Moxie Freedom nears air permit for 1,050-MW power plant in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said in a notice in the May 30 Pennsylvania Bulletin that it intends to approve an air permit for Moxie Freedom LLC to construct, own, and operate a natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Salem Township, Luzerne County.

The project will consist of two identical 1×1 power blocks, each consisting of a combustion gas turbine (CT) and a steam turbine (ST) configured in single shaft alignment, where each CT and ST train share one common electric generator. The turbine to be used for this project are two General Electric (GE) 7HA.02 CTs, each in 1×1 single shaft combined-cycle power islands.

Duct burners (DB) will be installed in the heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) of the proposed new units. Each CT and duct burner will exclusively fire pipeline-quality natural gas. The HRSGs will be equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to minimize nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and oxidation catalysts to minimize carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the CTs and DBs.

The project will also include several pieces of ancillary equipment, including:

  • One fuel gas dew-point heater—natural gas fired, common for all CTs
  • Two CT inlet evaporative coolers—one for each CT (not emissions sources)
  • Two air-cooled condensers—one for each HRSG (not emissions sources)
  • One auxiliary boiler, natural gas-fired
  • One diesel engine powered emergency generator
  • One diesel engine powered fire water pump
  • Diesel fuel, lubricating oil, and aqueous ammonia storage tanks

The proposed facility will be a ”major source” of criteria air pollutants. Moxie Freedom is applying to the Department for a Plan Approval addressing Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) review and non-attainment New Source Review (NSR).

The project, called the Moxie Freedom Generation Plant, once fully operational will have the capability to produce 1,050 MW.

The PSD regulations require specific sources of air pollution, such as the proposed Moxie Freedom Generation Plant, to satisfy four conditions before approval to construct and operate may be granted by DEP.

  • First, all pollutants that are subject to this regulation must be controlled by best available control technology (BACT).
  • Second, particulate and SO2 air emissions must not cause violations of the allowable annual, 24-hour, or 3-hour air quality class increments applicable in the area where the source is to be located; nor any class increments applicable in any other areas which would be impacted by the source.
  • Third, the maximum allowable increase in concentrations of all pollutants must not cause violation of either the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standards.
  • Finally, the pollutant emissions from the proposed source must not adversely impact upon soils, vegetation, and visibility in the vicinity of the proposed plant site.

A preliminary review of the information submitted by Moxie Freedom indicates that the construction and operation of the plant will meet all applicable air quality requirements including the four stated above, the DEP noted. Based upon these findings, DEP plans to approve the application and issue a permit for the construction and operation of the Moxie Freedom Generation Plant.

PJM Interconnection issued a study dated March 2015 on this project. PJM said the installed facilities will have a total capability of 1,050 MW with 900 MW of this output being recognized by PJM as capacity. The proposed in-service date for this project is June 2018. This study does not imply a PPL Electric Utilities Corp. (PPL EU) commitment to this in-service date.

This project, under PJM queue No. Z2-046, will interconnect with the PPL EU transmission system along the Lackawanna-Susquehanna 500-kV line. The project entered the queue in March 2014. 

Said the Moxie Energy LLC website about this project: “Moxie Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Moxie Freedom LLC, is proposing to build a natural gas power plant in Salem Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania to take avantage of the abundant natural gas resources in nearby areas and the skilled local workforce that has developed around the domestic natural gas production. The power plant will be fueled by only clean-burning natural gas, and will not require river water or any other large source of water typically used for cooling needs.”

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.