Watch the old Corette plant smokestack coming down


Gary Helmbrecht

A still from Gary Helmbrecht’s video shows the smokestack at the old J.E. Corette plant just as it’s starting to fall.

The 350-foot smokestack on the old J.E. Corette coal-fired power plant in Billings came down Friday morning.

As part of the demolition of the plant, which PPL Montana closed last spring because it could not meet new mercury pollution standards, the smokestack was brought down by explosives about 8 a.m.

Gary Helmbrecht, who works in the Water Production Division at the city water plant, just upstream of the old power plant, shot this video from the water plant’s grounds.

Asked if he could feel it when the stack hit the ground, Helmbrecht said, “Oh, yeah.”

After the plant closed, PPL Montana spun the power plant and other properties off to Talen Energy, which is charge of the demolition and cleaning up the site.

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