Georgia Power completes SCR, FGD installations on Scherer Unit 4

The new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) on Unit 4 of the coal-fired Scherer power plant completed testing and was placed in service on June 14, and testing of the new flue gas desulfurization (FGD) equipment on that unit is expected to be completed in August.

Terry Keith, employed by Florida Power & Light (FPL) as Director, Cost Recovery Clauses in the Regulatory Affairs Department, laid out current environmental costs for FPL in 2012 in an Aug. 1 filing at the Florida Public Service Commission in an annual environmental cost review case.

Scherer is a 3,272-MW, four-unit coal plant operated and co-owned by Georgia Power, with FPL only owning a piece of Unit 4. Scherer is under a mandate from Georgia regulators to install new emissions controls on a staggered, unit-by-unit schedule. Incidentally, Scherer has been on low-sulfur Powder River Basin coal since the 1990s, but the plant co-owners in various forums have indicated that PRB coal will remain the plant’s fuel after FGD installation, with other coals only an option if PRB coal would get too expensive.

Scherer co-owners include Gulf Power – which like Georgia Power is a subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) – and JEA.

Keith also reported that as a result of a federal court’s vacature of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), Florida’s Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP), which relied on EPA’s assertion that CAIR was equal to BART (Best Available Retrofit Technology), was no longer valid for emissions of SO2 and NOx which were part of the Clean Air Visibility Rule (CAVR). Therefore, several of FPL’s non-coal, BART-eligible plants that were formerly exempt from BART controls for SO2 and NOx (Putnam Units 1 and 2, Turkey Point Units 1 and 2, Manatee Units 1 and 2, and Martin Units 1 and 2), are now required to develop five-factor BART determinations and conduct visibility modeling to satisfy the BART requirements of CAVR. This was unanticipated until late 2011.

Randall LaBauve, employed by FPL as Vice President of Environmental Services, noted in companion Aug. 1 testimony that FPL and JEA (formerly known as the Jacksonville Electric Authority), co-owners of the coal-fired St. Johns River Power Park (SJRPP), are working on plans to comply with EPA’s new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The MATS rule, currently stayed pending completion of a review by a federal appeals court, establishes performance standards for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) emissions from coal and oil-fired electric steam generating units including a mercury emission standard that applies only to coal-fired units.

“In response to the final MATS rule, FPL, and our ownership partner JEA, have identified the need for additional information regarding emission of HAPs from the SJRPP units,” LaBauve wrote. “An engineering and economic study for MATS compliance at SJRPP is now being initiated to develop a lowest cost alternative compliance plan. The engineering study will evaluate cost and performance options of emission controls available to meet the MATS specifications while maintaining or improving fuel diversity options.”

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

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.