NRG nears permit for coal-to-gas conversion at New Castle

New Castle coal power plant

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental said in a Sept. 13 notice that it intends to issue an air operating permit to NRG Power Midwest LP for a coal-to-gas conversion at the New Castle Plant in Lawrence County, Pa.

“Plan approval No 37-023F is for the proposed addition of gas burners to Boilers #3, 4, & 5 to include the capability of burning natural gas,” said the notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. “This project will allow the boilers to achieve compliance with the upcoming Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) promulgated under 40 CFR 63 Subpart UUUUU and thereby continue operating beyond the MATS compliance date.

"This project will result in projected actual emissions of 2.7 tpy for PM (TSP), 10.9 tpy for PM10, 10.9 tpy for PM2.5, 214.2 tpy for NOx, 0.9 tpy for SOx, 171.4 tpy for CO, 7.9 tpy for VOC, and 171,451.0 for CO2(e) from the 3 existing boilers when burning natural gas,” the notice added.

There is a 30-day comment period from the date of publication. A public hearing may be held, if the Department of Environmental Protection, in its discretion, decides that such a hearing is warranted based on the comments received.

NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) has said intends to continue operations at the Avon Lake facility Units 7 and 9 (in Ohio) and New Castle Units 3, 4, and 5, which are currently operating coal units that had been scheduled for deactivation in April 2015. NRG said in its Aug. 7 Form 10-Q report that it intends to add natural gas capabilities at the Avon Lake and New Castle units, which are expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.

The GenerationHub database shows that the coal-fired Units 1 and 2 at New Castle are already retired, with these summer capacities for the remaining coal units: Unit 3 (93 MW); Unit 4 (95 MW); and Unit 5 (132 MW).

This article was republished with permission from GenerationHub.

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