Entergy wrapping up MATS-compliant air controls at two coal plants in Arkansas

Entergy Arkansas Inc. said in April 24 rate case testimony filed at the Arkansas Public Service Commission that it is making progress getting into place air emissions controls to meet the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) requirements for the coal-fired White Bluff and Independence power plants.

Kurtis W. Castleberry, employed by Entergy Arkansas (EAI) as Director of Resource Planning and Market Operations, wrote: “White Bluff Units 1 and 2 and [Independence Steam Electric Station (ISES)] Units 1 and 2 must have appropriate controls installed to comply with the MATS for those units so they can operate beyond the compliance deadline that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (‘ADEQ’) has established for these units. …  White Bluff Units 1 and 2 and ISES Units 1 and 2 were not equipped with the necessary controls to achieve MATS compliance while that base rate case was pending. The original deadline for MATS compliance at White Bluff and ISES was April 16, 2015. However, EAI has secured a one-year extension until April 16, 2016, from ADEQ to achieve compliance for these units.

“In connection with that extension, EAI has committed to ADEQ to install activated carbon injection and calcium bromide injection systems at each of the units at White Bluff and ISES. These controls will be placed into service in 2015, and the capital costs associated with them are included in EAI’s cost of service. In addition, as a result of testing and ultimately operating these controls, EAI is incurring the costs of activated carbon and calcium bromide that is consumed at these units based on the energy they generate.

“The MATS controls projects have been completed for ISES Units 1 and 2 and White Bluff Unit 1. The work to install the MATS controls on White Bluff Unit 2 is on-going and is scheduled to be completed by the middle of May 2015. EAI has included the MATS controls costs in its cost of service in this case.”

Castleberry also touched on a pending proceeding at the commission where EAI is seeking approval to buy the gas-fired Power Block 2 of the Union Power Station (UPS). He wrote: “EAI is currently responding to discovery after submitting its direct and supplemental testimonies in that docket. A hearing is scheduled for September 15, 2015. As discussed in that proceeding, the Company has targeted the closing of the UPS transaction for December 2015. Because new rates associated with this base rate case will likely become effective in early 2016, the timing of the closing could provide an opportunity to include the costs of the UPS acquisition in base rates.”

Hugh T. McDonald, the Entergy Arkansas President and Chief Executive Officer, said in April 24 testimony: “The Company’s nuclear power resources include 1,721 MW in the two-unit Arkansas Nuclear One plant located near Russellville and 307 MW from the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (‘Grand Gulf’) near Port Gibson, Mississippi under a long-term purchase power contract. EAI also utilizes 1,031 MW from coal-fired generation at the White Bluff Steam Electric Station (‘WB;) and Independence Steam Electric Station (‘ISES’) located near Redfield and Newark. EAI shares ownership of WB with the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and several municipal electric utilities and shares ownership of ISES with Entergy Mississippi, Inc. (EMI), the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, Entergy Power Inc., an Entergy affiliate, and several municipal electric utilities. The Company’s generation fleet is rounded out with 94 MW of hydro-electric capacity along the Ouachita River Valley and 2,224 MW of natural gas-fired generation that includes 597 MW from the Hot Spring Plant and the 489 MW from the Ouachita Plant, which are both modern combined cycle gas turbines (‘CCGT’) located near Malvern, Arkansas and Sterlington, Louisiana, respectively.

“In Docket No. 14-118-U, EAI has also requested authorization from the APSC to purchase Power Block 2 (‘PB 2’) of the Union Power Station (‘UPS’) in El Dorado, Arkansas, from which the Company is currently purchasing 495 MW of capacity through a short-term Purchase Power Agreement (‘PPA’) approved in Docket No. 12-038-U. Finally, EAI has requested authorization from the APSC to enter into a long-term PPA with Stuttgart Solar, LLC for 81 MW of solar power in Docket No. 15-014-U.”

EAI is a unit of Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR).

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.