Alberta commission approves SO2 controls for Battle River coal plant

The Alberta Utilities Commission on Sept. 10 approved the installation by Alberta Power of dry sorbent injection systems on the coal-fired Battle River power plant.

The plant is currently comprised of three generating units: Unit 3 (150 MW), Unit 4 (150 MW) and Unit 5 (375 MW), for a total generating capacity of 675 MW.

Alberta Power (2000) Ltd. acquired the power plant from Alberta Power Ltd. in January 2001. Alberta Power continues to be the owner of the power plant, but the power plant is operated by ATCO Power Canada Ltd.

According to the Alberta air emission standards for electricity generation and Alberta air emission guidelines for electricity generation, units operating beyond their power purchase arrangement or 40 years of operation, whichever is later, are required to meet new emission targets.

Options available to meet the new emission targets include:

  • install technology to physically meet the regulated emission levels;
  • install technology on another unit to reduce emissions and create emission credits;
  • purchase credits to offset emissions; and
  • a combination of these options.

Alberta Power stated that Unit 3 and Unit 4 will be required to meet new SO2 emission targets by Jan. 1, 2014, and Jan. 1, 2016, respectively. Alberta Power proposes to install a dry sorbent injection system on Unit 5, and possibly similar systems on Unit 3 and Unit 4 in 2013/2014 to reduce SO2 emissions and to create emission credits for other generating units. It also said that new NOx controls, including low-NOx burners, were being looked at outside of this application.

The ATCO website says that the Battle River Generating Station is located about 200 kilometers southeast of Edmonton on the banks of the Battle River. Prairie Mines & Royalty Ltd. supplies the coal for the plant, which is surface mined nearby. Units 3 and 4 have Alstom boilers and General Electric turbine generators. Unit 5 has an Alstom boiler and a Hitachi turbine-generator. Battle River has operated since 1956, with Units 1 and 2 having been retired and dismantled in 2000. Unit 3 went into service in 1969, Unit 4 in 1975 and Unit 5 in 1981.

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.