SWEPCO renews Flint Creek permit, with new air controls included

The Air Division of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality began taking 30 days of public comment on June 12 on a renewed air permit for the coal-fired Flint Creek power plant operated and part owned by Southwestern Electric Power (SWEPCO).

What makes this routine Title V permit renewal interesting is that the renewal covers planned new air emissions controls, including dry flue gas desulfurization, pulse jet fabric filters and activated carbon injection for control of SO2, particulates and mercury. The new controls are primarily needed to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

The ADEQ Director has decided to hold a public hearing for this permit on July 16 in the Gentry High School Auditorium in Gentry, Ark.

SWEPCO, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), applied in February 2012 at the Arkansas Public Service Commission for approval of these projects. Then it and plant co-owner Arkansas Electric Cooperative, as the case late last year was winding toward a PSC decision, got an approval that allowed them to file additional testimony in January that focused on the need for this plant for regional transmission support purposes. The PSC docket on the case was still open as of June 26.

SWEPCO is asking the commission for a declaratory order approving installation of $408.7m worth of new emissions controls on Flint Creek. The planned controls include: dry flue gas desulfurization (DFGD) equipment for SO2 control; activated carbon injection (ACI) for mercury; and Low NOx burners and over-fired air facilities for NOx control. The DFGD system selected by the project engineers will also include a pulse jet fabric filter, commonly called a baghouse.

Flint Creek is a single-unit, pulverized coal-fired plant with a net capacity of 528 MW and was placed in service in 1978. SWEPCO’s ownership portion of this unit is 264 MW (net), and it is responsible for operating and maintaining the plant.

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.