Requests made to shut Sunbury coal units by June 2015

There have been requests to deactivate Units 1-4 at the coal-fired Sunbury plant in central Pennsylvania, with all four units projected to be deactivated by June 1, 2015.

That is according to a list of pending deactivation requests from PJM Interconnection, updated to Nov. 11. The list shows these units being 60-64 years old.

For the 94-MW Sunbury Unit 3, the list shows an initial request on Oct. 17 to deactivate that unit by April 13, 2015. Then the list shows a second request on Nov. 7 to deactivate the unit by June 1, 2015. For the other three units, Nov. 7 initial requests were filed, all for deactivation by June 1, 2015. The units are: Unit 1 (80 MW); Unit 2 (80 MW); and Unit 4 (128 MW).

It has been known for some time that the Sunbury coal capacity is on the chopping block. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said in April that it had issued a final air permit to Sunbury Generation LP for a coal-to-gas conversion project at the Sunbury power plant. The new air permit covers a natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant to produce approximately 1,064 MW (gross) or less of electricity located in Shamokin Dam Borough, Snyder County.

“The project consists of three identical F class combustion gas turbines set up in a 2X3 and 1X1 configuration,” said a DEP notice. “Each combined-cycle turbine will also include a heat recovery steam generator and supplemental duct burners. The project also consists of the construction of a 106 MMBTU/hr natural gas fired auxiliary boiler and 15 MMBTU/hr natural gas fired heater. As part of the project, the facility’s coal fired utility boilers are being permanently retired.”

A separate fact sheet from the DEP said that Sunbury Generation LP’s existing facility has a net generating capacity of 438 MW and consumes up to 1.3 million tons of Pennsylvania coal and 1.5 million gallons of fuel oil each year. Electricity generated at the four-unit station is sold into the bulk electric market into the PJM transmission system.

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.