Jim Bridger Plant is named for the renowned explorer and mountain man, John Jim Bridger.
His pioneering spirit is alive today in the way this power facility has responded to its role as a low-cost energy producer, resource manager
and environmental steward. Energy, a natural resource. A massive amount of energy is held by nature beneath the rugged, beautiful face
of Wyoming: oil, gas, uranium, coal.
That geologic legacy is the foundation of what today is one
of the largest electric generating complexes in the Rocky
Mountain area: the coal-fueled Jim Bridger steam-electric plant.
Sub-bituminous coal stretches out for miles just beneath
the surface of southwestern Wyoming; the product of
forests and swamps changed by time into vast coal seams.
It is the energy locked in that coal that enables this facility
to produce up to 2,119,000 kilowatts of electricity per hour
from four generating units. That electricity serves people
throughout the West. To get the job done requires the talents
of nearly 350 skilled and dedicated Wyoming residents.
People, power and production
Converting coal into electric energy available at the flip
of a switch can be described in just a few words: coal is
burned to produce high-pressure steam that spins large
turbine-generators, which produce electricity. In practice,
this process requires a complex blending of systems.
Four operating units, each with a 2,800-degree furnace,
produce 1,000-degree steam, which turn turbines.