Newington Station

Built in the early 1970s, the Newington Station, also known as the Newington Power Plant, is located near Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Owned by Public Services of New Hampshire (PSNH) it is their largest single unit, and one of the most flexible. The plant uses fossil fuel to generate electricity, and is able to burn either natural gas or low-sulfur fuel oil, or a combination of both. This flexibility increases reliability and helps to keep electric rates low. Fully operational by June 1974 but capable of burning only fuel oil, it was converted to the duel fuel burning capacity by adding gas burners and gas lines in a process completed in June 1992. It is now able to generate 406 megawatts of power, and with its ability to burn more than one fuel, it is more cost effective. The Newington Plant can burn whichever fuel has the lowest cost at the time of purchase. Over the last two decades, Newington Station has been modified to improve air quality. Large electrostatic precipitators were installed to remove ash particles. Additionally, using various combustion process methods, the amount of nitrogen oxide emitted by Newington Station has been reduced by more than 50 percent since 1992. Newington Station has also been recently upgraded to comply with federal and state air quality standards. Electrostatic precipitators were installed in the flues to trap ash particles from the exhaust and prevent it from releasing into the atmosphere. The company states nitrogen oxide and sulfur emissions have been reduced by half since 1992. Wet flue gas technology, known in the industry as "scrubbers," will also be installed to capture mercury and reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. For decades, it was standard procedure for power plants, as well as factories, mills and other large facilities, to use asbestos in building and maintaining the worksites. Asbestos has heat and electricity-resistant properties and was used abundantly in an effort to protect workers from burns, scalding and other heat-related injuries. It unfortunately had a far different result, as asbestos exposure has been linked to mesothelioma, a very hard to treat cancer, as well as other asbestos-related diseases. Workers of these facilities containing asbestos unknowingly inhaled the tiny particles released by the material when handled or damaged, and these particles became embedded in the protective tissue surrounding lungs and other organs, causing respiratory and other health problems. The fibers clung to clothing and were carried home by workers, exposing family members to this toxic substance as well. Former employees of this facility and their family are encouraged by doctors to seek medical screening for the signs and symptoms of asbestos-related conditions, like mesothelioma, which can lie dormant for up to 50 years before developing. Reference: Public Service of New Hampshire