NRG Energy said it achieved a milestone in its fleet optimization strategy, completing coal-to-gas projects at four power plants across NRG’s fleet.
The successful introduction of natural gas replacing coal as the primary fuel allows these units to continue meeting customer needs while complying with current environmental standards and supporting NRG’s wider decarbonization efforts.
“We’ve made outstanding progress across our generation portfolio to support our optimization strategy,” said Mauricio Gutierrez, CEO of NRG. “Driven by the economics of power generation, we modified units at four plants to switch from burning coal to natural gas, reducing greenhouse gas and other emissions, while maintaining reliability in the system. Along with growing our renewables portfolio, these optimization projects keep NRG competitive while advancing on our sustainability commitments.”
Collectively, the modified units can generate more than 2,780 MW, enough power to meet the demands of more than two million average homes. Given the anticipated reductions in carbon emissions resulting from these modifications, combined with the expected operating profiles for the units, the four plants are expected to reduce their combined carbon footprint by more than 80 percent.
“These modifications allow us to keep the lights on for millions of customers, helping keep power reliable, affordable and cleaner, while we continue towards a sustainable energy future,” added Gutierrez.
Generation facilities that had units modified to use natural gas include:
· The Big Cajun II Generating Station in New Roads, La., located about 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge: One 540 MW unit was converted, generating enough power for more than 425,000 average households.
· The Joliet Generating Station, located about 50 miles southwest of Chicago: All three units converted for a total of 1,326 MW generating enough power for more than one million average households.
· The Shawville Generating Station, located about 40 miles northwest of State College, PA: All four units are currently in final commissioning following modification for a total of 590 MW generating enough power for almost 475,000 average households.
· The New Castle Generating Station, located about 55 miles northwest of Pittsburgh: All three units have been modified for a total of 325 MW generating enough power for more than 250,000 average households.