Big Rivers idling another Kentucky coal plant, this time the Reid facility

Big Rivers Electric Corp., because of a planned temporary idling of its coal-fired Reid Station, intends to reduce the coal inventory there to zero tons in April 2016, said Big Rivers in a fuel purchasing report filed Feb. 19 at the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The filing doesn’t say how long this idling for the 130-MW Reid plant will last. Big Rivers said that it has intentionally reduced its solid fuel procurement in order to reclaim coal and petroleum coke that is currently held in inventory during the course of 2016. By intentionally reducing its market purchases, the company is focused on inventory reduction at each generating station. Market conditions will continue to play a significant role in the pace and overall quantity of inventory reduction. In the event 2016 is similar in market pricing and demand, inventory reduction efforts will be hampered, it noted.

Here are the figures for each Big Rivers plant during the May-October 2015 fuel procurement review period:

  • Reid Station (Coal), zero tons burned, 712 tons received, minus 8,149,000 net kWh of generation, negative 2.84% capacity factor;
  • Henderson Station Two (Coal), 192,536 tons burned, 319,068 tons received, 438,424,220 net kWh generated, 54.9% capacity factor;
  • Green Station (Coal), 469,323 tons burned, 516,026 tons received, 1,203,515,233 net KWh generated, 60% capacity factor;
  • Green Station (Pet Coke), 86,209 tons burned, 164,010 tons received;
  • Coleman Station (Coal), zero tons burned and received, negative 4,385,000 kWh, -0.22% capacity factor;
  • Wilson Station (Coal), 659,789 tons burned, 793,588 tons received, 1,667,075,501 net kWh, 90.53% capacity factor; and
  • Wilson Station (Pet Coke), 74,824 tons burned, 167,325 tons received.

The Station Two figures are net of City of Henderson, which had a generation take of 318,035,000 kWh. For the Green and Wilson pet coke categories, total net kWh and capacity factor figures are the ones cited in the coal categories for each plant. Net kWh for Coleman Station is for station power used as the 443-MW plant has been idled since May 2014 after the loss of major aluminum smelter power customers for Big Rivers.

Solid fuel deliveries during the review period came from:

  • Alliance Coal, Coal, 317,580 tons, Contract;
  • Armstrong Coal, Coal, 464,678 tons, Contract;
  • Coeclerici-Coal Network, Coal, 75,396 tons, Contract;
  • Coeclerici-Coal Network, Coal, 75,998 tons, Spot;
  • Foresight Coal, Coal, 123,808 tons, Contract;
  • KenAmerican Resources, Coal, 155,059 tons, Contract;
  • Koch Carbon, Pet Coke, 86,283 tons, Spot;
  • Oxbow Carbon & Minerals, Pet Coke, 24,281 tons, Spot;
  • Rhino Energy LLC, Coal, 81,011 tons, Contract;
  • Sebree Mining LLC, Coal, 335,864 tons, Contract; and
  • TCP Pet Coke, Pet Coke, 220,770 tons, Spot.

The filing listed basic details of coal contracts that were in effect during the review period, including:

  • Patriot Coal Sales LLC, January 2015 assignment to Alliance Coal LLC, the new source mines after assignment are Onton No. 9 Mine in Webster County, Kentucky, and River View Mine in Union County, Kentucky, contract runs to end of 2015, 700,000 tons contracted for 2015.
  • Sebree Mining LLC (formerly Allied Resources), sources are Onton No. 9 Mine and Dotiki Mine Webster County, Kentucky, contract runs to end of 2016, 900,000 tons contracted in 2016.

