C.P. Crane drops petition for approval of gas firing at Crane 2 coal unit

Without offering a specific reason, C.P. Crane LLC on July 28 sent a brief letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission asking it to drop a review of a June 24 application for approval to fire gas at C.P. Crane Unit 2.

Said the July 28 letter: “Please accept this letter on behalf of C.P. Crane LLC (‘Crane’) as its withdrawal of its application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (‘CPCN’) that was docketed as Case No. 9421. For reasons not anticipated at the time of filing of the application, Crane no longer expects to proceed with the project for which a CPCN was sought. Crane believes withdrawal of the application and termination of Case No. 9421 would be appropriate to reasonably conserve the resources of the Commission, the reviewing state agencies, and the other parties to Case No. 9421, given the unlikelihood of the project proceeding.”

C.P. Crane had been seeking approval of the use of natural gas in the existing Unit 2. The company had asked for a commission decision by the end of 2016 in order to facilitate construction by early-April 2017. This would permit the project to be in service for the summer 2017 season.

C.P. Crane is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avenue Capital Group. The Crane plant is operated by PurEnergy Operating Services LLC.

The Crane plant includes two coal-fired units, which are the main generating units at the facility: Unit 1 and Unit 2. Today, both Unit 1 and Unit 2 are coal-fired. With this now-withdrawn application, Crane was proposing to modify Unit 2 to enable it to use natural gas, whether by itself or in combination with coal. The project will allow Crane to reduce its ozone-season (summer) emissions while maintaining electric generating capacity, reduce usage of high-maintenance coal and ash handling systems, reduce ash disposal requirements, and shorten Unit 2’s start-up time. 

Crane Station Unit 2 began operating in 1963. The unit is an opposed-wall fired, wet bottom, cyclone-burner type with a net generating capacity of 195 MW. The unit is equipped with a baghouse for control of particulate matter (PM) emissions and a selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) system for control of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. Additionally, the boiler burners are equipped with over-fire air (OFA) systems for control of NOx. The unit also is equipped with an activated carbon injection system along with a coal additive system for control of mercury emissions and a dry sorbent injection (DSI) system for control of hydrogen chloride (HCl) emissions.

Crane Station Unit 2 is currently fired using subbituminous coal, with a maximum heat input of 1,865 MMBtu/hr. The purpose of this project was to provide natural gas firing capability on all four Unit 2 cyclones that will allow up to a maximum of approximately 50% heat input from natural gas, primarily for operation during the ozone season. The new equipment was to enable firing on natural gas alone (up to approximately 100 MW), co-firing with natural gas and coal (at higher loads, up to the current unit MW rating), or coal firing alone as is done currently.

The project was not intended to affect the operation of Crane Station Unit 1.

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.