4/26/2011 4:11:48 PM
The path that the tree took made me start thinking about the complicated process to turn a light bulb on in your house.
Below is a blog entry from the CEO's blog at http://blog.fme.coop/
I love this time of year. Everyone is excited about the holiday season. The decorations are going up everywhere. Last night, I watched the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The Wall Street Journal posted a slideshow this morning demonstrating the journey that the 74-foot tall spruce tree took. The tree came from Putnam County in New York. The tree was in the yard of a first responder for the FDNY during the 2001 terrorist attacks. The path that the tree took made me start thinking about the complicated process to turn a light bulb on in your house.
It all starts with the mining of coal. It has been said many times how important this little black rock is to our state and our country. Ninety-two percent (92%) of our electricity in Kentucky comes from coal-based generation. The coal gets to our power plant in Maysville, Kentucky typically by barges traveling up and down the Ohio River.
Once the coal arrives in Mason County, it is unloaded and put into our coal yard. In this yard, we have an inventory of coal to meet the needs of our plant for 45 days. A myriad of belts and motors then transport the coal into the boiler to be burned. The burning of the coal is then used to convert water to steam. This steam is under extreme pressure and is used to turn the turbines to make the electricity.
Once this part of the process is complete the electrons begin a journey down a long string of wires, basically an extension cord, to your house. It travels very fast down thousands of miles of aluminum wires. Fleming-Mason Energy maintains over 8,000 miles of wires and nearly 50,000 poles.
We often take for granted the flip of a light switch to make the lights come on in our homes. However, the process of getting a single kilowatt to your house is a long one from the coalfields to the power plant and over the wires. It takes a lot of technology and hard work to make this happen.
Please have a safe and happy holiday.