Coal-fired B.L. England power plant to switch to natural gas

Source: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 

B.L. England power plant RC Cape May Holdings LLC will shut down one coal-fired unit at the B.L. England power plant under the terms of an Administrative Consent Order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The company will repower a second coal-fired unit to a state-of-the-art combined-cycle natural gas turbine and will re-fuel a third, oil-burning unit with natural gas. The power plant is a prominent feature on Great Egg Harbor in southern New Jersey.

The two coal-fired units at the B.L. England plant are the last coal-fired units in the state without state-of-the art pollution control equipment.

Due to the inherent efficiencies of combined-cycle natural gas electricity generation, the overall capacity of the plant will remain at 450-megawatts (MW) and could increase to about 570 MW, said Jim Maiz, Senior Vice President for RC Cape May Holdings LLC.

“We wish to thank all the state agencies and local officials for their ongoing support of our efforts to identify and implement the most fitting clean-energy redevelopment plan for B.L. England,” Maiz said. “This transformative solution provides the best alignment with the overall objectives of all stakeholders, and we’re committed to seeing it through.”

RC Cape May has owned the plant since 2007. The agreement resolves alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act that occurred when the plant was under the ownership of Atlantic Electric, Conectiv and Pepco Holdings Co. The previous owners did not make pollution-control upgrades as required by the federal Clean Air Act when they made significant upgrades to operational features of the plant.

The agreement calls for the cessation of operation of coal-fired Unit 1 by fall 2013; until that occurs, the company must take steps to minimize emissions from this unit. 

Unit 2, which currently burns coal, and Unit 3, which burns fuel oil and only operates during peak demand periods, are to be converted to natural gas by May 2016. Unit 2 is to be shut down by May 2015 to allow for the conversion. RC Cape May must make interim operational changes, including limiting operations, to reduce pollution during the period leading up to the conversion shutdown.



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