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Arizonan coal-fired power plant announces plans to reduce emissions

Oilfield Technology,

Salt River Project said that the owners of Arizonan Navajo coal-fired power plant announced plans to reduce emissions at the power plant. One unit at the 2250 MW power plant will shut permanently, while two other units are upgraded.

The move comes in a response to the US EPA’s issuing in February 2013 of a best available technology (BART) rule for the Navajo power plant to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). The EPA’s proposals required the power plant install selective catalytic reduction technology on all three existing units at the power plant by 2018. However, the EPA also proposed and alternative rule, which would acknowledge the voluntary early installation of low-NOx burners at NGS, in exchange for an extended schedule requiring installation of SCR on one unit per year between 2021 and 2023.

Salt River Project has estimated the cost of SCR would be approximately $544 million. This cost could exceed $1.1 billion if additional equipment is also required at the plant to remove the air-borne particulates created by the SCR process.

Under the terms of the proposed "Better than BART" alternative to be delivered to EPA today, one 750 MW unit at the power plant would be shut down by January 1, 2020, and the implementation of SCR on the remaining units would be delayed until 2030 – if Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) and NV Energy exit NGS as expected by 2019, and if the Navajo Nation chooses not to exercise an option to purchase a portion of the plant's ownership shares. Together, LADWP and NV Energy own the equivalent of almost exactly one unit at NGS.

The Arizona coal-fired power plant is located on the Navajo Nation, less than 20 miles from the Grand Canyon near Page, Arizona.

There are three 750 MW coal-fired units at Navajo, which entered service in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

The groups will now submit their outlined plans to the EPA for approval.

Adapted from press release by Samuel Dodson

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