After more than 55 years of helping power Texas, Lake Creek Plant’s Unit 1 boiler and stack came down with a boom around 9 a.m. on Friday in McLennan County. Imploding the unit is the first significant step in the demolition and recycling effort of the plant’s two inactive, retired natural gas-powered steam units.
Employees, retirees and local business leaders gathered to watch as the 1950s-era unit was imploded using 140 charges and 80 pounds of dynamite. While the unit came down in just seconds, there are years of memories and comradery at Lake Creek, according to Mike McCovey, retired Lake Creek shift foreman.
“Lake Creek was a very special place. Everyone took care of everyone else and you were a part of the group,” McCovey said. “If you needed help, there was someone there to give you a hand and you were always ready to return the favor.”
Following the implosion, roughly 95 percent of recyclable materials, including steel, copper and parts and pieces of large equipment will be sent to recycling centers around the world.
Watch an explosive, up-close video clip from the implosion:
Lake Creek Quick Facts:
- Lake Creek Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1953 and was retired in 2009. Unit 2 is expected to be imploded this fall.
- Lake Creek Unit 1 and Unit 2 operating capacity and homes powered: 317 megawatts – enough to power about 159,000 homes on an annual basis and 63,000 during the summer peak.
- During full operation, roughly 50 full-time employees helped power Texas at Lake Creek.