Illinois EPA issues permit for 48-MW addition to Prairie Power plant

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 27 issued a final air construction permit that will allow Prairie Power Inc. to construct an additional combustion turbine generator at its existing peaking plant near Alsey, Ill.

Prairie Power’s Alsey Generation Station currently has five combustion turbines generators with nominal capacities ranging from 18 to 30 MWe. Operation of the facility can occur throughout the year, although the facility is called upon to run primarily in the summer and winter months.

The now-permitted project will involve installation of another combustion turbine driving an electrical generator in a simple cycle configuration. This unit would be an existing unit that is to be refurbished and transported to the facility. This “new” unit would have a nominal capacity of 44 MWe under summer conditions and 48 MWe under winter conditions. The unit would have the capability to fire both natural gas and low-sulfur oil. Natural gas is expected to be the primary fuel. This “new” unit is a General Electric combustion turbine, Model LM6000, with a nominal rated heat input capacity of 467 mmBtu/hour.

Said the website of Prairie Power Inc. (PPI): “Owned and operated by PPI, the Alsey Generation Station consists of 5 natural gas-fired, peaking generators located in Scott County, Illinois. The facility entered service in July 1998 and has a rating of 121 megawatts. It is designed to operate during periods of peak electric usage. Since air permits for the facility limit emissions to no more than 250 tons of nitrogen oxide annually, the operation of the Alsey units is capped at 937 hours per year. The five Alsey units produced a total of just over 4,247 MWhs during 2013. The power produced by the Alsey generators was sold to the MISO market, with the payments from MISO reducing the energy supply cost for PPI members.”

Prairie Power is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric generation and transmission cooperative, which produces and supplies wholesale electricity to 10 electric distribution cooperatives in central Illinois.

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.