Wisconsin utilities aim for spring 2014 startup of Columbia controls

Wisconsin Power and Light (WPL) told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin on Oct. 30 that new air emissions controls for the coal-fired Columbia Energy Center Units 1 and 2 are due to be in-service in the spring of 2014.

The commission in approving unit co-owners WPL and Wisconsin Public Service for these air projects had mandated quarterly updates, with the Oct. 30 filing being one of them. WPL, a unit of Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT), controls 482 MW of the 1,043 of total capacity of these units. 

The approved project cost was $627m, excluding allowance for funds used during construction. As of this update the project is forecasted to be completed under the approved cost.

The forecasted in-service date for the emission reduction equipment for both Unit 1 and Unit 2 is still scheduled for spring 2014. The Unit 2 outage is planned to start on Jan. 18 and finish on March 3, and the Unit 1 outage is planned to start on April 12 and finish on June 3.

Construction started in February 2012. As of Sept. 30, the overall project is about 87% complete (engineering, procurement, and construction), which is slightly ahead of schedule (by approximately one month).

As of the end of September, engineering was about 97% complete for the project. Several engineering activities were executed to support the project schedule, most pertaining to the electrical and mechanical scope of the project as well as commissioning and start-up activities.

All major deliveries have been received. Baghouse bags and cages will arrive in October and installation will begin in November. Babcock and Wilcox (B&W) completed erecting the Spray Dryer Absorbers (SDA), Pulse Jet Fabric Filters (PJFF), and ductwork and support steel from the existing units and the new equipment with the exception of the SDA inlet ducts on Unit 1. The erection of the SDAs and PJFFs for Unit 1 and Unit 2 have been essentially completed. The SDA penthouse erection and PJFF internal air piping has also been completed.

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.