Northern States Power, which is a subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin on July 28 that a baghouse and activated carbon injection installation project at the Bay Front plant is nearing completion.
The commission, in approving the project in 2012, required these quarterly progress updates.
Project construction commenced on May 30, 2013 with the start of pile installation. Baghouse erection and stair tower erection is complete. Erection of the five duct support towers is also complete.
Contractors are currently focused on work that be completed before an eight-week “cut-in” outage scheduled to begin in September 2014. On June 30, 2014, the overall percent of physical completion was approximately 77%. North States Power anticipates placing the equipment in service on Feb. 28, 2015.
The Bay Front plant is located on the shore of Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior. Three boilers feed steam into a combined steam header system that can support three turbine-generator sets. These boilers (number 1, 2, and 5), burn fuels including coal, waste wood, railroad ties, tire-derived fuel, and natural gas to produce steam that drive the three turbine-generator sets (identified as numbers 4, 5, and 6) to produce electricity.
Of the three existing turbine-generator sets, #4 has a capacity of 22 MW and came into service in 1949, #5 has a capacity of 22 MW and came into service in 1952, and #6 has a capacity of 30 MW and was placed in service in 1957. NSP has said it has no plans to install additional air control equipment on boiler number 5 because it intends to burn only natural gas in that boiler after Jan. 1, 2015, so it can comply with a Wisconsin mercury reduction rule.