MidAmerican makes changes in George Neal scrubber project

MidAmerican Energy is proposing modifications at the coal-fired Unit 4 at the George Neal South plant and the already-permitted new scrubber system for that unit.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was taking public comment until March 26 on an air permit change. The application is shown as still pending as of April 12.

“The final design of the scrubber system removed the vacuum waste and recycle exhausters (6 total) which had exhausted through the Unit 4 boiler, and replaced them with 6 ash blowers under a positive pressure system, which will exhaust through either EP22, the Waste Ash Silo, or EP207, the Recycle Ash Silo,” said a DNR fact sheet on these changes. “A new Lime Truck Loadout Silo, EP212, will be added to the project as well, to allow lime to be unloaded from railcars at George Neal South and then trucked from this silo to the George Neal North facility. The coal pile has also increased in size from 26.9 acres to 42.6 acres, which has been evaluated in the modeling done for this project.”

MidAmerican Energy is installing dry scrubbers and baghouses on George Neal Units 3-4, the company said April 2 in an updated air plan filed with the Iowa Utilities Board. Spencer Moore, Project Director-Supply for MidAmerican, outlined the status of the current plan and a prior such plan approved by the board in 2010. MidAmerican is controlled by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A and BRK.B).

“MidAmerican’s approved 2010 Plan outlined two new projects; one dry scrubber and baghouse project at George Neal Energy Center Unit 3 (‘Neal Unit 3’); and one dry scrubber and baghouse project at George Neal Energy Center Unit 4 (‘Neal Unit 4’),” Moore wrote. “Construction of both projects at the Neal Energy Center started in 2011.”

The GenerationHub database defines George Neal Units 1-3 as part of George Neal North, while George Neal South is Unit 4.

Moore also wrote that MidAmerican is pursuing the installation of activated carbon injection (ACI) and turbine efficiency upgrades at George Neal Unit 3 and George Neal Unit 4 during the 2012-2014 period. Iowa DNR construction permits associated with the dry scrubber and baghouse projects for these units each contain requirements to install more efficient steam turbines or steam turbine sections to improve efficiency and comply with CO2 and CO2 equivalent emissions limits. The construction permits also require the installation of ACI systems to control mercury emissions at these units.

MidAmerican’s Feb. 27 annual Form 10-K report gives these total net power rating for the units mentioned here, and the net power of those co-owned units held by MidAmerican.

  • George Neal Unit 3, 522 MW total, 376 MW owned
  • George Neal Unit 4, 645 MW total, 262 MW owned
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.