Empire's Asbury power plant is currently retrofitting their equipment to be more environmentally friendly to meet the EPA's standards. Construction on the project began in the Spring of 2012. They expect to be finished at the beginning of next year. Empire's Director of Energy Supply Services, Tim Wilson tells News Talk KZRG the new Air Quality Control Center will greatly reduce emissions.
"We'll see reductions of SO2 up to 90%. In terms of particulate matter, which is essentially just a fancy word for dust particles, we'll reduce that by about 99%. And mercury up to 85%."
Wilson says customers should expect to see a rate increase once the $130 million project is complete.
"By law, we cannot put the costs associated with this plant improvement into rates until it's complete. Customers would see that reflected on their bill in early 2015."
While construction is going on, 150 temporary jobs had been added, and four permanent jobs will be added upon completion.