Sunbury permits coal-to-gas repowering project in Pa.

Sunbury Generation LP is getting close to an air permit approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for three natural gas-fired combined-cycle combustion turbines coupled with three heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) equipped with natural gas fired duct burners capable of producing 1,064 MW.

Sunbury has said it hopes to have the new natural gas generating capacity ready in 2015.

This coal-to-gas repowering project at an existing plant in Snyder County consists of a 2X3 power block and a 1X1 power block. As part of the project, the four existing steam turbines will continue to operate and all of the facility’s existing coal-fired utility boilers will be permanently retired, said the DEP in a public notice published in the Sept. 8 Pennsylvania Bulletin. Additionally, the project will include the construction of 106 MMBTU/hr natural gas fired auxiliary boiler and a 15 MMBTU/hr natural gas fired heater. Each combined-cycle process will be rated at 355 MW or less. The heat input rating of each combustion gas turbine is 2,397 MMBTU/hr (HHV) or less, and the heat input rating of each supplemental duct burner is equal to 283 MMBTU/hr (HHV) or less.

Based upon the retirement of the coal boilers, the proposed project is not subject to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) or Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) regulations.

“The Department’s review of the information submitted by Sunbury Generation indicates that the proposed sources and associated control devices will meet all applicable air quality regulatory requirements pertaining to air contamination sources and the emission of air contaminants, including the Best Available Technology requirements of 25 Pa. Code §§ 127.1 and 127.12,” the agency said in the notice. “Based on these findings, the Department intends to approve the application and issue a plan approval for the construction and operation of the sources and air cleaning devices proposed in this application. The facility is a major (Title V) facility. Additionally, if the Department determines that the sources are operating in compliance with all plan approval conditions, the conditions established in the plan approval will be incorporated into Title V operating permit 55-00001 by means of an administrative amendment pursuant to 25 Pa. Code § 127.450.”

Sunbury will be able construct and operate only one of three options, the DEP notice said.

  • The first option consists of constructing three Siemens model 5000F4 DLN natural-gas-fired combustion turbines (CT) and steam turbines (ST). Each unit will be equipped with natural-gas-fired duct burners (DB) and heat recovery steam generators (HRSG). The maximum heat input rating of each CT is 2259 MMBtu/hr (high heating value, HHV) and 2037 MMBtu/hr (lower heating value, LHV). Each DB will have a maximum heat input rating of 282.9 MMBtu/hr (HHV).
  • The second option consists of constructing three Siemens 5000F5 DLN natural-gas-fired CTs with STs. Each unit will be equipped with natural-gas-fired DBs and HRSGs. The maximum heat input rating of each CT is 2397 MMBtu/hr (HHV) and 2162 MMBtu/hr (LHV). Each DB will have a maximum heat input rating of 204.1 MMBtu/hr (HHV).
  • The third option consists of constructing three General Electric model 7FA.05 DLN natural-gas-fired CTs with STs. Each unit will be equipped with natural-gas-fired DBs and HRSGs. The maximum heat input rating of each CT is 2253 MMBtu/hr (HHV) and 2040 MMBtu/hr (LHV). Each DB will have a maximum heat input rating of 267.3 MMBtu/hr (HHV).

A fact sheet for the existing Sunbury plant on the DEP website said Sunbury Generation owns and operates a power generation facility located on a 216-acre site on the west bank of the Susquehanna River in Shamokin Dam and Hummel’s Wharf, Pa. The facility has a net generating capacity of 438 MW and consumes up to 1.3 million tons of Pennsylvania coal and 1.5 million gallons of fuel oil each year.

Electricity generated at the station is sold into the bulk electric market to the PJM Interconnection transmission system, the DEP noted. All station generation ties into the PPL switchyard located within the Sunbury Generation site.

Sunbury Generation had said last December that it planned this repowering project, which it hopes to complete in 2015.

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.