Several power generators in Florida shutting under haze rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a limited approval of two revisions to the Florida State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in March and August 2010.

Additionally, EPA is proposing a limited approval of a draft SIP revision submitted by FDEP on April 13 for parallel processing. Collectively, these three SIP revisions address regional haze for the first implementation period.

Previously, EPA proposed a limited disapproval of the Florida regional haze SIP because of deficiencies arising from the remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to EPA of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). Consequently, EPA is not proposing to take action in this rulemaking to address the state’s reliance on CAIR to meet certain regional haze requirements, EPA noted in a May 25 Federal Register notice. The agency is taking comment on this proposed limited approval until June 25.

In its April 13 amendment, FDEP documented that nine of the identified electricity generating units (EGUs) have shut down, two others will be shut down by Dec. 31, 2013, and two others have taken federally enforceable permit limits that reduce their contribution to regional haze below Florida’s threshold for reasonable progress analysis. The remaining 19 units will be addressed in later actions.

The nine units that have shut down are:

  • Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), the oil-fired Bartow Units 1-3; and
  • Tampa Electric, Gannon Units 1-6 (Gannon is a coal plant that was converted to natural gas several years ago). Tampa Electric is a unit of TECO Energy (NYSE: TE).

To be shut by the end of 2013 are Florida Power & Light’s Port Everglades Units 3-4. FP&L is a unit of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) and the Port Everglades plant fires both gas and oil.

Taking the federal emissions limits were Florida Crushed Stone Unit 18 and JEA Northside plant Unit 2.

  • Florida Crushed Stone (Central Power and Lime) Unit 18 is a coal-fired plant which is being converted to a biomass-fired boiler. It has received a construction permit that will prohibit the firing of coal once it is converted.
  • JEA Northside Unit 2 is a circulating fluidized bed boiler that fires primarily petroleum coke. In 2009, this facility received a federally enforceable permit condition that limits emissions to 0.2 lb/MMBtu on a 24-hour average and 0.15 lb/MMBtu on a 30-day rolling average resulting in a maximum annual emission rate of 1,816 tons.

There are several EGUs subject to Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) analysis. They are: Progress Energy, Crystal River Units 1-2; Progress Energy, Turkey Point Units 1-2; and City of Tallahassee, Purdom Unit 7 (to be shut by end of 2013).

Of the 23 EGU BART-eligible facilities, FDEP identified 11 units at eight facilities that have shut down or will be shut down by Dec. 31, 2013. Those include: City of Tallahassee, Arvah B. Hopkins Unit 4; Florida Power & Light, Riviera Unit 4; Progress Energy, Bartow Unit 3; Lakeland Electric, Charles Larsen Unit 4; Florida Power & Light, Cape Canaveral Units 1-2; and Ft Pierce Utilities Authority, H D King Units 7-8.

Some EGUs, including Tampa Electric’s coal-fired Big Bend Units 1-3, were found to have existing emissions controls that have already put them in compliance with the regional haze program.

The City of Tallahassee operates the Sam O. Purdom power plant. Unit 7 at this facility is a BART-eligible EGU that is fired primarily with fuel oil and natural gas. The unit began operation in 1966 and is a 621 MMBtu/hr steam generator paired with a nominal 44-MW steam-electrical generator. FDEP issued a final air construction in 2007 requiring that Unit 7 permanently cease operation by the end of 2013 to satisfy BART.

On Jan. 24, Florida Power & Light submitted an application to the state to construct one nominal 1,250 MW combined cycle unit and ancillary equipment at the Port Everglades plant. The four existing fossil fuel-fired steam generators with a total nominal capacity of 1,200 MW will be shut down and dismantled as part of this project. The BART-eligible Units 3 and 4 are scheduled to be demolished in the first quarter of 2013 but not later than Dec. 31, 2013, EPA noted.

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.