GE to provide water clean-up system for Petersburg coal plant in Indiana

General Electric (NYSE: GE) said Feb. 23 that it will supply its advanced wastewater treatment equipment for an upgrade of Indianapolis Power & Light’s (IPL) coal-fired Petersburg Generating Station.

GE will provide its brine concentration (evaporation) technology to treat flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater discharge, enabling IPL to meet its U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. Additionally, the power plant’s wastewater will be recycled into clean water for reuse in the facility.

“IPL is taking steps to meet current Indiana water quality standards, as included in the facility’s NPDES permit, by incorporating brine concentration (evaporation) technology at our Petersburg Generating Station. This technology will also ensure compliance with the U.S. EPA’s final Effluent Limitation Guideline, or ELG, regulation,” said Shams Chishti, director of environmental construction, Indianapolis Power & Light. 

Located in Pike County, Indiana, the Petersburg Generating Station is a 1,760-MW, coal-fired plant. GE will provide the equipment to Indiana Water Partners (IWP), the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. IWP is a joint venture between Bowen Engineering and Burns & McDonnell.

The Petersburg Generating Station will be enhanced with GE’s technology solution for FGD wastewater, scrubber blowdown equipment, softening clarifiers, thermal brine concentrators and associated auxiliary equipment. The new treatment system is expected to begin commercial operation in 2017.

“Indianapolis Power & Light Company will eliminate FGD liquid discharge to waterways to meet current state water quality standards, which will ensure compliance with the final ELG regulation,” said Kevin Cassidy, global leader, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power. “Our FGD wastewater treatment solution offers power plants maximum flexibility to treat FGD wastewater generated from any type of coal.”

Compliance with the new EPA effluent limitation guidelines will reduce or eliminate metals and other pollutants from entering surface waters from steam electric power plants, GE noted. The new rules specifically address FGD wastewater from coal-fired plants and identify chemical precipitation followed by biological treatment as the best available technology for treating and discharging the waste from existing plants and evaporation for new facilities. In addition, the guidelines identify the evaporation approach as a best available technology for eliminating FGD waste streams from existing power plants under a voluntary incentive program if such technology is not already being implemented due to other requirements.

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.