Because of its strategic location within the Denver city area, Cherokee provides crucial electrical generation as well as grid accuracy within the distribution system to keep Denver and the surrounding area humming.
Cherokee was built as a coal-fired plant, but has undergone a complete makeover as part of Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs legislation. A new natural gas combined cycle plant went online in 2015, capable of producing almost 580 megawatts of cleaner energy. The new gas-fired facility is comprised of two combustion turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and a steam turbine.
Original coal fired Units 1, 2 and 3 have been retired. Unit 4 will be converted from coal to natural gas by the end of 2017.
Cherokee’s new gas-fired units operate much cleaner than the original coal-fired units.
The plant uses and returns water to the Platte River. The plant has strict standards for all water discharged back to the river. Cherokee also has taken steps to reduce fresh water consumption. The facility is Denver Water’s largest customer of its re-use water facility.
The plant has partnered with Audubon Colorado to install a Wildscapes demonstration garden on plant property. Wildscapes gardens provide important features that invite wild creatures and encourage them to stay—shelter, nesting needs, food and water. Situated in an area accessible to public tours, the garden is visible to hundreds of visitors that tour Cherokee Station each year.
Cherokee Station hosts a number of tours and special programs throughout the year for various groups and organizations in the Denver metro area. Plant employees also are active supporters of United Way.
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