Wisconsin Electric permits coal additives for Pleasant Prairie

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is taking public comment until Nov. 11 on an application by Wisconsin Electric Power, d/b/a We Energies, for an air permit exemption that would allow testing of coal additives at the Pleasant Prairie power plant.

After Oct. 26 preliminary approval sent to the utility said the proposal includes the installation of temporary fuel additive equipment upstream of the existing coal crushers and the addition of non-combustible materials to the coal prior to crushing. The additives are expected to enhance the control of NOx, SO2 and mercury.

“We Energies (WE) may evaluate the use of refined coal as described in the August 13, 2012, exemption application,” the letter said. “The addition rate of the non-combustible additive may not exceed 3.50 tons in any hour nor more than 7,560 tons during the duration of this exemption approval (90 days of maximum operation). WE shall keep hourly records of the additive addition rate. … All testing and additive addition allowed under this exemption shall cease within 12 months of the initial addition of additive to the coal. In addition, this exemption approval expires 18 months after issuance regardless of the date of first additive addition.”

WE noted in the application that this project had been approved by the DNR in July, but it found that it had supplied some incorrect information and is now re-applying. The additives consist of dry (cement kiln dust) and wet (calcium bromide liquid) components. The application indicates the cement kiln dust would come from LaFarge North America and the calcium bromide from Chemtura USA. At least those are the companies that provided data sheets showing the health dangers if each material is mishandled.

Pleasant Prairie Units 1-2 have 1,188 MW of total capacity. The parent of WE is Wisconsin Energy (NYSE:WEC),

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.