JEA pursues more biomass for Northside, SJRPP permit change

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Oct. 8 issued for comment a draft revised Title V air permit for the adjacent, coal-fired St. Johns River Park (SJRPP) and Northside power plants that includes changes at both plants.

The proposed changes by plant operator JEA would remove the conditions regarding the mercury Continuous Emission Monitoring System requirements and allow the firing of up to 240 tons per day of biomass for Northside Boiler Nos. 1 and 2, and would also revise the description of St. Johns River Power Park Units 1 and 2 to allow the operation of one of three SO2 scrubber towers during low load operations.

SJRPP Boilers Nos. 1 and 2 are fossil fuel-fired steam generators, each with a nominal nameplate rating of 679.6 MW. They are allowed to fire pulverized coal, a blend of petroleum coke and coal, natural gas, new No. 2 distillate fuel oil (startup and low-load operation), and “on-specification” used oil. The maximum heat input to each emissions unit is 6,144 million Btu per hour. SJRPP Boilers Nos. 1 and 2 are dry bottom wall-fired boilers and use an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) to control particulate matter, a wet limestone flue gas desulfurization (FGD) unit to control SO2, low NOX burners and over-fire air to control NOx, and good combustion practices to control carbon monoxide. Each FGD consists of three scrubber towers. The permit change allows that during low load operation, only one scrubber tower may be utilized to meet SO2 limits.

The two covered Northside units are permitted to fire coal, coal coated with latex, petroleum coke, a lower level of biomass than under the permit change, and landfill gas. They are circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers and are connected to the existing steam turbines of the retired Boilers Nos. 1 and 2 (297.5 MW each) as part of a repowering project. A dual-flued 495-foot stack was added to the facility for Repowered Units 1 and 2, along with solid fuel delivery and storage facilities, limestone preparation and storage facilities (including three limestone dryers), a lime silo, aqueous ammonia storage, polishing scrubbers, precipitators or baghouses, ash removal and storage facilities, and an electrical substation. CFB boiler Nos. 1 and 2 began operation in February 2002 and May 2002, respectively.

JEA is allowed to burn 195 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) of landfill gas in the Northside CFB Boiler Nos. 1 and 2 (total). The 195 scfm of landfill gas is equivalent to a heat input of 6 MMBtu/hr. The landfill gas is being generated from the adjacent North Landfill operated by the city of Jacksonville which is located directly north of SJRPP and Northside in Duval County. Each Northside CFB boiler is equipped with a selective non-catalytic reduction system to reduce NOX emissions, limestone injection to reduce SO2 emissions, fabric filter to reduce particulate matter (PM and PM10) emissions, while maximizing combustion efficiency and minimizing NOX formation to limit carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds emissions.

JEA had initially applied at the department for a permit to combust up to 300 tons per day of biomass at the Northside units but withdrew the application because it would require an expansion of the current fuel handling system. The 240 tons per day level will not require changes to that system.

The JEA website said that the municipal utility has established a voluntary goal to have at least 7.5% or 315 MW of summer peak capacity generated from clean or green sources by 2015, with biomass co-firing at Northside counted against that goal.

“JEA continues its strategy to increase the amount of cleaner energy,” the JEA website said. “We have retired and modernized older, less efficient fossil generation facilities. Our solid fuel generating units are equipped with best available environmental controls to lower air pollutant emissions. We have constructed state-of–the art, efficient, clean generation natural gas power plants. We have contracted a purchase power agreement for zero-emissions nuclear energy. JEA signed a purchase power agreement to receive 206 MWs of energy from a nuclear facility commencing in 2016. In addition, JEA continues to pursue additional potential nuclear purchased power and ownership agreements. We continue to increase our renewable energy portfolio.”

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.