Indiana agency approves air permit changes for Petersburg coal plant

The Indiana Office of Air Quality (OAQ) on June 18 approved some air permit changes for the coal-fired Petersburg power plant of Indianapolis Power & Light.

The permitting covers:

  • the addition of one filter fabric baghouse, identified as BH-2, constructed in 2015, which will serve boiler Unit 2;
  • the addition of one filter fabric baghouse, identified as BH-3, constructed in 2015, which will serve boiler Unit 3;
  • the incorporation of requirements of under federal regulations for Coal and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units to the four boilers identified as Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, and Unit 4, and the installation of pollution control devices on each of these boilers, and
  • modifications to monitoring requirements including the replacement of continuous opacity monitoring (COM) systems on boiler Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, with continuous emissions monitoring (CEMS) for particulate matter (PM).

The primary coal units at the plant consist of:

  • one coal/No. 2 fuel oil fired boiler, identified as Unit 1, constructed prior to 1967, with a design capacity of 2200 MMBtu per hour. Unit 1 uses: an electrostatic precipitator as control for PM emissions; FGD scrubber (installed in 1996) as control for SO2 emissions; activated carbon injection (ACI) (approved in 2013 for construction); and low NOX burner (installed in 1995) for NOX reduction.
  • one coal/No. 2 fuel oil fired boiler, identified as Unit 2, constructed prior to 1969, with a design capacity of 4144 MMBtu per hour. Unit 2 uses: an electrostatic precipitator or a baghouse (approved in 2015 for construction) as control for PM emissions; FGD scrubber (installed in 1996), as control for SO2 emissions; ACI (approved in 2013 for construction); and selective catalytic reduction (installed in 2004) and low NOX burner as control for NOX reduction.
  • one coal/No. 2 fuel oil fired boiler, identified as Unit 3, constructed prior to 1977, with a design capacity of 5540 MMBtu per hour. Unit 3 uses: an electrostatic precipitator or a baghouse (approved in 2015 for construction) as control for PM emissions; ACI (approved in 2013 for construction); selective catalytic reduction (installed in 2004) as control for NOx emissions; and FGD scrubber as control for SO2 emissions.
  • one coal/No. 2 fuel oil fired boiler, identified as Unit 4, on which construction began in 1978 and which began operation in 1986, with a design capacity of 5550 MMBtu per hour. Unit 4 uses: an electrostatic precipitator as control for PM emissions; FGD as control for SO2 emissions; ACI (approved in 2013 for construction); and low NOX burner (installed in 2001) for NOX reduction.

Said the IPL website about emissions-control planning: “IPL continues to invest to improve its power plants’ performance and to keep rates low. To further reduce emissions, IPL announced plans to retire some of it’s older, coal-fired generating units within the next several years and: invest approximately $600 million into a new Combined-Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant in Martinsville and $36 million to convert Units 5 and 6 at the Harding Street Station from coal to natural gas  to comply with new Utility Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) set by the EPA. In May of 2014 the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approved these plans. Engineering and procurement processes for the new CCGT plant are underway in the summer of 2014. On-site construction will begin in 2015, with completion scheduled for the spring of 2017.

“In August of 2014 IPL announced plans to request permission from the IURC to convert Unit 7 at Harding Street Station to natural gas. The decision to convert to natural gas was made after careful analysis showed this alternative to be a reasonable, least-cost option. IPL also plans to invest in new environmental controls at its Petersburg plant, including MATS scrubber improvements.”

The Petersburg plant, located in Pike County, Indiana, has a production capacity of 1,760 MW.

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.