Activated coke deliveries begin as Weston 3 air control system nears completion

Hamon Research Cottrell (HRC) has contracted for and started deliveries of the activated coke pellets that will make up the initial fill, with deliveries to the Weston site expected to be complete by the end of 2015, said Wisconsin Public Service Corp. in an update filed Oct. 30 at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

The commission in April 2013 had approved installation of the ReACT multi-pollutant control system on the coal-fired Weston Unit 3. Activated coke is what captures the emissions.

HRC has contracted for activated coke pellets to be used for Minimum Performance Standards (MPS) testing with deliveries to a warehouse near Weston expected to be complete by the end of 2015. WPS noted that it has contracted for activated coke pellets for use during the Guaranteed Performance Standards (GPS) seasoning and testing. Delivery of these pellets to a warehouse near Weston is expected to begin January 2016. These pellets will be delivered throughout the GPS seasoning and testing phase which is expected to run into 2017.

At the end of the reporting period, which is Sept. 30, erection of the ReACT building, polishing fabric filter and acid plant were in progress. The ReACT system is scheduled to be in service by July 25, 2016. There has been no change in the anticipated in‐service date. This date corresponds to the in‐service milestone as identified in the ReACT system contract with Hamon Research Cottrell.

WPS said it is in the process of contracting for a supply of post‐GPS pellets. A contract for a portion of the supply has been put in place. A contract for the remaining portion of the supply is being negotiated.

Said the Wisconsin Public Service website: “The Weston Power Plant site, near Wausau, in central Wisconsin, is home to three fossil-fueled electric generating units that make electricity for WPS customers. Weston 4, the newest unit, is a state-of-the-art, 595-megawatt electric generator that uses clean coal technologies — making it one of the cleanest power plants of its kind in the country. Weston 4 began operating on June 30, 2008. WPS owns 70% (416.5 MW) and Dairyland Power Cooperative of La Crosse, WI owns 30% (178.5 MW). Weston Unit 3 began operating in 1981, Unit 2 in 1960 and Unit 1 in 1954. Unit 1 was retired in 2015.” The website no longer shows a MW rating for Unit 1, with Unit 2 at 65.4 MW on its new fuel, natural gas.

Said the website about the ReAct project at Unit 3: “The new system, called ReACT (Regenerative Activated Coke Technology) will significantly reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury (Hg) and other emissions from the exhaust flow. The new system is in addition to the existing exhaust controls of the Weston 3 fabric filter (bag house installed in 2000), the low NOx burners and separated over-fire air system (installed in 2009) and the mercury control system (installed 2009). The 321-megawatt Unit 3 electric generator began operation in 1981 and is fueled by Powder River Basin (low sulfur) coal from Wyoming.”

So the final tally is Unit 1 has been retired, Unit 2 has been switched from coal to gas, Unit 3 is getting an emissions retrofit that should allow long-term operation on coal, and Unit 4 is so new that it needs little in the way of new air controls to stay on coal.

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.