NRG permits new cooling tower for Shawville plant in Pennsylvania

NRG REMA LLC has submitted a plan approval application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the proposed construction of a mechanical draft cooling tower at the Shawville Generating Station located in Clearfield County, Pa.

The DEP said in a notice in the April 11 Pennsylvania Bulletin that its review of the information submitted by NRG REMA indicates that the proposed cooling tower will comply with all applicable regulatory requirements, including the best available technology (BAT) and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Industrial Process Cooling Towers requirements. The information shows the use of the proposed high efficiency drift eliminators will result in maximum drift rate equal to 0.0005% of the circulating water flow rate. In addition, operation of the proposed cooling tower will be prohibited to include the use of chromium-based water treatment chemicals. Based on this finding, the department proposes to issue a plan approval for the proposed cooling tower.

In accordance with BAT, the emissions from the proposed cooling tower will not exceed the following limits: 3.0 lbs/hr of particulate matter (condensable and filterable), PM10, and PM2.5 and 4.9 tons per 12 consecutive month period of particulate matter, PM10, and PM2.5. The plan approval conditions include a throughput restriction which limits the total dissolved solids (TDS) of the cooling tower circulating water to 4,000 ppms.

The extension of compliance for the electric generating units located at the facility with respect to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units was included in the plan approval. The plan approval condition requires the facility to adhere to the compliance schedule as received on Sept. 11, 2014.

NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) has said it ntends to mothball the coal-fired Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the Shawville facility (597 MW) beginning on April 16, 2015, and then return those units to service no later than the summer of 2016 using natural gas. April 16 is the initial compliance deadline under the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

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.