Backers ready for most costly haze option for Laramie River coal plant

The Missouri Basin Power Project (MBPP) E&O and Audit committees met jointly on Aug. 25 to hear financial reports and the proposed 2016 operating and capital budgets, said Basin Electric Power Cooperative in an Aug. 28 statement.

Tom Leingang, Basin Electric business analyst, said the proposed 2016 operating budget for MBPP is $308.8 million. The proposed 2016 capital budget is $863.2 million for new projects, with proposed selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology accounting for $756 million of the total.

In January 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rejected the state of Wyoming’s regional haze state implementation plan to install cheaper selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) technology on all three units at the coal-fired Laramie River Station, and set the NOx emission limit at 0.07 lb/MMBtu on a 30-day rolling average. This strict emissions limit can only be achieved using SCR technology in addition to the over-fire air and low-NOx burners already installed on all three units.

While initial compliance was set for March 2019, the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Basin Electric’s motion for a stay in September 2014, delaying the date of compliance for the length of the litigation, estimated to be about 18 months.

MBPP is a group of six regional, consumer-owned energy organizations that built the Laramie River Station in Wheatland, Wyoming. Project members include: Basin Electric; Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association; the Western Minnesota Municipal Power AgencyLincoln Electric SystemHeartland Consumers Power District; and the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.

The MBPP Management Committee will review the proposed budgets on Oct. 23 at the Laramie River Station.

Laramie River has three coal units: Unit 1 (570 net MW) began operating in 1980; Unit 2 (570 net MW) began operating in 1981; and Unit 3 (570 net MW) began operating in 1982. Laramie River delivers electricity to two separate electrical grids. Unit 1 is connected to the Eastern Interconnection, while Unit 2 and Unit 3 feed into the Western Interconnection. The electricity produced at Laramie River is sent to substations in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado, where it is then delivered to Missouri Basin Power Project participants.

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.