COAL POWER Direct [February 1, 2011]

Clinker Minimization at San Miguel Electric Co-Op

San Miguel Electric Cooperative selected and installed an automatic sootblowing system for its Unit 1 to minimize clinkers in the boiler that caused semi-annual unscheduled outages. New boiler surface-cleaning equipment and intelligent cleaning software eliminated these expensive outages.

Coal Groups Blast Colorado's Dash to Natural Gas

In a decision blasted by the coal industry as making the state "dangerously reliant" on natural gas, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission has approved an emissions-reduction plan for Xcel Energy that further expands the utility's already extensive shutdown of coal-fired power plants in favor of gas-fueled generation.

Continuous SO3 Monitoring Can Reduce Sorbent Consumption

An unintended consequence of employing selective catalytic reduction and wet flue gas desulfurization to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide levels at coal-fired power plants has been unwanted sulfur trioxide (SO3) emissions. Picking the right sorbent in the right amount can eliminate that problem.

Duke, Progress Energy Merging into Biggest U.S. Power Utility

Duke Energy and Progress Energy announced January 10 that they are combining to create the nation's biggest electric utility. The $13.7 billion deal is likely to draw tough scrutiny from federal and state regulators—and some protests from big power buyers—given the companies' overwhelming market dominance in North Carolina and more modest operational overlap in South Carolina.

EPA Expands Climate Agenda to the Current Fleet of Power Plants and Refineries

On December 23, 2010, one day before the Yuletide season, when members of Congress, the media, and Tea Party activists are least likely to watchdog the federal bureaucracy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced rulemakings to establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants and refineries. Or maybe "whispered" would be more accurate.

Illinois Lawmakers Block Clean Coal Plant

Ringing what may be the death knell for the $3.5 billion Taylorville IGCC project, the Illinois Senate voted 33-18 in early January against authorizing construction of a coal gasification and power generating plant proposed in the state by Tenaska.

Power 101: Improving the Performance of Boiler Auxiliaries, Part II

Efficient boiler operation requires boiler auxiliary equipment to operate in harmony. The air preheater, for example, though it has few moving parts, is vital to maintaining efficient boiler performance. In this second installment of our Power 101 series, we examine performance degradation caused by corrosion and fouling of the air preheater that results from the combustion of coal plus the effects of ammonia and sodium bisulfite injection for SO3 mitigation.

State of the Union: Recycling a Failed Energy Policy

President Obama's Jan. 25th State of the Union address proposed that the nation commit itself to developing "clean energy" sources of electricity over the next two decades. A critical assessment of his proposal finds that it's just a rehash of previously rejected legislative proposals. In fact, to me, it sounds like Waxman-Markey all over again. I have a better idea.

Stream Conductivity: It's Not Just a Mining Issue

Coal mining, and related industries that consume coal, have attracted quite a bit of attention from the federal government as of late. Most of that attention has focused on how to further, or "better," regulate the industry. The EPA is now moving to regulate downstream conductivity of surface mining runoff.