Release Date: July 24, 2006
|Energy Department Awards Project in Power Plant Improvement Initiative
Technology Focuses on Nation's 500 Small Coal-Burning Energy Producers
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Energy today awarded a contract to CONSOL Energy Inc., a major coal producer, as part of an effort under DOE's Power Plant Improvement Initiative to reduce the ever-increasing demands on U.S. electricity supplies.
"This award represents yet another step forward in advancing clean coal technologies for the future," said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Jeffrey Jarrett. "With more than half of America's electricity coming from coal, this resource is vital to our nation's energy security. The success of this project will translate into improved environmental performance and reduced energy costs for nearly 500 small coal-fired plants throughout the United States."
Triggered by the brownouts and blackouts of 1999 and 2000, Congress directed DOE to seek proposals through the cost-shared $95 million initiative to demonstrate technologies to improve the efficiency, reliability, and environmental performance of the nation's coal-fired power plants. The CONSOL project was one of eight selected by DOE in the initiative.
Following a series of required environmental assessments and other project issues, CONSOL Energy Inc., of South Park, Pa., received a contract to demonstrate a cost-effective multipollutant control technology applicable to approximately 500 of the nation's smaller power plants, ranging in size from 50 to 600 megawatts. DOE's share of the $33 million project is about $14.5 million; AES Greenidge, LLC, the host site and one of CONSOL's partners in the project, will contribute the remainder.
CONSOL, along with partners AES Greenidge and Babcock Power Environmental Inc., will install a combination of technologies at the AES Greenidge Unit 4 near Dresden, N.Y. The technologies include a hybrid system to reduce emissions of NOx and an advanced flue gas scrubber to reduce emissions of SO2, mercury, and acid gases. Specifically, the control system will use selective non-catalytic reduction/in-duct selective catalytic reduction for NOx control and a circulating fluidized-bed dry scrubber system with activated carbon injection and recycled baghouse ash to control SO2, mercury, and acid gas emissions.
The goal of this multipollutant approach is to demonstrate significant improvements in the control of mercury, acidic gases, and fine particulates, and substantial reductions in the cost of NOx and SO2 control, when compared to conventional technologies. The project will also demonstrate the performance of the multipollutant control system during periods when the plant co-fires biomass with coal.
The Greenidge unit is representative of the small coal-fired plants that collectively total about one fourth of the nation's coal-fired generating capacity. These smaller units have become increasingly vulnerable to retirement or fuel switching as a result of more stringent state and federal regulations.
The conditions that make conventional selective catalytic reduction and wet scrubbers viable for large plants are not applicable to smaller coal-fired units. Also, these smaller units are usually constrained by space, which restricts the installation of typically larger selective catalytic reduction and wet scrubber systems. CONSOL Energy's project will demonstrate the commercial readiness of an emissions control system that is well-suited to meeting regulations at these smaller plants.
DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory manages the CONSOL project, as well as the Power Plant Improvement Initiative projects.
|Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646|