STOREY COUNTY, NV-- Right off USA Parkway near the wild horses sits the Frank A. Tracy Generating Station commonly known as the Tracy Power Plant.
“On peak we will be producing 500 megawatts.Today we will produce about half of Northern Nevada’s Energy requirements,” said Brian Lawson, director, Tracy Power Plant.
The turbines that produce energy need to be kept cool. NV Energy says the older water cooling towers use about 1500 gallons a minute to cool the turbines. In a year's time that would equate to roughly two feet of water from Donner Lake. That is a lot water to use in a drought.
As the older towers begin to be phased out, NV Energy would like them to be replaced with systems that use little or no water similar to their dry cooling system that was constructed in 2008. It has 30 massive fans that suck up air.
“Works a lot like a radiator on a car,” Lawson said. “Air is forced up through some tube where steam is condensed and put back into our system. Virtually uses no water. That water can be used in Reno for growth.”