Colorado Springs eyes heavy 2015 spending on coal emissions controls

Colorado Springs Utilities has proposed a 2015 budget that includes heavy spending for new air emissions controls for its coal-fired Nixon and Drake power plants, according to GenerationHub.

The Colorado Springs City Council is looking at these budget proposals under a schedule that culminates on Dec. 9. The municipal utility's coal units are Drake 5 (46 MW), Drake 6 (77 MW), Drake 7 (131 MW) and Nixon 1 (208 MW).

The 2015 budget proposals for those emissions controls are:

·      Nixon Unit 1 Sulfur Dioxide Reduction, $34,798,764. Procure and install an SO2 scrubber. The EPA Regional Haze Rule requires a SO2 scrubber be constructed on the Nixon 1 coal power plant. The scrubber supplier will be selected using a competitive process. Installed scrubber will be commercially operable in 2017.

·      Drake Unit 6 Sulfur Dioxide Reduction, $12,082,056. Procure and install SO2 scrubber. Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) and the Regional Haze Rule requires a SO2 scrubber be constructed on the Drake 6 coal unit. Neumann Systems Group NeuStream technology is being constructed on the Drake 6 coal unit.

·      Drake Unit 7 Sulfur Dioxide Reduction, $12,082,056. Procure and install a SO2 scrubber. BART and the Regional Haze Rule requires a SO2 scrubber be constructed on Drake 7. Neumann Systems Group NeuStream technology is being constructed on the Drake 7 coal unit.

·      Drake Scrubber(s) Sorbent Processing System, $12,082,056. Procure and install an SO2 scrubber. BART and the Regional Haze Rule requires an SO2 scrubber be constructed on the Drake 6 and Drake 7 coal units. The Sorbent Processing System is a shared component between the Drake 6/Drake 7 NeuStream SO2 scrubbers.

Other power plant spending is included in the 2015 capital plan, including:

·      Front Range 1-3 Blade Row, Buckets and Nozzles Replacement, $4,972,512. Replacement of the Front Range Power gas turbines. First, second and third stage bucket and nozzle replacement.

·      Drake 7 Rebag Baghouse, $800,004. Replace all bags in the Drake 6 fly ash removal bag house. The existing bag house reached its useful life and is experiencing high failure levels impacting plant operating costs.

·      Drake 5 Condenser Tube Replacement, $750,000. Replacement of the Unit 5 condenser tubes. The condenser tubes have reached their useful life and are experiencing failure rates that are impacting unit reliability.

·      Nixon 1 Control System Replacement, $500,004. Replace the Nixon Unit 1 computerized distributed control system. The existing system was installed in 2000 and is obsolete.

·      Nixon Impoundment Retrofit, $500,004. Changes in Colorado solid waste regulations will require some existing impoundments (process water ponds) to be upgraded.

·      Nixon Zero Discharge Controls Replacements, $350,004. Replacement of obsolete programmable logic controller input and output cards and backplanes for the zero discharge plant.

·      Nixon 1 Pulverizer Major Component Replacement, $300,000. Routine maintenance to replace major components in coal pulverizers.

·      Drake 6 High Pressure Feedwater Heater #4&5, $300,000. Replace tube bundles on #4&5 high pressure feed water heaters. These tube bundles have reached their useful life and are experiencing failure rates impacting unit reliability.

·      Drake Pulverizer Major Component Replacements, $285,000. Drake's EL-76/EL-70 Ball Pulverizers and Riley Hammer Pulverizers require periodic replacement of major components such as classifiers, yokes, etc.

·      Drake 7 Boiler Casing Rework, $249,996. Replace portions of the Drake 7 boiler casing to stop fugitive fly ash and flue gas from leaking into the boiler building.

·      Drake Coal Unit Train Unloading Facility Stack Out Belt Replacement, $234,996. Replace 72”-wide Coal Unit Train Unloading Facility (UTUF) stack out belt.

·      Drake Station Improvements, $230,004. Capital expenditure to purchase, and install replacement equipment that fails unexpectedly and meets the capital definition.

·      Nixon 1 Station Improvements, $200,004. Capital expenditure to purchase, and install replacement equipment that fails unexpectedly and meets the capital definition.

·      Drake 5 Burner Management System Upgrades, $150,000. Replace the Burner Management System for the unit boiler operation, improving unit safety and reliability.

·      Manitou Generator Step-Up Transformer, $125,004. Install Generator Step-Up Transformer that was procured in 2014 at the Manitou Hydroelectric plant.

The proposed 2015 budget also covers anticipated fuel costs. In 2015 about 2.5 percent more MWh coal unit generation is planned compared to 2013. In the fall of 2013 Drake Unit 7 was unavailable due to an extended major power plant outage. The remainder of this variance is due to increases in 2015 projected coal prices.

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