Wisconsin Public Service to test gas co-firing at Pulliam coal units

Wisconsin Public Service Corp. on March 28 submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) an application for exemption from Air Pollution Control permit requirements so it can test natural gas co-firing at its JP Pulliam Plant.

The utility is proposing to research and test using natural gas, co-fired with coal, as a fuel in Units #7 and #8. “The current permit allows for the use of natural gas but it is normally just used for startups, shutdowns and load stabilization,” the DNR said. “The testing will be done to determine the level that natural gas can be used under normal operating conditions and for long-term feasibility. The existing natural gas burners will be used for the testing.

“The Bureau of Air Management of the DNR has analyzed these materials and has determined that the project should meet applicable criteria for exemption as stated in sec. NR 406.04(1)(i), Wis. Adm. Code. The DNR finds that the proposed test will not present a significant hazard to public health, safety or welfare, or to the environment. This preliminary determination does not constitute approval from the Air Management Program or any other DNR sections which may also require a review of the project.”

The agency is taking public comment until April 30 on the application. The co-firing test program would run for up to a year, with a test start possible in May.

The Pulliam site is at the mouth of the Fox River in Green Bay. Originally there were eight units. Six have been retired and are no longer operating. The two operating units are fueled using low sulfur coal. Together, the units are capable of producing 231 MW. Pulliam Unit 7 began operating in 1958 and Pulliam Unit 8 in 1964.

There is also a natural gas fueled combustion turbine at Pulliam. It runs during times of peak energy demand and began operating in 2003.

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.