DOE’s Argonne lab permits gas-fired heat and power plant

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comment until June 14 on a draft air permit that would allow the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to build a combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

The new CHP unit will have a gas-fired combustion turbine and a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). In conjunction with this project, an existing gas-fired boiler, Boiler 3, will be permanently shut down.

“The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) has reviewed DOE’s application and made a preliminary determination that the application for the proposed project meets applicable requirements,” the agency said in a May 15 notice. “Accordingly, the Illinois EPA has prepared a draft of the construction permit that it would propose to issue for the proposed project.”

Argonne National Laboratory is one of the DOE’s national research laboratories, specializing in research in energy and environmental technology. The lab site is on South Cass Avenue in Argonne, DuPage County.

The planned combustion turbine will power an electrical generator with a nominal electrical capacity of about 6.5 MW. The HRSG will produce steam using the heat in the hot flue gas from the turbine. The HRSG will be equipped with duct burners, which will be used to increase steam output during periods of high steam demand, e.g., cold winter days. The duct burners will increase the steam output of the HRSG by heating the flue gas from the turbine and raising its temperature.

The HRSG will also be able to operate on a standalone basis entirely on the duct burners to maintain steam output when the turbine is out of service. The turbine will also be able to operate on its own, venting directly to the atmosphere through a bypass stack when the HRSG is out of service.

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.