BYRON, Ill. - Exelon Generation's Byron Station will begin a yearlong maintenance project to upgrade equipment inside both its cooling towers.
The 500-foot high towers cool river water used in the electricity-producing part of the facility. The facility's reactors have separate cooling equipment.
Exelon employees and approximately two hundred supplemental contractors will replace the towers' baffle-like water filters used for cooling. The work will occur during each of the station's planned fall and spring refueling outages.
"This overhaul will aid the station in providing the carbon-free electricity our customers need, which is especially important during this hot summer," said Byron Station Site Vice President Tim Tulon.
Workers are staging 50 portable water-cooling units around the base of the Unit 2 tower that will provide additional cooling during a portion of the project. Silt and debris has collected in the filters over decades of electricity production slowing the water cooling process.
Local residents will see water vapor emitting from the small water cooling units. Station personnel will determine if the water vapor will have any visual affect on German Church Road motorists. Caution signs will be installed, if needed.
"Our project will not impede traffic in front of our facility," Tulon said. "We will work with local officials and agencies to ensure the public is made aware of our progress."
With both units at full power, the site produces almost 2,300 megawatts net 24 hours a day, enough electricity for 2.3 million homes. Byron Generating Station is in Ogle County, Ill., about 25 miles southwest of Rockford.