pound) = 25 lbs NOX per 12 mwh

        25 pounds / .1 NOX = .25 pounds of NOX per 12,000 mwh

        10 hours running plant = 2.5 pounds NOX or 7.3 hot summer days for 1 car going 12,000 miles a year.

        7.3 days x 8 cars = 58.624 days of peak power during summer months or July and August producing 12 MWh.

        586 MWh x 1000 (kwh) = 586,000 kwh

        Avg home uses 12,000 kwh a year (US avg) = 5.57 kwh per resident (128,000) a year.

        AC central air takes between 3000 to 5000 an hour or 30 to 50 kwh per day.

        @ 35 kwh a day you could power 19,533 AC units for 9 hours or about 58,000 homes for 3 hours during the day.

        or 48 homes powered for 1 year = 8 cars driving 12,000 miles worth of power generated.

        128,000 residents paying $2 more a month = $3,072,000 a year
        $32,000 per the 48 homes over 20 years to pay off the 30 million to build it.

        So the real question is how many MWH per year does the plant produce?

      3. Jared

        I just realized that 128,000 residents are not paying $2 a year. I haven’t attempted to find the number of customers paying the $2 to $3 a month to pay for power plant.

      4. Jared
        Thanks for your interest in this topic. The production of the plant will vary based on the fluctuations in energy market prices. We suggest that you contact UMPA at 801-798-7489. They are willing to meet with you and review the details of the project. Thanks

  3. Michael A Benedict


    1. Michael, as stated before, there are different phases to this project. If you are referring to the power plant itself, it has been proposed to be completed in the fall of 2017; however, the ground hasn’t been broken yet for the power plant so we do not have a specific timeframe as of yet. If you are referring to the new Power Campus (administration offices), our estimated time for completion is later in September of this year and we will hold a public open house sometime later in the fall.

      You can follow our social media outlets on Twitter: and Facebook: We will post information and announcements for both projects as we get closer. You can also email us at with questions.

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