Jeffrey Energy Center

Jeffrey Energy Center

Location: St. Marys, Kansas

Client: Westar Energy

Services: Geotechnical


Geotechnology provided geotechnical subsurface exploration and engineering for the flue gas desulphurization equipment (FGD) rebuild at the coal and wind-powered Jeffrey Energy Center. We provided these services for the three existing coal-fired units of the St. Marys, KS-based plant.

This project included modification of 12 ID fans and installation of six new transformers. We also made improvements to the limestone crushing and sludge dewatering facilities.

Jeffrey Energy Center Project Background

Geotechnology performed subsurface utility engineering, which incorporated geophysical methods, to clear utilities prior to the field exploration at the operating facility. Our geotechnical services consisted of site reconnaissance and drilling 15 borings. Additionally, we conducted downhole seismic testing, laboratory testing and engineering analyses.

We performed downhole seismic survey to acquire shear and compressional wave velocity parameters. These parameters were provided to Burns & McDonnell for their use in vibration analyses. Downhole rather than crosshole seismic was performed due to the “noise” generated in the bedrock from the nearby operating equipment. In addition, we provided recommendations for mat foundations or drilled shafts bearing on or in bedrock.

Other services included returning to the site and drilling seven probe holes at selected locations to determine subsurface conditions near the edge of the foundation modifications. Due to access constraints, coring machines were used to core through the surface concrete. Following surface concrete coring, a Bobcat mounted with solid stem augers was used to penetrate the underlying soil and fill materials down to auger refusal. This information was used by Burns & McDonnell for construction purposes.