Invenergy gets air permit for Texas gas peaking project

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 office on Aug. 1 issued a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit to Ector County Energy Center LLC (ECEC) that covers Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

The permit covers the addition of two natural gas-fired simple-cycle combustion turbines, natural gas-fired dew point heater, firewater pump engine, circuit breakers and fugitive emissions at a new facility located northeast of Goldsmith, Texas.

The primary objective of the proposed project is to provide peaking capability at a new electric generating station which will be used during periods of increased demand for electricity. Due to the fluctuations in power requirements, the two new natural gas-fired simple-cycle turbines (165 MW nominal net each) are proposed to provide a fast ramp-up for electricity generation during peak electricity demand periods. In addition, the project also includes the installation of a dew-point heater, firewater pump engine, circuit breakers and fugitive emissions associated with the new facility.

Said the final permit in describing the gas turbines: “Two 165 (nominal net) MW Natural Gas-fired Simple-Cycle GE 7FA.03 Combustion Turbine Generator (CTG) with a maximum net heat input rate of 11,707 Btu/kWh (HHV) at base load ISO conditions.”

EPA noted that on June 23, while this permit was in the draft stage, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision addressing the application of stationary source permitting requirements to greenhouse gases. The Supreme Court said that the EPA may not treat greenhouse gases as an air pollutant for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source required to obtain a PSD or Title V permit. However, the court also said that the EPA could continue to require that PSD permits, otherwise required based on emissions of conventional pollutants, contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT). “Pending further EPA engagement in the ongoing judicial process before the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, the EPA is proceeding with this final permitting decision consistent with EPA’s understanding of the Supreme Court’s decision,” the agency said.

The project development company is an affiliate of Invenergy Thermal Development LLC.

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.