Florida DEP backs certification of Citrus combined-cycle gas project

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a report endorsing the Citrus combined-cycle gas plant being proposed by a Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) utility within the Crystal River Energy Complex.

Duke Energy Florida (DEF) already owns and operates Units 4 and 5, which are fossil-fueled, and it also oversees the now-retired 1,030-MW Crystal River 3 nuclear unit at the station.

On May 27, 2014, DEF filed a petition to determine need for the Citrus Combined Cycle Power Plant with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). In August 2014 Duke submitted a site certification application to build a 1,640-MW combined-cycle gas plant.

In October of last year, the PSC issued a final order granting the determination of need for the combined-cycle plant. As for DEP, it has received no written comments from the public regarding the Citrus combined-cycle project.

Duke Energy Florida expects about 450 construction workers to be involved in the two-year project with a peak of about 700 workers.

DEF intends to incorporate the proposed combined-cycle plant into the existing Crystal River Energy Complex site certification license. Crystal River Units 1 and 2 will be retired in conjunction with commercial operation of the new gas-fired generation.

The combined-cycle plant would be located within a 400-acre site within the larger 4,400-acre Crystal River property. The site is located on property previously used for timbering operations and permitted for mining.

The nearest residential areas are nearly two miles from the project site, DEP said.

The Florida state-owned Crystal River Preserve State Park borders the existing south/southeast CREC property and the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway State Recreation and Conservation Area borders the existing northwest border of CREC.

Duke is proposing to construct and operate two 2-on-1 natural gas fired combined cycle units. The utility has chosen the Mitsubishi 501GAC advanced, large-frame combustion turbine generator (CTG) for this project.

Other new facilities directly associated with electrical generation include four new heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), two new steam turbine generators (STG), four HRSG stacks, and two 14-16 cell cooling towers. Each CTG will have its own associated HRSG.

Dry low-NOx combustors and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems would be part of the pollution-control equipment.

Each of the four combustion turbines will operate up to 8,760 hours/year when firing natural gas in combined cycle mode. The natural gas-fired duct burners in the four HRSG’s are rated at 256 million Btu per hour (mmBtu/hour) and will operate up to 16,000 hours aggregate for all HRSG during any one calendar year.

Natural gas will be delivered to the site via a gas pipeline that will be permitted by Sabal Trail Transmission.

Sabal Trail will operate and have controlling ownership of that pipeline and the on-site metering station. The natural gas supply pipeline from the Sabal Trail system will be via an approximately 22-mile lateral from the Sabal Trail natural gas transmission pipeline system. The pipeline and metering station for the pipeline are not considered part of this project, the DEP said.

The combined-cycle plant would be integrated into the existing power station operations and minimize the use of water and maximize the recycling and reuse of water.

“It should be noted that the scope of a certification under this act includes only state, regional, and local requirements. All federal permits are processed separately,” DEP said in the report. “Permits issued by the state under federally approved or delegated programs being sought in association with this Project include an air construction permit (final permit issued December 15, 2014) and a permit revision under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements,” DEP said.

Duke proposes to fuel the combustion turbine generators only with natural gas. But the DEP report does note that ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel oil will be used for the emergency firewater pump and two emergency generators. The fuel oil will be delivered by tanker trucks.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.