The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has approved water permitting for NRG REMA LLC for a new cooling tower for the Shawville power plant, which is a coal-fired facility that NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) has said it plans to convert to natural gas.
The permitting was under statutes including the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act and section 302 of the Flood Plain Management Act.
The Shawville plant is in Bradford Township, Clearfield County. The approval, said a DEP notice in the May 30 Pennsylvania Bulletin, is: “An authorization giving consent to construct, operate and maintain a cooling tower for the Shawville Power Generation Station within the 100-year floodway and flood fringe of the West Branch Susquehanna River. Construction, operation and maintenance of the cooling tower and its appurtenances at this power generation facility shall be performed at existing elevations with no placement of fill. The project is located along the western right-of-way of SR 0970 approximately 800-feet south of SR 0879 and SR 0970 intersection. This permit was issued under Section 105.13(e) ‘Small Projects.'”
Shawville is in a group of coal plants that are about to be converted by 2016 to gas, including Avon Lake Units 7 and 9, New Castle Units 3-5, Shawville Units 1-4 and Dunkirk. Avon Lake is in Ohio, New Castle and Shawville are in Pennsylvania, and Dunkirk is in New York.