Indiana Michigan seeks approval for SCR at Rockport 2 coal unit

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) said Oct. 21 that it is asking Indiana regulators to approve additional emission controls for its coal-fired, 2,600-MW Rockport plant.

I&M, an operating unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), submitted plans to add selective catalytic reduction (SCR) NOx controls on Unit 2 at Rockport in a filing with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The Indiana URC previously approved I&M’s plans to install SCR on Rockport Unit 1.

“I&M constantly works to reduce our environmental impact while generating and delivering reliable, affordable power to our customers,” said Paul Chodak III, I&M President and Chief Operating Officer. “In the past year, we have built three solar power plants, and a fourth will come online before the end of 2016. We are proud to say about 60 percent of our generation is already emission-free, and our long-term plans include adding more renewable generation. Adding new, advanced emission control equipment at Rockport will further cut emissions from our lone coal-fueled power plant in Indiana while maintaining the low-cost, reliable supply of electricity it produces to support the local economies.”

I&M plans to install the SCR technology by the end of 2019, as set forth in a modified consent decree reached with the U.S. EPA, several northeastern states and a number of environmental organizations that agreed with the decree.

Each of the two Rockport units is capable of generating up to 1,300 MW. SCR – which operates in a similar fashion to a motor vehicle’s catalytic converter – is just the latest emission-fighting method I&M employs at its Rockport plant. Others include:

  • Low NOx burners that already reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.
  • Dry sorbent injection technology to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide.
  • Activated carbon injection technology that reduces mercury emissions by 90 percent.
  • Use of low-sulfur (mostly Powder River Basin) coal.

I&M also has reduced its overall environmental impact in other ways, including:

  • Increased use of renewable resources, including solar generation plants and 450 MW of wind power.
  • Long-term plans to significantly expand renewables, adding wind and solar generation sufficient to power more than 400,000 homes by 2035.
  • Robust energy efficiency programs that enable customers to reduce their energy use and reduce overall demand for energy.
  • Investments to ensure a long lifespan for its emissions-free hydroelectric generation and the Cook Nuclear Plant, which generates enough energy to power more than one million homes.

Indiana Michigan Power operates 2,600 MW of coal-fired generation in Indiana, 2,160 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan and 22 MW of hydro generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 450 MW of purchased wind generation and, by the end of 2016, approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation.

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.