Indianapolis Power gets air permit for new Eagle Valley gas plant

Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) has gotten a final air permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for a new gas-fired power plant at its existing Eagle Valley plant site near Martinsville, Ind.

The new gas plant, needed in part to make up for the shutdown of some of IPL’s coal-fired capacity due to the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, would be a replacement for the the current coal- and oil-fired units at the Eagle Valley site, the agency noted in the Oct. 11 final permit.

The proposed combined cycle facility would include two nominal 192.5-MW combustion turbines with steam waste heat recovery to drive a nominal 271-MW steam turbine generator. The new facility would have a total nominal capacity of 656 MW (net). The exclusive fuel for the new combustion turbines will be natural gas.

NOx emissions for this new facility would be controlled through combustion burner design and selective catalytic reduction (SCR), with oxidation catalyst systems to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds including formaldehyde, with emissions exhausting to stacks S-1 and S-2. Each stack has continuous emissions monitors (CEMS) for NOx.

The project also includes one natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler with a rated heat input capacity of 79.3 MMBtu/hr, equipped with low NOx burners (LNB) with flue gas recirculation (FGR) to reduce NOx emissions exhausting to stack S-3. There would also be one new natural gas-fired dew point heater with a rated heat input capacity of 20.8 MMBtu/hr exhausting to stack S-4.

IPL says its gas-heavy plan the best one for ratepayers

Despite criticisms from other parties, IPL said its plan to shut older, smaller coal units and replace them with new gas-fired capacity is the best idea for ratepayers. Several IPL officials provided Oct. 3 rebuttal testimony to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in a certificate of need case started in April of this year. Among them was Herman Schkabla, IPL’s Director of Resource Planning.

IPL wants to build a new gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility at Eagle Valley. In its April 29 application, the utility said this new CCGT capacity, with a range of 550 MW to 725 MW in size, would help it meet a forecasted need for additional generating capacity of about 744 MW by 2016 growing to 797 MW by 2020.

In the April 29 application, IPL requested that the commission approve various things, including:

  • grant to IPL approval to construct a 550-725 MW CCGT at IPL’s Eagle Valley Generating Station located in Morgan County Ind.;

  • grant to IPL approval to convert the coal-fired Units 5 and 6 at the Harding Street Generation Station located in Marion County, Ind., to natural gas;

  • approve the construction of transmission, pipeline and other facilities associated with the Eagle Valley CCGT and Harding Street 5 and 6 refueling; and

  • grant to IPL a necessity certificate to engage in the transportation of gas within Indiana for use by IPL in the operation of the CCGT.

Given the extreme uncertainty regarding the regional capacity situation in the 2017-2020 time frame, delaying the CCGT addition to 2020 and relying on third party capacity, as suggested in this case by the Citizens Action Coalition (CAC), is not in the best interests of IPL’s customers, Schkabla wrote in his Oct. 3 rebuttal.

IPL is a unit of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES).

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.