Progress permits hydrated lime, BART options at Crystal River coal units

Progress Energy Florida applied June 18 with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for air permitting on hydrated lime use at Crystal River Units 4 and 5, and also on Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) options for Crystal River Units 1 and 2.

Hydrated lime was picked as the sorbent to reduce sulfuric acid mist emissions because of its ease of handling and the fact it has been used on some Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) coal units in North Carolina with “encouraging results,” said the application. Hydrated lime was also successfully demonstrated in the July-October period last year on Crystal River Unit 4. One of the benefits of this sorbent injection is that it will reduce the ammonia in the fly ash, improving the handling characteristics and beneficial reuse aspects of the fly ash.

The sorbent would react with the acidic compounds in the flue gas to form particulate matter that will then be removed via the electrostatic precipitators or the new flue gas desulfurization scrubbers on Units 4 and 5, said the application, prepared by consultant Golder Associates.

The Crystal River complex, located near Crystal River, Fla., has four coal units capable of producing 2,295 MW. The site includes two units built in the 1960s, Units 1-2, and two units built in the 1980s, Units 4-5.

The site also includes the 860-MW Crystal River Nuclear Plant, known as Unit 3, which the company hopes to return to service in 2014 following repairs. PEF has a longstanding agreement with the Florida DEP to retire the coal-fired Crystal River Units 1-2 after the completion of the second new nuclear unit planned in Levy County.

Also on June 18, PEF separately filed a plan with the DEP to comply with the BART program under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional haze rules at Crystal Rivers 1-2. Because of the plan to shut those units by around the end of 2020 related to the new nuclear unit, PEF lays out three basic options it may pursue within a BART air plan. The viability of each option could change depending on the legal status of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the utility said.

The options are to scrub ’em, shut ’em, or SO2 limit ’em

The three basic options are to: install FGD on both Units 1 and 2 before Jan. 1, 2018, or within five years of EPA’s final approval of the Florida regional haze State Implementation Plan (SIP), whichever is later; retirement of both units by the end of 2020; or a new SO2 limit to take effect Jan. 1, 2018, for both units that would opt them out of the regional haze BART rule.

The utility wants to make a final decision on the winning option by Jan. 1, 2015, or two years after EPA approval of the Florida SIP, whichever is later.

The possible FGD for Units 1-2 would be designed to remove 95% of SO2 emissions, or meet an SO2 emissions level for both units of 0.15 lbs/MMBtu of SO2, which is presumptive BART for those units, said the air permit application, also prepared by Golder Associates.

In an April clean air plan filed at the Florida Public Service Commission, PEF said it is primarily relying on the relatively new FGDs and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) installations at Crystal River Units 4 and 5 for compliance with various clean-air programs.

As for BART compliance, the clean-air plan said: “By October 1, 2013, Crystal River Units 1 and 2 must demonstrate compliance with the terms of the BART permit that was issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in January 2009. PEF is continuing to evaluate potential compliance options for the units in light of EPA’s recently adopted [Mercury and Air Toxcs Standards] and other ongoing rulemaking affecting fossil fuel-fired EGUs. The permit discussed above specifically contains BART requirements for particulate matter. The stay of the CSAPR has left in place the determination that [Clean Air Interstate Rule] satisfies BART for SO2 and NOx, and EPA has proposed that the CSAPR also satisfies BART for SO2 and NOx. However, if the CSAPR is upheld by the court, BART for SO2 may become an issue for Florida because Florida is not subject to the CSAPR SO2 program.”

The April air plan added: “PEF will utilize the co-benefits of the existing FGD and SCR systems as the primary MATS compliance measure for Crystal River Units 4 and 5, but additional analyses are ongoing to determine whether additional control measures will be necessary for those units. PEF also is in the process of evaluating the most cost-effective MATS compliance options for Crystal Units 1 and 2. PEF expects to complete such analyses in the second quarter of 2012 and will advise the Commission of the results in future filings in [this annual environmental review docket].”

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.