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New scrubbers set for testing at PSNH plant in Bow

BOW — Public Service of New Hampshire plans to begin testing new scrubber technology at its Bow power plant as early as this weekend.

The sure sign that testing is in progress will be a white plume of water vapor coming from the chimney that is part of a $430 million mercury and sulfur scrubber.

The scrubber system is meant to remove 80 percent of the mercury and 90 percent of the sulfur emissions from flue gases at the coal-fired plant. It was installed to comply with a state law that passed in 2006. The law required the scrubbers to be in place by July 2013, but it provided incentives for early completion.

Company spokesman Martin Murray said the white plume will be visible whenever the plant is running, but will be more noticeable at some times more than others, depending on weather conditions.

PSNH director of generation Bill Smagula said that the project brought $50 million of spending to the local economy, and involved 50 New Hampshire companies.

The Bow plant, named Merrimack Station, sits on the banks of the Merrimack River and generates 445 megawatts of electricity.

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