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Harrington Generating Station

Harrington Generating Station

This is a coal-fired, steam-electric generating plant


Location: Northeast of Amarillo, Texas

Plant Description: Harrington Station is a coal-fired, steam-electric generating station with three operating units.

Power Production Capabilities: 1,018 megawatts (MW): Unit 1 – 339 MW, Unit 2 – 339 MW, and Unit 3 – 340 MW.

Fuel Source: Low-sulfur coal supplied primarily from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.

Plant History

Harrington Station was the first modern coal-fired power plant brought into the Southwestern Public Service Company system (one of the predecessor companies to Xcel Energy). Unit 1 was completed in 1976, Unit 2 in 1978 and Unit 3 in 1980.

Interesting Features

Harrington Station was named to honor the late Don Harrington, a prominent businessman and philanthropist who was a member of Southwestern Public Service Company’s board of directors.

Environmental Highlights

The plant neighbors Xcel Energy's Nichols Station, a natural gas plant. The two use about 15 million gallons of recycled water (treated sewage effluent) a day from the City of Amarillo for cooling – saving fresh water for other purposes. The “recycling” or reclaiming of the effluent is particularly important in the semiarid region of the Texas Panhandle. The plants’ “waste” waters are used to irrigate grasses, seed crops, and forage on nearby farmland. The company is a pioneer in this type of water recycling, which began in the early 1960s, and now is used throughout the nation by many industries. Harrington Station is a “zero discharge” plant, which means no process waters are discharged off-site.

The company pioneered another major environmental breakthrough for the electric utility industry at the Harrington-Nichols complex. The company constructed at Harrington’s Unit 2 the first-ever large scale “baghouse” for use on a new utility boiler burning coal. Baghouses act like giant vacuum cleaners, removing particulate emissions from the flue gas by more than 99 percent. The efforts at Harrington eventually set the performance standard now required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the nation’s electric utilities to meet for baghouse technology. All of the ash – coal combustion byproducts – captured at Harrington is sold for use in construction, road fill and other technologies rather than going to a landfill.

Community Involvement

Harrington Station and its employees support many local and regional nonprofit and civic organizations and educational institutions.

For more information contact:

Texas Plant Information and Tour Requests — 1-806-257-7000
Texas Media Inquiries — 1-806-378-2714
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Why do our products and services differ based on state? Because our business is regulated by state. We have regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. The different regulatory body for each state we serve determines what products and services we deliver in that state.