COLUMBIA — Dave Patterson opens the hatch to one of two coal furnaces at Columbia’s Municipal Power Plant to reveal a cauldron of fire that could only conjure images of hell. Fire rushed over a bed of glowing red-orange coals toward a series of black pipes positioned vertically along the far wall. The pipes are filled with water that the heat converts to steam that is then used to drive turbines that generate electricity.
City faces tough decisions on energy
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