COAL POWER Direct [August 9, 2010]

AEP Blasts EPA Transport Rule; PSEG Supports It

An Environmental Protection Agency proposal to tighten sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides limits in 31 states and the District of Columbia to address transported air pollution fails to give utilities and state air regulators sufficient time to develop rules and install controls, according to American Electric Power Co. Officials from the EPA and New Jersey-based Public Service Enterprise Group said utilities already had begun making investments to cut emissions and they believed the agency’s compliance schedule could be met.

Bill Gates and the Energy Research Dilemma

There is an idea that has been around for a long time, at least since the fall of 1973: All that stands between the U.S. and an abundant energy future is a lack of spending on research and development. It is as though the Knights Templar could find the Holy Grail, if only the Pope would commit just a few more resources to the hunt.

For Grid Expansion, Think “Subregionally”

When—not if—we pass climate legislation, we will put the U.S. on a path toward a low-carbon electric generation sector. As part of this shift, we’ll need more transmission, including lines to wind and solar power plants that are sometimes located far from today’s power grid. The question is: How do we plan for these new lines and how should we pay for them?

Fourth Circuit Scuttles NC Air “Nuisance” Suit

Scuttling a high-profile “public nuisance” lawsuit, a federal appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling that required the Tennessee Valley Authority to accelerate plans to install pollution controls at four TVA coal-fired power plants to reduce the amount of pollution blowing into western North Carolina, saying the lower court decision could lead to other public nuisance suits that would wreak havoc on federal and state regulatory regimes for combating air pollution.

House Members Warn EPA on Coal Ash

Saying they have “grave concerns” about the agency’s two-option proposal to regulate coal combustion ash, 31 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have urged the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to regulate coal ash as a non-hazardous waste, saying an EPA proposal to designate it as a “special” hazardous waste eligible for reuse would lead to costly and unnecessary management and disposal requirements.

Improve Furnace Reducing Atmosphere Using Fuel/Air Ratio Control

Progress Energy has incorporated online combustion optimization/tuning to eliminate furnace reducing atmospheres at its Asheville Plant. The optimization project utilized individual burner airflow measurement and continuous burner coal flow measurement to adjust burner air/fuel ratios. The result: significantly improved boiler combustion.

Power 101: Flue Gas Heat Recovery in Power Plants, Part III

Every power engineer must have a firm grasp of the rudiments of how fuel is processed to produce electricity in a power generation facility. With this article, we conclude our three-part series on the essentials of recovering heat from flue gas to dry and process coal, with the goal of improving overall plant operating efficiency.

Texas to EPA: Follow the Law

The EPA, determined to regulate U.S. carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act, found that the low limits set by the Act for any “regulated pollutant” led to, in the EPA’s words, “absurd” results. Undeterred, the EPA developed the “Tailoring Rule,” which reinterprets the Act to apply to only larger emissions sources. Texas eloquently rejected the EPA’s legal gymnastics.

Wind Integration: Does It Reduce Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Many claim that wind generation is beneficial because it reduces pollution emissions and does not emit carbon dioxide. This isn’t necessarily the case. When wind is introduced into a generation system that uses carbon technologies to back up the wind, it actually reduces the energy efficiency of the carbon technologies.