KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations eyes Sibley coal retirements

KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations (GMO) at this point plans in 2019 to retire the coal-fired Sibley Units 1 and 2 (99 MW in total), depending on the status at that point of various imposed and pending environmental mandates.

GMO, in an updated integrated resource plan (IRP) filed June 20 at the Missouri Public Service Commission, said that the primary drivers of the probable 2019 retirements of Sibley 1 and 2 are a possible U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate under the Clean Water Act that cooling towers be installed by around 2019, and a possible EPA rule on coal combustion residuals (CCR) disposal that would force around 2021 a conversion from wet to dry of the plant’s CCR disposal operations. If those rules are delayed, then the retirements would likely be delayed.

Also, instead of retirement, the current plan is in 2016 to convert the coal-fired, 93-MW Lake Road 4/6 to natural gas and fuel oil.

On the environmental retrofit front, GMO currently plans minor retrofits (activated carbon injection installations and ESP upgrades) by 2016 at Sibley Units 1-3. These would be installed for Units 1 and 2, even though they may be retired only about three years later.

On the plus side for generating capacity, GMO’s current plan, which covers the 2013-2033 period, is to add:

  • Gas-fired combustion turbines (193 MW in 2031);
  • Solar (10 MW in 2018, 6 MW in 2021 and 3 MW in 2023); and
  • Wind (150 MW in 2019, 100 MW in 2021 and 100 MW in 2025).

GMO is, like sister utility Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy (NYSE: GXP). KCP&L filed its own stand-alone IRP with the Missouri PSC on June 20. The KCP&L plan tentatively calls for the retirement of the coal-fired Montrose Unit 1 (170 MW) in 2016 and the coal-fired Montrose Units 2 and 3 (340 MW in total) in 2021.

GMO told the commission that its stand-alone resource plan would potentially change somewhat if there was a combined IRP for the two utilities. For example, GMO noted that it comparatively doesn’t have much baseload capacity, while KCP&L has more baseload generation, so a combined IRP might actually mean a delay in the Montrose retirements so that the capacity at that plant could serve GMO customers.

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.