Duke permits shutdown of Crystal River 1 and 2 coal units by end of 2018

Duke Energy Florida LLC (DEF) applied Nov. 18 with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a new, lower SO2 emissions limit for coal-fired capacity at its Crystal River power plant in Citrus County.

“DEF is submitting this construction permit application to address the upcoming retirement of Units 1 and 2 and for incorporation of a new SO2 emission limit for Units 4 and 5,” said this Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subsidiary. “This permitting action is intended to allow DEP to confirm attainment for the 1‐hour SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for future years based on modeled emissions of the Crystal River Plant’s potential emission rates in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Data Requirements Rule (DRR).”

The Crystal River plant is operated as a baseload facility. The plant operates primarily on coal but is permitted to use No. 2 fuel oil or natural gas for startup. The nuclear Unit 3 was retired earlier this decade. The facility consists of the South Plant, which includes Units 1 and 2 that began operation in the 1960s, and the North Plant, which includes Units 4 and 5 that began operation in the 1980s.

Units 4 and 5 are fossil fuel‐fired electric utility steam generators, each consisting of a pulverized coal, dry bottom, wall‐fired boiler rated at 760 MW. Units 4 and 5 share a common 550-foot-tall chimney with separate internal stack liners with continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) on each stack liner. Unit 4 began commercial operation in 1982 and Unit 5 began commercial operation in 1984. Air pollution control equipment on Units 4 and 5, each, include: low‐NOX burners; SCR systems; AMM systems; an ESP; and FGD systems.

Currently, under a Title V Operation Permit, Units 4 and 5 are limited to SO2 emissions of 0.27 lb/MMBtu of heat input based on a 30‐day rolling average for all periods of operation including startup, shutdown, and malfunction, as determined by CEMS data. Based on modeling as conducted by the DEP in response to EPA’s DRR, DEP is requesting that DEF voluntarily accept a modified SO2 emission limit of 0.25 lb/MMBtu of heat input based on a 30‐day rolling average. DEF said it will demonstrate compliance with the revised emission limit by the end of 2017. This revised SO2 emissions limit reflects a decrease in allowable emissions only, by reducing compliance margin. DEF will not undergo a physical change or change in the method of operation as a result of the revised emissions limit requested in this application.

Modeled attainment can be demonstrated for future years based on the updated potential SO2 emissions factor of 0.25 lb/MMBtu for Units 4 and 5 and the inclusion of four combined cycle gas turbines to be operating in 2019 (part of the adjacent Citrus Combined Cycle Project (CCCP)). Crystal River Units 1 and 2 will be retired in conjunction with the operation of the CCCP.

Unit 1 is a pulverized coal, dry bottom, tangentially‐fired boiler rated at 440.5 MW. Unit 2 is a pulverized coal, dry bottom, tangentially‐fired boiler rated at 523.8 MW. Emissions from Units 1 and 2 are each controlled with a high efficiency electrostatic precipitator (ESP). In addition, the use of hydrated lime injection and activated carbon injection may be used, as necessary. Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1966, whereas Unit 2 began operating in 1969.

Under an existing permit, Units 1 and 2 are committed to cease operation as coal‐fired units by Dec. 31, 2020. Furthermore, as part of the CCCP project’s air permit, Administrative Requirement 8 indicates that DEF shall not commence operation of both combined cycle blocks until both Units 1 and 2 have permanently shut down. DEF would like to include language in this construction permit application proposing a voluntary Dec. 31, 2018, shutdown date for Units 1 and 2, or prior if the CCCP commences operation by then.

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.