Indianapolis advances MATS compliance projects at five coal units

The Indianapolis Power & Light unit of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) is pursuing various emissions control projects to get its five primary coal units – Petersburg Units 1-4 and Harding Street Unit 7 – ready for Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) compliance.

IPL on June 23 filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for the pass-through of basic air compliance costs, like replacement of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts, incurred in the six-month period ended May 31.

Angelique Oliger, employed by AES US Services LLC as the Director of Environmental Policy, noted in the filing that the MATS rule requires compliance by April 16, 2015. However, in December 2012, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) issued a compliance extension, allowing the Eagle Valley coal-fired units, the Harding Street coal-fired units, and two Petersburg coal-fired units (Unit 3 and Unit 4) one additional year, or until April 16, 2016, for compliance with MATS. Then, on Feb. 8, IDEM granted a three-month compliance extension for Petersburg Unit 2 to July 16, 2015.

IPL is currently working with the Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) to determine if any of the IPL units are critical to reliability, which could qualify them for another one-year compliance extension, to April 2017.

IPL plans to retrofit the largest five units (Petersburg Unit 1-4 and Harding Street Unit 7) with environmental controls to meet the MATS requirements. “These units are each equipped with flue gas desulfurization systems to fully scrub SO2, and three have selective catalytic reduction technology to control NOx,” Oliger noted. “These controls also assist in the removal of MATS regulated emissions – including acid gases, mercury and non-mercury metal hazardous air pollutants.”

IPL plans to build a new gas-fired unit at the Eagle Valley site and shut the coal units there, and also switch Harding Street Units 5 and 6 to natural gas, all for MATS compliance.

Michael Smith, employed by IPL as Manager, Engineering & Project Management for three generating stations – Harding Street, Petersburg and Eagle Valley – said about projects coming up in the next six-month period: “At Petersburg, IPL is evaluating the purchase of a new or regenerated SCR catalyst layer for Petersburg Unit #2 (PE2) in 2015 due to the condition of the middle layer removed during the PE2 Fall 2013 major outage. [I]t has not yet been determined whether this will be a ‘regenerated’ layer or a ‘new’ layer. IPL is working to add this to the 2014 budget and is evaluating installation in the PE2 Spring 2015 tie-in outage of the new bag house for Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (‘MATS’) compliance. Petersburg also plans some lead-in purchases of ceramic-lined air preheater baskets for replacement on the PE3 Spring 2015 major outage.”

Another official supplying June 23 testimony was Thomas Moore, employed by IPL as the Project Engineering Manager with the Environmental Compliance Construction Projects (‘ECCP’) Team for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule Compliance Project.

Asked about MATS projects undertaken in the December 2013-May 2014 period, Moore said: “A significant amount of project development and construction activities have occurred during this reporting period for the MATS Compliance Project. The first scheduled outage for Petersburg Unit 2 was completed in late December 2013. At that time, two new auxiliary transformer and associated electrical switchgear were commissioned and placed into service. Two larger Booster Fans and Motors were installed and placed in service as well. Construction activities continued on all four Petersburg Units during the remainder of the reporting period. No major activities beyond engineering and permit applications were completed, nor scheduled, for Harding Street Unit 7 during this time.”

Asked about fall 2014 projects, Moore responded: “The MATS Compliance Project will continue to progress in several areas over the course of the next three years. All five units have compliance deadlines, with the last ones defined as April 16, 2016. Petersburg Units 4 and 1 have scheduled outages in October and November of 2014, respectively. Several tasks are planned for these times to tie-in new equipment and complete Electro-Static Precipitator (‘ESP’) enhancements for the capture of the newly regulated emissions. Additional tasks, primarily the continued construction of the Petersburg Unit 2 [pulse jet fabric filter] and preparation for Petersburg Unit 3 new transformers and Booster Fans, are also scheduled.”

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.