Wisconsin Electric permits coal additives at Pleasant Prairie

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is taking comment until Jan. 18 on a draft permit that would allow Wisconsin Electric Power to make and use refined coal at its Pleasant Prairie power plant.

The utility is part of Wisconsin Energy (NYSE:WEC).

In 2012, the department issued the research and testing exemption to Wisconsin Electric Power d/b/a We Energies to add two fuel additives (cement kiln dust and calcium bromide liquid) to the crushed coal on Conveyors 2A and 2B and test burn the refined coal in Boiler Units 1 and 2 at Pleasant Prairie. The exemption required that, if testing is successful and We Energies decides to use the process or a similar process on a continuous basis, We Energies submit a construction permit application to obtain approval for the process to operate on a continuous basis.

We Energies now proposes to make permanent changes to the Pleasant Prairie plant to incorporate refined coal processes and emission units and to operate the refined coal process on a continuous basis.

The proposed refined coal (RC) process applies a liquid additive called MerSorb for the control of mercury, and a solid additive called S-Sorb for the control of NOx and SO2. The permanent RC process equipment will include a S-Sorb storage silo, a MerSorb storage tank, two new transfer towers, a new RC building with a pug mill for mixing the sorbents with the coal, and new conveyors.

In addition to particulate matter emissions from RC process equipment, there will be haul truck fugitive emissions as a result of fuel additives for RC process being delivered by trucks.

The project also includes the following changes to the Unit 1 and Unit 2 boilers:

  • Installation of waterwall cannons and/or sootblower upgrades to assist in the removal of boiler furnace slag.
  • Installation of new cladding on the boiler furnace waterwalls to mitigate the potential for additional erosion from the increased soot blowing and slag removal.

We Energies will retain the ability use the regular (pre-project) process after the proposed project. At any given time, the facility will operate only one process: regular process or refined coal process.

The 1,190-MW (net) Pleasant Prairie plant is located in the town of Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha County. It is approximately five miles north of the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

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.