DTE Electric permits coal-to-gas conversion at Trenton Channel plant

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division is taking comment until April 12 on a draft Permit to Install (PTI) for DTE Electric‘s Trenton Channel Power Plant, located just south of Detroit.

The permitting covers the installation of five permanent natural gas-fired package boilers which will replace four existing coal-fired boilers. A second application is to reduce the allowed SO2 emissions from existing Boiler 9A.

The Trenton Channel facility currently includes five coal-fired boilers (9A, 16, 17, 18, and 19) and five oil-fired Slocum peaking generation units. Boilers 16, 17, 18, and 19 have a combined heat input capacity of 3,023 million British Thermal Units (MMBTU’s) per hour. These four boilers are collectively referred to as the “High Side” boilers.

Effective April 16, 2016, the existing coal-fired boilers at DTE will become subject to the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units. Previously, DTE has undertaken a MATS Compliance Project involving modifications to Boiler 9A allowing it to meet these requirements. As they currently exist, the High Side boilers cannot be operated in compliance with MATS. Therefore, DTE will be shutting them down on or before April 15, 2016.

Each of the five natural gas-fired package boilers will be rated at a steam delivery rate of 75,000 pounds per hour and have a nominal heat release capacity of 99.9 MMBTU’s per hour. Only three of the five boilers are proposed to operate simultaneously. The boilers will each be equipped with low NOx burners and an oxygen trim system. The oxygen trim system will be used to control the combustion process and minimize emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO). These boilers will be installed on the operating floor of the low pressure turbine building.

No changes are proposed to the existing five oil-fired Slocum peaking generation units. All of the proposed changes together will result in decreases in allowed emissions of all regulated pollutants except for CO. Allowed CO emissions will increase by 24.6 tons per year.

The proposed project will result in a net SO2 emissions reduction of over 4,000 tons per year from the facility. Based upon this reduction, the proposed project will assist the area in returning to attainment for SO2.

The plant’s boilers are:

  • No. 16 Boiler – tangentially fired boiler, 52.5 MW nameplate capacity, with dry wire Electrostatic precipitators and sulfur conditioning system.
  • No. 17 Boiler – tangentially fired boiler, 52.5 MW nameplate capacity, with dry wire Electrostatic precipitators and sulfur conditioning system.
  • No. 18 Boiler – tangentially fired boiler, 52.5 MW nameplate capacity, with dry wire Electrostatic precipitators and sulfur conditioning system.
  • No. 19 Boiler – tangentially fired boiler, 52.5 MW nameplate capacity, with dry wire Electrostatic precipitators and sulfur conditioning system.
  • Boiler No. 9A – tangentially fired boiler, 520 MW nameplate capacity, with dry wire Electrostatic precipitators and Low-NOx burners.
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.