Southern Company Coal Plant Robert W. Scherer has been awarded the 2017 Powder River Basin Coal Users Group Plant of the Year award this spring during the PRB Users Group meeting at the Electric Power Expo in Chicago.

Plant Scherer is the seventh largest electric generating plant in the United States. With the first unit commissioned in 1982, Plant Scherer currently is comprised of 4 independent units (870 MWs – Commercial 1982; 930 MWs – Commercial 1984; 915 MWs – Commercial 1987; 915 MWs – Commercial 1989) generating almost 4GWs of power. Burning 12 Million Tons of coal each year, Plant Scherer receives 3 trains (135 cars) of coal each day. The Plant Scherer unloading process uses an air-dump system and the cars are unloaded from the bottom as they pass over an unloading trestle. This means trains do not actually stop while unloading and the whole train-load is unloaded in ~90 minutes.

Plant Scherer has undergone a number of recent improvements to equipment and technology including Engart units, Gravity feeders, Wash-down systems, New chutes designed to reduce dust as well as Plant LED lighting. These upgrades are coupled with process improvements in fuel flow flexibility (Maintenance Strategy; Process Strategy) and general process improvements (Annual Southern Company PRB Walk-down; Coal leaks are repaired immediately; 3D modeling and design technology; Multi-angle approach to address TPE issues). These continuing upgrades and process improvements make Scherer an exemplary plant and the model for a PRB plant of the Year.

Acensium LLC 3D scanning services and material handling design engineering consultants have worked extensively with Plant Scherer to facilitate retrofit projects and as-built services before, during and after projects. Acensium provides accurate laser-scanned as-built services, modeling engineering retrofit projects. With decades of engineering experience, Acensium couples professional utility-engineering consulting-knowledge with cutting-edge laser scanning, 3D modeling and augmented reality technology with industry-leading results.