As for the Big Rivers coal inventories, they were as of Oct. 31 of last year:

  • Big Rivers total system, 1,304,539 tons, 103 days of supply, 117 days of duration, 1,482,680 tons of burn in prior six-month period;
  • Reid Station, 10,115 tons of inventory, 16 days of supply, zero tons of duration, zero tons of burn in prior six month period;
  • Henderson Station Two, 313,341 tons in inventory, 200 days of burn, 123 days of duration, 192,536 tons of burn in prior six-month period;
  • Green Station, 394,981 tons in inventory, 99 days of burn, 139 days of duration, 555,532 tons burned in prior six-month period;
  • Coleman Station, zero tons in inventory, no burn, no duration, zero tons burned in prior six-month period; and
  • Wilson Station, 586.102 tons in inventory, 143 days of burn, 179 days in duration, 734,612 tons burned in prior six-month period.

The days of burn figure equals the current inventory (in tons), the preceding six months of burn (in tons), times the duration (in days).

Green Station had a pet coke inventory of 157,454 tons as of Oct. 31, 2015. Wilson Station had a pet coke inventory of 206,959 tons as of Oct. 31, 2015.

Reid Station Unit 1 was in standby reserve for 184 days of the May-October 2015 period. The duration of generation was reduced to zero days for this facility.

Henderson Station Two Units 1 and 2 had unscheduled and scheduled maintenance hours of 313.8 hours during the period. Unit 2 had an abnormal unscheduled outage of 2,543 hours that extended beyond the period under review due to grounding of the generator. These hours were equivalent to 59 days. There were also reserve outage hours of 90 hours which was equivalent to two days. The duration of generation was reduced to 123 days.

Green Units 1 and 2 had unscheduled and scheduled maintenance hours of 864.3 hours. These hours were equivalent to 18 days. Green 1 and 2 were placed in standby reserve for 410.5 hours. These hours were equivalent to nine days. Green 1 had a planned maintenance outage which lasted 864 hours which was equivalent to 18 days. The duration of generation was reduced to 139 days.

Coleman Station Units 1, 2 and 3 were placed on Inactive Reserve Status on May 8, 2014, and this totaled 13,248 hours during the period, which was equivalent to 184 days. The duration of generation was reduced to zero days. Coleman Station will have no inventory going forward unless it is removed from the Inactive Reserve Status.

Wilson Unit 1 had 116.6 unscheduled maintenance hours. These hours were equivalent to five days. The duration of generation was reduced to 179 days.

The Big Rivers Electric coal inventory target ranges are:

  • Total System – 30-60 Days
  • Reid Station – 16-20 Days
  • Henderson Station Two – 30-60 Days
  • Green – 30-60 Days
  • Coleman – 0 Days
  • Wilson – 30-60 Days

The actual inventory for Henderson Station Two exceeds the target range by 140 days. Reduced demand for electricity and an extended outage on Unit 1, followed by the unscheduled outage on Henderson Station Two Unit 2 caused, Henderson Station Two to exceed its target range. Henderson Station Two Unit 2 tripped off line due to generator going to ground. The outage repairs to the generator and rotor lasted from July 18, 2015, through Dec. 5, 2015, for a total of 3,335 hours of which 2,543 hours were in the period under review. Big Rivers force majeured tonnage associated with the Sebree Mining contract as a result of the Unit 2 outage.

The actual inventory for Green Station exceeds the target range by 39 days. During the period under review, the two Green units were placed on reserve for 410 hours due to reduced electricity demand and pricing. There was also a planned maintenance outage of 864 hours during this time period, and there were 388 hours of unscheduled outages and 477 hours of scheduled outages.

Finally, the Wilson Station exceeds the target range by 83 days. Wilson Station exceeded its target range due to the impact of electricity market conditions and demand. During the review period, Big Rivers continued to receive coal previously procured for Coleman Station.

Big Rivers owns and operates 1,444 MW of net generating capacity from four power stations:

  • Kenneth C. Coleman – 443 MW;
  • Robert A. Reid Station – 130 MW;
  • Robert D. Green Station – 454 MW; and
  • D. B. Wilson Station – 417 MW.

In addition to these power stations, Big Rivers also has contractual rights to 197 MW from the Station Two units owned by Henderson Municipal Power and Light

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.