Check out this compilation of timelapse images taken of a coal-fired power plant south of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Shot by photographer Jeff Grewe with Canon 5D Mark I and Mark II cameras and accompanied by chilling music from "The Shining", the video makes a powerful statement, in spite of the photographer's apolitical intent.
"I am not making a political statement with this video," writes the photographer Grewe, a tree-climbing arborist by day. "My intentions are purely artistic. The imagery is intense and I found audio to compliment it."
While Grew isn't making a political statement with the video, he must have known when he sent it to me that I'd probably make one...
Formerly known as the Council Bluffs Energy Center, the 1600-megawatt, 4-unit Walter Scott, Jr. Energy Center is operated by Warren Buffet's principal energy holdings company, MidAmerican Energy. In 2007, the plant changed its name and cleaned up its act a bit.
The power plant's major overhaul included the installation of advanced scrubbers and Hitachi Supercritical boilers that burn pulverized coal at extremely high temperatures, cutting NOx emissions and reducing CO2 emissions per unit of electricity generated. But along with the overhaul of the older units, MidAmerican also added a fourth unit, effectively doubling the size of the power plant.
When a coal plant nearly doubles in size, there are bound to be more nasties around--not only in the air, but in the ground and nearby bodies of water--simply because of the increase in the daily tonnage of coal burned at the plant.
According to the Institute for Southern Studies, the plant is the 35th dirtiest coal-fired power plant in the U.S. in terms of combustion waste stored in on-site impoundment ponds like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill in December of 2008.
Video courtesy of Jeff Grewe. Follow him on twitter at @arboresthetics.