Sunday, May 3, 2009

Capitol Plant to Shift to Natural Gas

From the Washington Post Web Site
The U.S. Capitol Power Plant, the largest single source of air pollution in the District, will switch to burning mainly natural gas in an attempt to lower its emissions, congressional officials announced yesterday.

The plant, a few blocks southeast of the Capitol, provides steam for heating the Capitol complex. Democratic leaders have made converting it to a cleaner-burning fuel a centerpiece of their "Green the Capitol" initiative.

In a letter, the Architect of the Capitol's office said it might cost $1 million to design the modifications to convert the plant's boilers to burn more natural gas, and $9 million to carry them out. When the work is done, officials said, the plant will burn coal only as a backup fuel, when equipment fails or temperatures are unusually cold.

The conversion could be completed as early as November 2010. -- David A. Fahrenthold

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