Fire In The Hole – Ritchie Power Plant Implosion

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LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – At 8 a.m. on Friday, Entergy imploded one of three retired electricity generating units at the Ritchie Power Plant near Helena.

Entergy is removing all above-ground structures to make the site available for future industrial development opportunities.

The implosion was a milestone in the plant’s demolition, which began in June and is expected to be completed in 2015. A second unit will be brought down in a similar fashion in 2015. The plant was retired from service in 2013 as part of a process to modernize the company’s generating portfolio to match ongoing and projected supply needs.

“Going back more than 100 years, Arkansas has been on the frontier of modern electricity,” said Hugh McDonald, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, Inc. “We must continue to anticipate and plan for the electrical needs of our customers well into the future. This is just one of the many steps in modernizing our part of the electrical grid and, at the same time, making this space available for something productive.”

Built during the 1960’s, The Ritchie Plant housed three units that could produce 918 megawatts of electricity. To properly dismantle the facilities, Entergy has contracted with PRC Environmental, Inc. to handle the project. Plans are to remove all of the site’s above-ground structures, with the exception of the transmission switchyard. Entergy will work with the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the cooling water intake structures and the oil dock from the Mississippi River.