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End of a coal-fired era at the Eastman Business Park

provided photo

There was an historic moment at the Eastman Business Park on Tuesday. Kodak officials marked the arrival of the last train car of coal brought to that plant to fuel its power plant, before the plant’s power system is converted to all natural gas.

The president of the park, Dolores Kruchten, says newer regulations required a major change to be made with the coal-fired plant.

She says coal served the business park for more than a century, during the heyday of film production by Kodak. But with the new boilers, Kruchten says it will not only be cleaner, but provide greater efficiency and a longer life to the facility that provides steam and the generation of electricity. 

“We’ve got another 50 plus years to operate on this so it gives us confidence in the stability of the power generation as well as green energy, greener energy than we had and cost efficiencies,” Kruchten told WXXI News. She says that, “our emissions (are) going down by 50 percent, and the overall efficiency of the system will be improved, because now, we’ll be able to modulate the boilers for the demand that we have, which we didn’t have that capability with the coal boilers.”

The boilers and other utility equipment at Eastman Business Park are now run by a separate company, Recycled Energy Development.

Eastman Business park is now home to more than 100 tenants across a wide range of industries.

This video from the Eastman Business Park Twitter feed:

Exciting day! This is the last shipment of coal being delivered to @RecycledEnergy at EBP. #roc #FLREDC — EastmanBusinessPark (@followEBP) March 13, 2018

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.