EKPC wrapping up emissions project at Cooper Unit 2

Construction of new emissions controls on the coal-fired Cooper Unit 2 is about 98% complete, with all systems in operation and working well, with performance testing underway, said East Kentucky Power Cooperative in a June 25 filing at the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The filing was a response to questions posed by PSC staff as part of the commission’s ongoing review of EKPC’s latest integrated resource plan (IRP), filed with the commission in April. Cooper Unit 2’s new emissions controls are flue gas desulfurization (FGD), electrostatic precipitator and selective catalytic reduction.

A planned FGD for Cooper Unit 1 is on hold as EKPC assesses the impact of various U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules, including the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the cooperative noted. Consultant Burns and McDonnell has been hired to work on the Unit 1 project, EKPC pointed out, and the engineering cost assessment report for Unit 1 should be complete by the end of this year.

EKPC noted that on June 8, it issued a request for proposals on 300-MW of new power supply, with resulting offers to be compared with environmental control costs for both Cooper Unit 1 and the coal-fired Dale power plant. The risk-adjusted findings of this work should be filed with the commission in early 2013.

In a section on 20-year financial assumptions, the June 25 filing said: “In September 2014, Smith Unit No. 1 is expected to become operational. This is a coal-fired 278 MW circulating fluidized bed unit.” Estimated capital cost is $819m, EKPC said.

A table in the IRP filed in April shows a 275/250 MW capacity addition in 2016. This represents the replacement for Dale (195 MW) and Cooper Unit 1 (110 MW) if these units are not the least-cost compliance option for the MATS rule, the June 25 response said.

April IRP filing describes EKPC’s various options

EKPC must consider the impacts of the MATS rules on its existing fleet, EKPC noted in the IRP. The Spurlock coal units are modern facilities that can be readily modified to meet all of the new rules. Likewise, Cooper Unit 2 with its recent addition of pollution control equipment can also meet the new rules. The oldest units in the EKPC fleet, Dale and Cooper 1, will require capital-intensive retrofits to meet requirements under the MATS rules.

EKPC is a generation and transmission electric cooperative located in Winchester, Ky. It serves 16 member distribution cooperatives who serve more than 520,000 retail customers. EKPC owns and operates coal-fired generation at Dale (196 MW), Cooper (341 MW), and Spurlock (1,346 MW) and gas-fired generation at Smith (1,032 MW winter rating) and six landfill sites (16 MW).

In total, EKPC owns or purchases 3,101 MW of generation and an additional 400 MW of import capability via firm transmission rights from PJM. EKPC’s all-time peak demand of 3,152 MW occurred on Jan. 16, 2009.

Here is a description of the EKPC coal plants.

Dale – The first plant built by EKPC was William C. Dale, located on the Kentucky River in Clark County. All four units at Dale are pulverized coal-fired units. The first two units have a rated capacity of 23 MW each and began commercial operation in 1954. The third unit is capable of producing 75 MW and began operation in 1957. The fourth unit is also rated at 75 MW and began operation in 1960.

Cooper – The second plant EKPC built was John Sherman Cooper, located near Somerset on Lake Cumberland. The station has one 116-MW unit that became operational in 1965, and one 225-MW unit that began operating commercially in 1969. Both are pulverized-coal units.

Spurlock – The most recent coal-fired plant constructed by EKPC is Hugh L. Spurlock, situated near Maysville, Ky., on the Ohio River. The station consists of four units. The first is a 300-MW unit that began commercial operation in 1977. Unit 2 is a 525-MW unit that began operating in 1981. Both of these units are pulverized coal units with FGD technology. In 2005, the 268-MW Unit 3 became operational. The fourth unit went operational in 2009. It is a 278-MW unit. Both Units 3 and 4 use fluidized-bed boiler technology.

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.