Archive: Coal

Coal Plant O&M: How Switching to PRB Lowered O&M Costs

Lansing Board of Water & Light (LBW&L), which has generated electricity since 1892 and steam since 1919 in mid-Michigan, primarily serves the city of Lansing’s business district and all state government buildings in the downtown area. But one of the municipal utility’s plants, Moores Park, has an additional and very important steam customer: General Motors’ […]

PRB Tech Notes: AmerenUE Teams with Charah and Home Depot to Market Ash for Concrete Mix

Burning Powder River Basin (PRB) coal can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your attention to the details of plant design and operations. One disadvantage of PRB coal combustion is the abundance of bottom ash and flyash generated as a by-product. Handling and properly disposing of the ash can be challenging and costly. […]

MidAmerican’s Walter Scott, Jr. Energy Center Unit 4 earns POWER’s highest honor

MidAmerican Energy Co. and its project partners are convinced that supercritical coal-firing technology’s inherently higher efficiency and lower CO2 emissions no longer come with a price: reduced reliability. Their Walter Scott, Jr. Energy Center Unit 4, the first major new supercritical plant in the U.S. in more than 15 years, is POWER’s 2007 Plant of the Year.

PSNH’s Northern Wood Power Project repowers coal-fired plant with new fluidized-bed combustor

The Northern Wood Power Project permanently replaced a 50-MW coal-burning boiler at Public Service of New Hampshire’s Schiller Station with a state-of-the-art fluidized-bed wood-burning boiler of the same capacity. The project, completed in December 2006, reduced emissions and expanded the local market for low-grade wood. For planning and executing the multiyear, $75 million project at no cost to its ratepayers, PSNH wins POWER’s 2007 Marmaduke Award for excellence in O&M. The award is named for Marmaduke Surfaceblow, the fictional marine engineer/plant troubleshooter par excellence.

What’s that scrubber going to cost?

The latest benchmarking study by the EUCG examines the technology and costs of 49 flue gas desulfurization systems currently under design or construction by 12 of the nation’s largest utilities. Although the study’s detailed results are proprietary to EUCG members that participated in it, POWER was given access to the top-level findings. To get details at the plant/unit level, you’ll have to join the EUCG and participate in the study, which is ongoing.

Dynamic classifiers improve pulverizer performance and more

Keeping coal-fired steam plants running efficiently and cleanly is a daily struggle. An article in the February 2007 issue of POWER explained that one way to improve the combustion and emissions performance of a plant is to optimize the performance of its coal pulverizers. By adding a dynamic classifier to the pulverizers, you can better control coal particle sizing and fineness—and increase pulverizer capacity to boot.

Navigating a carbon-constrained world

Scientific debate on the validity of global warming science continues, but the issue has yet had little impact on individuals. That impact is being negotiated in Washington, where a regulatory framework that would mandate reductions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is taking shape. Legislative options under consideration would redefine what power plants must do-and not do-to […]

Westar’s Lawrence Energy Center wins for not blinking on safety

It took Westar Energy eight years to upgrade the Lawrence Energy Center to burn Powder River Basin coal. Its zero lost-time accident record during the million-man-hour project is a testament to Westar’s commitment to workplace safety. Here’s your backstage pass to meet the PRB Coal Users’ Group 2006 Plant of the Year.

PRB Tech Notes: Lawrence Energy Center Showcases Winning Plant

Lawrence Energy Center (LEC) proudly hosted about 60 representatives of the Powder River Basin Coal Users’ Group (PRBCUG) at its July 24th open house, luncheon, and plant tour. LEC was named the PRBCUG’s 2007 Plant of the Year at this year’s ELECTRIC POWER Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, May 1 – 3. Traditionally, the winning […]

Speaking of Coal Power: IGCC Sticker Shock

Former Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen once observed, "A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money." The same can be said about skyrocketing estimated costs of integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plants as their designs are fleshed out. The higher price tags shouldn’t be a surprise — the more you learn […]