SunCoke works with PJM on interconnect issues for Kentucky project

SunCoke Energy is working on interconnection issues with PJM Interconnection related to a coke-producing plant that it wants to build in Greenup County, Ky., that would produce power from the waste heat in the coking process.

Coke plants bake coal into metallurgical coke for the process of turning iron ore into steel. SunCoke, under PJM queue project #X4-025, plans an 80 MW (net) generating facility comprised of one 90 MW (gross) steam turbine generator connecting to the American Electric Power (AEP) Millbrook Park station via a customer owned 138 kV transmission line, said a June 2013 system impact study from PJM.

“SunCoke is building a multi-oven (over 100) coke facility and will use the waste heat to power the steam turbine,” the study added. “The proposed project will be located on US Route 23 between Johnson Lane and KY Route 2538, two miles East of South Shore, Greenup County, Kentucky. The requested in-service date is November 1, 2014.” The PJM website shows that the current in-service projection is the third quarter of 2015.

The intent of the impact study is to determine system reinforcements and associated costs and construction time estimates required to facilitate the addition of the new generating plant to the transmission system.

“Depending on the final configuration, AEP-Kentucky Power may require SunCoke to submit a request for and take retail service from AEP-Kentucky Power, which will utilize the interconnection metering for the settlement of real and reactive power delivered to the generating facility during times of net consumption,” the study added. “Retail service settlements for the generating facility are not required during hours of net generation. If the final configuration treats the generating facilities as behind the meter, the aforementioned retail service will not be required, and the generating facility consumption will be treated as SunCoke industrial load.”

The X4-025 project was originally studied as 130 MW at the feasibility stage under designation U2-080. SunCoke has since cancelled queue project U2-080 and requested that X4-025 be reduced to 80 MW.

X4-025 now proposes to connect directly to Millbrook Park station via a new customer owned/constructed radial 138 kV line. AEP’s ownership of the 138 kV system facilities will end at (and not include) the first structure outside of the Millbrook Park station fence.

The PJM website shows that X4-025 entered the queue in November 2011, that it is still under study, and that several steps are still needed to clear the PJM process, including the working out of an Interconnection Service Agreement.

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection on Dec. 26, 2013, released for comment a draft air permit for SunCoke Energy South Shore LLC for the Greenup County project. The project company is owned by SunCoke Energy (NYSE: SXC), which has several coke production plants around the U.S., including relatively new ones in Ohio (Haverhill and Middletown) and Illinois (Granite City).

The Greenup County facility would be on a 254-acre site, and consist of coal handling and preparation equipment, heat recovery coke ovens, coal charging, coke pushing and handling equipment, a quench tower, coke storage facilities, various administrative and support buildings, and associated air pollution control equipment. Waste heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and a steam turbine will be constructed to recover heat from the process gases to produce electricity.

Coal would be received via barges on the river. There are 120 coke ovens arranged in two separate banks, East and West, with a combined capability of carbonizing up to 1,226,400 tons per year (tpy) of coal and producing up to 831,100 tpy of metallurgical coke.

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.