Green Buckeye RN

EPA: Ohio Edison Co., Agrees to Repower One of Its Coal-Fired Power Plants
August 12, 2009, 2:36 pm
Filed under: News

WASHINGTON-Ohio Edison Company, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has agreed in a consent decree to repower one of its coal-fired power plants using primarily renewable biomass fuels, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.
In the agreement, filed in federal court in Columbus, Ohio and joined by the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Ohio Edison will repower the R.E. Burger Units 4 and 5 near Shadyside, Ohio with biomass fuel.  The consent decree modifies a 2005 consent decree requiring Ohio Edison to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) at several of its coal-fired plants.  
The modified consent decree will substantially reduce emissions of SO2 and NOx from Burger’s current levels and also reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from current levels by more than 1.3 million tons a year.  Burger will be the largest coal-fired electric utility plant in the country to repower with renewable biomass fuels and the first such plant at which greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced under a Clean Air Act consent decree.
The original 2005 consent decree resolved a lawsuit filed in 1999 under the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act regarding Ohio Edison’s W. H. Sammis plant and required that the company reduce SO2 emissions not only at Sammis but also at several of its smaller plants, including Burger.  That agreement gave Ohio Edison three options to reduce Burger’s SO2 emissions:  shut down the plant, install a scrubber, or repower with natural gas.  Under the modified agreement, Ohio Edison will repower Burger beginning in 2012 with mostly biomass fuels, co-firing with not more than 20 percent low sulfur coal, including natural wood from waste tree trimmings and dedicated sustainable nurseries, agricultural crops, grasses and vegetation waste or products.  
Following a year of initial operation and optimization, the Burger plant will be subject to enforceable emissions rates for SO2, NOx and particulate matter (PM).  Reductions from current levels of SO 2  emissions are expected to be as much as 14,000 tons a year; for NOx, as much as 1300 tons a year; and for PM, as much as 700 tons a year.


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