An existing power plant in Iowa is making more electricity. Renee Nelson, a spokeswoman at the Duane Arnold Energy Center, in Palo, says during a recent scheduled outage, technicians did routine maintenance and more. They schedule the outages every 2 years or so, but the one this spring was long — 37 days. She says in that time they put in larger cooling ponds, bigger motors, and stronger equipment that’ll let the plant increase its generation capacity. The plant can now generate 2-point-8-percent more electricity than it did before. It doesn’t sound like much, but Nelson points out that’s enough to power 16-thousand more homes than before. Nelson says operators got approval back in 2001 to increase the plant’s generation capacity, and since then has gone about it in stages. They increased in 8-percent in 2001, and this year increased it another 2-point-8 percent. It’s been a slow process and the plant got capital investments during that time. During the maintenance outage she says checks also revealed that the plant’s in good condition. A 600-megawatt nuclear plant, Duane Arnold generates enough electricity to serve 448-thousand homes.
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