Indiana agency approves transfer of air permit for coal plant

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management on Dec. 5 approved the transfer of an air permit for Crawfordsville Electric Light and Power’s coal-fired power plant to the plant’s prospective new owner, Crawfordsville Energy LLC.

The permit approval said the plant sale is due to take place as of Dec. 31.

The plant consists of:

  • One spreader stoker coal-fired boiler, identified as Unit 5, constructed in 1955, rated at 175 million Btu per hour heat input, used to generate electricity. Particulate emissions are controlled by a multiclone mechanical separator. Emissions are measured with a continuous opacity monitor. Controlled emissions are exhausted to the atmosphere through one 192 foot (above grade) stack. This boiler also has a 53 MMBtu per hour natural gas burner for start-up, boiler flame control and stabilization and opacity control.
  • One spreader stoker coal-fired boiler, identified as Unit 6, constructed in 1965, rated at 192 million Btu per hour heat input, used to generate electricity. Particulate emissions are controlled by an electrostatic precipitator and a multiclone mechanical separator. Emissions are measured with a continuous opacity monitor. Controlled emissions are exhausted to the atmosphere through a 198 foot (above grade) stack.
  • Coal and ash storage and handling systems, including one 1.13-acre outdoor coal storage pile with a storage capacity of 18,700 tons and a maximum annual throughput of 140,000 tons per year.

Crawfordsville Energy is a unit of Sterling Energy Group, which says on its website that it plans to both maintain coal-fired capacity at this site and to have gas-fired capacity. “With a purchase price of approximately 2% of replacement cost in the coal generating portion of the plant and the ability to add cost effective gas capacity, our studies indicate that we will have generation capacity installed and enhanced to meet all existing environmental regulations for approximately 20% of replacement cost,” the website said about the Crawfordsville project.

Sterling Energy Group is the Indiana-based company that in November also bought a 51-MW, coal-fired power plant in New York that it intends to restart, with the Niagara plant to mostly burn biomass, plus limited amounts of coal.

“Sterling Energy Group, Inc. is a holding company formed to locate, acquire, retrofit and operate coal fired power facilities that are being phased out due to environmental concerns,” said the website. “Sterling Energy Group is an energy company with a strategy of building a portfolio of power generating plants with fuel flexibility consisting primarily of coal and natural gas. In addition, Sterling Energy Group strategically develops oil and gas assets consistent with its overall strategy of providing comprehensive energy solutions.”

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.