Hunter Plant is named for E. Allan Hunter, a former president of Utah Power & Light Co., which is now Rocky Mountain Power. Unit I of the plant was commissioned in 1978 on a 1,000 acre site near Castle Dale, Utah. Two more units were added during the following five years. Hunter Plant has a generating capability of 1,320 megawatts. PacifiCorp operates the plant and owns 1,132 megawatts of the output. Co-owners Deseret Generation & Transmission Cooperative, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems and Provo City receive the remainder of the output.
Approximately 4.5 million tons of sub-bituminous coal is burned at Hunter Plant per year. The coal burned at Hunter Plant is supplied by Deer Creek Mine. PacifiCorp owns and operates Deer Creek Mine. Coal is also supplied from Sufco, Westridge and Dug Out mines. Coal from these mines is blended in order to ensure a fuel that is best suited to the units. The coal is burned by a boiler that is 20 stories tall to produce steam at 2,400 pounds of pressure per square inch and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Pipes then carry steam to the turbine to turn its blades. The turbine then engages the generator to produce electricity.
The spent steam is sent to the condenser. In the condenser, cool water tubes transform the steam back into water. The water is returned to the boiler. In the boiler the water is heated into steam again to repeat the cycle. Excess heat is sent to large cooling towers. At the cooling towers, the heat is transferred into the atmosphere. Transferring the heat into the atmosphere creates the white plumes that are often seen rising above the plant.
A cloth filter bag house is used to control particulate emissions. Wet lime scrubbers have been added to control sulfur dioxide emissions. Through the years of operation, modifications have been added to reduce emissions and increase operating efficiency.
Water needed for plant operations is brought into the plant by a pipeline from Cottonwood Creek. Cottonwood Creek is fed by water from two sources, Joe’s Valley Reservoir and a pipeline from Millsite Reservoir. After leaving Hunter Plant, electricity travels through high voltage transmission lines to substations in central Utah. From there, electricity is distributed to consumers.