Archive: Environmental

The scope and complexity were enormous to retrofit FirstEnergy’s W.H. Sammis power plant with state-of-the-art air-quality-control systems was compounded by a very confined work area and the need to maintain normal power generation during construction. Working with two other companies and acting as the owner’s agent, Bechtel in 2010 successfully installed such a system for the 2,220-MW coal-fired power complex, which dramatically reduced gas emissions and met stringent federal standards. Courtesy: Bechtel

FirstEnergy Moves to Deactivate Two Embattled Ohio Coal Plants

FirstEnergy Corp. will sell or deactivate 856 MW of coal-fired generation to reduce fleet operating costs. The company announced on July 22 that it plans to sell or deactivate the 136-MW Bay Shore Unit 1 in Oregon, Ohio, by October 2020. In addition, Units 1–4 (totaling 720 MW of capacity) at the company’s seven-unit W.H. […]

Black Rock Solar photovoltaic array at Food Bank of Northern Nevada 
Black Rock Solar, a nonprofit entity, installed a 150 kilowatt photovoltaic array at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada in Reno. Courtesy: BlackRockSolar/Flikr

11 Things to Know About the Solar Sector’s Precarious Future

Despite escalating growth over the past decade, the U.S. solar power sector faces potentially crippling issues concerning module supply, workforce deficiencies, and grid interconnection obstacles, according to industry experts attending an international solar and energy storage convention. The country added an estimated 14.5 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2016, and by 2021, […]


Federal Court Stays EPA’s Regional Haze Rule

A federal appeals court has stayed a regional haze rule finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this year that had threatened to close up to 8.4 GW of coal-fired power capacity in Texas. In a unanimous ruling on July 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion for […]

Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility reached a major milestone on July 14, 2016, with the production of the first syngas. The syngas is being flared as part of the start-up testing operation. Courtesy: Mississippi Power/Southern Co.

Amid Scrutiny, Kemper IGCC Project Marks Big Syngas Production Milestone

Southern Co.’s Kemper County energy facility—the only carbon capture and storage (CCS) integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant that is under construction—is producing syngas using lignite. The plant marked its most significant milestone to date on July 14, said Southern Co.’s Mississippi Power. It means that the first-of-its-kind technology to convert locally mined lignite […]


Green Groups Challenge PJM’s Capacity Performance Rules

The “polar vortex” storm of January 2014 blew in big changes to PJM Interconnection’s operations. But these changes are now the subject of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups, alleging they discriminate against clean energy sources. The sub-zero temperatures froze coal piles and gearboxes. Natural gas plants, lacking firm contracts for fuel delivery, were unable […]

U.S. Congress Source: Commons

Obama Administration’s Environmental Rules to Leave Lasting Legacy on Power Sector, Markets

Witnesses at a Congressional hearing raised concerns about the complexity, costs, legality, and feasibility of the 3,900 final rules published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Obama administration. A large portion of those rules affect the power sector, but none are more contentious than the Clean Power Plan, regulatory and citizen interest experts […]


Evaluating the Use of CEMS for Accurate Heat Rate Monitoring and Reporting

Power plants are familiar with using continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) to monitor pollutants, but these devices also may be able to measure heat rate—which could be handy for future compliance with the Clean Power Plan. Continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) are used to monitor power plant flue gas emissions as a means to comply […]


Emissions Catalyst Issues for Fast-Start Combined Cycle Power Plants

When gas-fired plants are required to cycle more than they were designed for, added stress on plant components isn’t the only consequence. You also need to pay closer attention to turbine catalyst systems. Traditionally, many combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant units were designed and permitted for a baseload or similar operating profile. Startups […]