Rawhide project earns award

Ash management system proactively installed


The innovative coal ash management system, installed at Platte River’s Rawhide Energy Station (Unit 1) in 2018, recently earned the Best Project Winner in the Energy/Industrial category from Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mountain States

The ENR recognition, announced in early August, ranked the Rawhide project as the top-rated Energy/Industrial construction development in Utah, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota. The competition also recognized other industries, such as new schools, highway infrastructure, government buildings and more. A panel of 12 judges, including architects, general contractors, consultants, designers, and engineers, selected this year’s winners. The Rawhide project is now eligible to earn recognition as 2019’s overall regional project. 

“Platte River proactively upgrades generating and transmission assets so we can continue to safely provide reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to our owner communities,” said Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO of Platte River Power Authority. “We are pleased to be recognized by Engineering News-Record for this award, which demonstrates the ongoing commitment to excellence across the organization by our board of directors, management team and dedicated staff.” 

The Rawhide project was designed by Burns & McDonnell. The firm, which is ranked No. 1 in Power by ENR, partnered with Platte River Power Authority, Babcock & Wilcox and TEiC Construction Services and Industrial Constructors / Managers, Inc. to complete the project. 


“From concept and design to the final construction phases, we were honored to partner with Platte River and their subcontractors to deliver an innovative energy solution that meets the power demands of the community as well as new federal regulations,” says Mark Lichtwardt, senior vice president and general manager of Burns & McDonnell in Denver, Colorado. 

Current EPA regulations call for all U.S. generating stations to modify practices where water is used to transport coal combustion residuals (CCR) and in many cases, to close impoundments that store wet CCR. Beginning in 2016, Platte River evaluated several engineering design options to modify the ash handling system at Rawhide and decided to replace its old ash management system during a planned outage in 2018, proactively ending water-based sluicing operations before the EPA determined this would be a regulatory requirement. The decision also enables an early start to CCR impoundment closure. 

The new ash management system uses a minimum amount of water to cool the ash from the bottom of Unit 1’s boiler. A conveyor system separates what little water is used from the ash where it can be treated on-site and returned for use in Rawhide’s closed-loop water system. The ash is transferred out of the building and transported to the state-approved monofill located on the station’s 4,560-acre facility. 

Rawhide has been recognized as one of the most reliable and efficient generating units of its kind in the nation. We have earned our strong reputation through the dedication and hard work of our employees, and by thoughtfully and proactively investing in its operations for the long- term benefit of our owner communities,” said Frisbie. 

Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider that delivers safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado for delivery to their utility customers. 

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