The Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has taken steps to further reduce its air emissions at its Stanton plant, including making combustion modifications and installing low-NOx burners, with plans from here to install a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system on Unit 1 to further reduce NOx emissions.
OUC said in its recently-released 2011 annual report that it plans to optimize the operation of Stanton Units 1 and 2 and move forward on the construction of the new SCR. OUC is also modifying the igniters on Units 1 and 2 to use cleaner, more affordable natural gas instead of fuel oil. That modification will provide more operating flexibility, allowing OUC to react better to changes in market and regulatory conditions. “OUC also will be able to evaluate the possibility of consuming coals from regions other than Central Appalachia,” the annual report said.
That declaration about backing out Central Appalachia coal use goes along with an approval that OUC got last year from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to install a temporary hydrated lime injection system at Stanton so it could control certain emissions during testing of Illinois Basin high-sulfur coal that was due to begin in July 2011. The plan was to test Illinois Basin coal in 25%, 50% and 75% blends with the plant’s usual Central Appalachia coal.
Stanton Units 1 and 2 each have a nameplate rating of 468 MW and are fired primarily by coal.
The DEP last December approved an air permit revision that authorized the replacement of No. 6 fuel oil igniter systems on Stanton Units 1 and 2 with natural gas igniter systems. The natural gas will be supplied from the existing Florida Gas Transmission line on the Stanton Energy Center site.
OUC spokesman Tim Trudell on April 18 confirmed that the utility is in the early stages of planning an SCR installation at Unit 1 to go along with an already installed SCR at Unit 2. The new SCR could be installed in the 2014-2016 period. He also generally confirmed that testing of alternative coal did take place last year, but said no decisions on coal supply changes have been made.
U.S. Energy Information Administration data shows that coal suppliers to Stanton in January were all in Central Appalachia, with suppliers being: the Burke Branch Tipple in eastern Kentucky of TECO Coal; the No. 1 Plant in eastern Kentucky of Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR); and the Big Mountain No. 16 operation in southern West Virginia of Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX), with that coal sold through Peabody COALSALES, a unit of Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU). Peabody spun off Patriot a few years ago in an IPO, but retained some of Patriot’s sales business.
The OUC annual report noted that in February 2010, commercial operations began at Stanton Unit B (SEC B), a combined cycle generation facility. SEC B provides 295 MW of generation and is owned and operated by OUC with no undivided participant ownership interests.