Orlando switches Stanton units to entirely Illinois Basin coal

Stanton Units 1 and 2 can be operated on various coal types including low-sulfur Central Appalachian and Illinois Basin/Western Kentucky (IB) coals, though in the last quarter of 2014, the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) transitioned to 100% IB coal, said the utility in a Ten-Year Site Plan filed April 1 at the Florida Public Service Commission. 

The Stanton Energy Center is located 12 miles southeast of Orlando. The 3,280-acre site contains the coal-fired Units 1 and 2, as well as the gas-fired Units A and B. Stanton Unit 1 was placed in commercial operation in 1987, followed by Stanton Unit 2 in 1996. Both units are fueled by pulverized coal. Stanton Unit 1 is a 441-MW (net) facility and OUC has a 68.6% ownership share (302 MW). Stanton Unit 2 is a 453 MW (net) facility and OUC maintains a 71.6% (324 MW) ownership share of this unit.

The plan noted: “OUC recently modified the Stanton Energy Center coal units to allow the units to offset a portion of their coal usage by burning natural gas while operating.”

The high quality coal burned at Stanton contributes to the high availability of the units as well as their low heat rates. Also, OUC said it has installed natural gas igniters for both Stanton 1 and Stanton 2, eliminating the use of No. 6 fuel oil and reducing the amount of coal burned during operations when economical to do so. OUC has also signed a contract to burn the methane gas collected from the Orange County landfill adjacent to Stanton Energy Center. Stanton 1 and Stanton 2 both have the capability of burning methane. 

Also in terms of coal, McIntosh Unit 3 is a 340-MW (net) coal unit operated by Lakeland Electric. McIntosh Unit 3 has supplementary natural gas and refuse-derived fuel burning capability and is capable of burning up to 20% petroleum coke. Lakeland Electric has ceased burning refuse-derived fuel at McIntosh Unit 3 for operational and landfill reasons, the OUC plan noted. For purposes of the analyses performed in this site plan, it was assumed that McIntosh Unit 3 would burn coal priced identically to that used for Stanton Units 1 and 2. OUC has a 40% ownership share (133 MW) in McIntosh Unit 3.

Coal represents approximately 48.7% of the winter generating capacity (approximately 50.7% summer) and natural gas represents approximately 47.5% of the winter generating capacity (45.3% summer) either wholly or jointly owned by OUC. With the inclusion of OUC’s purchased power resources, coal represents about 39.9% of the winter generating capacity (approximately 41.4% summer) and natural gas represents about 56.9% of the winter generating capacity (55% summer).  

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.