Scrubber, SCR just about operational on Scherer Unit 4

New wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) installations on the coal-fired Scherer Unit 4 in Georgia are nearing completion, said unit co-owner Florida Power & Light in an April 2 filing at the Florida Public Service Commission.

Current capital cost estimates for FPL’s share of the installation of this equipment on Scherer Unit 4 is $363.9m, FPL said in an update of its clean-air plan. The planned construction activities in 2012 include the installation of instrumentation for the FGD and SCR controls on Unit 4, byproduct and reagent facility common storage, and final tie-in of controls during the spring planned outage.

FPL said it has preliminarily estimated annual O&M for operation of the SCR, FGD and common plant facilities supporting the controls at $3.4m for 2012 when the FGD and SCR are projected to be in-service, and $5.6m in 2013 for the first full year of controls operation.

FPL is a unit of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE).

Scherer is co-owned by several parties, with the Georgia Power unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) being the plant’s operating partner. A Scherer brochure on the Georgia Power website shows that FPL owns 76.4% of Unit 4. That share held by FPL comes to 672 MW (net).

The four-unit, 3,520-MW Scherer plant is getting scrubbers on all of its units on a staggered schedule. The plant has been firing since the 1990s low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin, with the owners indicating that this coal would remain at the plant even after the scrubbers are installed, with options for higher-sulfur coal available if the price for the PRB coal gets too high.

FPL noted that the Scherer projects were prompted by a 2008 Georgia Multipollutant Rule, which called for specific emissions controls to be installed by set deadlines at various coal-fired plants in Georgia. The rule covers SO2, NOx and mercury emissions. The rule requires that Scherer Unit 4 may not be operated after April 30, 2010, unless it is equipped and operated with sorbent injection and a baghouse for the control of Hg emissions.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s newly-issued Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) won’t add a major burden at Scherer, since compliance with the Georgia Multipollutant Rule and other air programs will meet the MATS need, FPL said. That includes installation a fabric filter baghouse and mercury sorbent injection system project at Scherer Unit 4 completed in 2010.

A MATS issue for the utility, though, is co-owned coal capacity at two units of the St. Johns River Power Park (SJRPP) plant in Florida operated by JEA. “FPL does not yet know whether SJRPP will meet all applicable emission specifications of the MATS rule,” the filing said. “FPL and JEA have recently initiated a study of the potential impacts of MATS and other proposed rules on the SJRPP units to develop the appropriate compliance strategy.”

FPL said that in 2009 it successfully concluded negotiations with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) regarding the oil- and gas-fired Turkey Point Units 1 and 2, with the department accepting FPL’s proposed plan to comply with the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) requirements under the Regional Haze program.

In 2011, FPL negotiated with FDEP changes to its compliance plan at Turkey Point to address changes to the state’s plan as a result of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) impact on the regional haze State Implementation Plan (SIP). FPL proposed to remove the requirement to install new multi-cyclone dust collectors and instead proposed to reduce emissions of SO2 through use of 0.7% sulfur residual fuel oil and to commit to no longer burning fossil fuels in the Unit 2 boiler and to take a significant reduction in fuel oil firing in the Unit 1 boiler beginning in 2013. FPL is projecting that there will be no associated capital costs or increased O&M for compliance with the BART permit at Turkey Point.


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.