Georgia Power nears wrap-up for MATS projects at coal units

Georgia Power told the Georgia Public Service Commission in a June 1 quarterly update that several coal-to-gas conversion projects have been completed and various air controls are being brought into service at remaining coal-fired units.

A final commission order in the 2013 Integrated Resource Plan proceeding for Georgia Power requires this Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary to provide quarterly compliance reports regarding the environmental controls and fuel switches approved by the commission to comply with the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The affected units are Plant Bowen Units 1-4, Plant Gaston Units 1-4, Plant Hammond Units 1-4, Plant McIntosh Unit 1, Plant Scherer Units 1-3, Plant Wansley Units 1 and 2 and Plant Yates Units 6 and 7.

Notable is that these projects would be in the final wrap-up stages since the initial MATS compliance deadline was in April 2015, and the deadline under a one-year MATS extension was in April of this year. A second-one year extension to April 2017 for grid reliability purposes is very tough to get from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The major components of the compliance strategy are:

  • Baghouses – Plant Bowen Units 3 and 4;
  • Activated Carbon Injection (ACI) and Alkali Sorbent Injection (ASI) – Plant Bowen Units 1-4, Plant Hammond Units 1-4 and Plant Wansley Units 1-2;
  • ACI and Dry Sorbent Injection (DSI) – Plant McIntosh Unit 1;
  • Bromide Systems – Plant Scherer Units 1-3; and
  • Fuel switch from coal to gas – Plant Gaston Units 1-4, Plant Yates Units 6-7. 

The status of these projects is:

  • Plant Bowen Units 1 and 2 – The Units 1 and 2 ALK and ACI systems have been placed in service. The Units 1 and 2 precipitator work is complete. Mercury Re-emission Control (MRC) silos have been erected and startup of systems is anticipated in the second quarter of 2016.
  • Plant Bowen Units 3 and 4 – The Unit 4 baghouse was placed in service on Feb. 21, 2016. Note that the Q4 2015 report inadvertently utilized a “first gas” flow milestone and therefore incorrectly identified an in-service date of Dec. 12, 2015. The Unit 3 baghouse is expected to be ready for service in the second quarter of 2016 and is awaiting performance testing in order to be placed in service. The Unit 3 ALK, Unit 4 ALK and Unit 4 ACI systems are complete. The Unit 3 ACI system construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016 and ready for service when the baghouse is placed in service.
  • Plant Gaston Units 1-4 – Final valve modifications in the gas conditioning station are underway. Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 have all completed their tie-in outages, are available on gas or coal and have achieved commercial operation as follows: Unit 1, Dec. 12, 2015; Unit 2, Dec. 8, 2015; Unit 3, Dec. 22, 2015; and Unit 4, July 8, 2015.
  • Plant Hammond Units 1-4 – The Units 1-4 ACI and ALK systems have been placed in service. Precipitator work for Units 1-4 is complete. Plant Hammond’s Huffaker Road Landfill has received the approval to receive waste letter from Georgia Environmental Protection Division for Cells A and B.
  • Plant McIntosh Unit 1 – Work on the ACI and DSI systems is complete. Precipitator refurbishment work is complete. Work on the new landfill continues.
  • Plant Scherer Units 1-3 – Engineering studies continue for bromide injection.
  • Plant Wansley Units 1-2 – MRC silos have been erected and startup of systems anticipated in the second quarter of 2016.
  • Plant Yates Units 6 and 7 – The switch to natural gas at both units is complete. Unit 7 was placed into commercial operation on natural gas on May 4, 2015, and Unit 6 was placed into commercial operation on natural gas on June 27, 2015.
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.