Duke unit gets permit for possible NOx controls at Crystal River 1-2

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Oct. 10 issued a final air construction permit that covers possible selective catalytic reduction (SCR) installations for NOx control on, or shutdown in 2020 of, Units 1-2 at the Crystal River power plant.

Florida Power, d/b/a Progress Energy Florida (PEF), had sought the permit for these coal units. PEF is a unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

The future of the Crystal River coal units could be increasingly important as the company considers whether it would be more economical to repair the idle Crystal River 3 nuclear plant or replace it with other generation.

“This final air construction permit establishes an additional NOX emission standard for Crystal River Units 1 and 2, authorizes installation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems and authorizes physical changes to plant components, installation of storage tanks, and feed pumps to facilitate installation of the SCR systems,” said a DEP final permit notice. “The proposed work will be conducted at the existing Crystal River Power Plant, which is a nominal 2,300 megawatts (MW) coal-fueled power plant (excluding a nuclear unit). The plant is located in Citrus County.”

The DEP noted that the Sierra Club offered a series of criticisms of the draft version of the permit. In one comment, the club said these units are aging, largely uncontrolled coal boilers which emit a variety of haze-causing pollutants including NOX. Said the DEP in response: “The draft permit to install NOX controls is premised on the following two options under consideration by the applicant: (A) Discontinuation of operation of the older Units 1 and 2 as coal-fired units by December 31, 2020; or (B) Installation of NOX, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate control equipment. The Department agrees that the units emit (combustion exhaust gases that contain) several haze-causing pollutants including SO2. Given the type of source, the rates emitted within the combustion exhaust gases and the ground-level concentrations experienced in the vicinity of the site, NOX is a criteria pollutant. EPA has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six criteria pollutants. NOX is not on the list of approximately 188 pollutants listed as hazardous air pollutants (HAP) that are regulated pursuant to the Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources (NSPS) contained in 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 60 (40 CFR 60).”

The DEP pointed out that that there has been a dramatic reduction of NOX emissions at the Crystal River plant between 1997 and 2011. Much of the reduction occurred following installation of add-on NOX controls on coal-fueled Units 4 and 5, which are newer and bigger than Units 1-2. Unit 3 is nuclear. The shutdown of Units 1 and 2 under Scenario A in the permit or installation of add-on air pollution control equipment to meet a limit of 0.09 lb/MMBtu will have a further ameliorative effect on ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations, ground level ozone (smog) values and regional haze, the agency said.

A DEP final permit document said: “The permittee shall discontinue operation of Crystal River Units 1 and 2 as coal-fired units by December 31, 2020 or the permittee shall install an ammonia or urea-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system including additional foundations, duct work, reactors, reagent injection grids, lances, induced draft fans, foundations, vessels, pumps, vaporization equipment, metering equipment, and reagent storage tanks. The permittee may extend the reagent injection grid to the furnace and furnace walls. The SCR system shall be operational no later than January 1, 2018, or within 5 years of the effective date of EPA’s approval of this specific requirement in the Florida Regional Haze State Implementation Plan, whichever is later.”

PEF recently got another permit for optional scrubbers on Units 1-2

On Sept. 6, the DEP issued another final permit for Units 1-2 at Crystal River. This final air construction permit established an additional SO2 emission standard for Units 1-2, authorizes installation of dry flue gas desulfurization (DFGD) systems and authorizes physical changes to the electrostatic precipitators and plant components or installation of baghouses to facilitate installation of the DFGD.

The two emission reduction scenarios authorized in the Sept. 6 permit include:

  • discontinuation of operation of Units 1-2 as coal-fired units by Dec. 31, 2020; or
  • installation and operation of a DFGD system before Jan. 1, 2018, or within five years of the effective date of EPA’s approval of this specific requirement in the Florida Regional Haze SIP, whichever is later, and establishment of emissions standards of 95% SO2 removal efficiency or 0.15 lbs/MMBtu of heat input.

PEF is projecting a burn of 4.4 million tons in 2013 at the plant. Here are net generating capacity, plus projected capacity factors and coal burn figures for each unit in 2013.

  • Unit 1, 376 MW, 11.4% capacity factor, 165,226 tons of coal burn;
  • Unit 2, 497 MW, 24% capacity factor, 459,548 tons of coal burn;
  • Unit 4, 727 MW, 67% capacity factor, 1.87 million tons of coal burn; and
  • Unit 5, 706 MW, 70.2% capacity factor, 1.93 million tons of coal burn.
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.