Coal, Generation

Duke Energy coal gasification power plant starts operations

Duke Energy’s Edwardsport Generating Station in Knox County, Indiana, has begun commercial operation.

Located near Vincennes, Indiana, the 618 MW coal gasification plant uses gasifies coal, strips out pollutants and then burns that coal gas to generate electric power.

Edwardsport completed the necessary steps to be declared commercial on June 7. Construction on the plant began in 2008.

According to Duke Energy, this is the first time the technology has been used on this scale, so the plant is expected to build up to its long-term level of availability over the next 15 months. It will provide Indiana customers with power for decades.

The power plant will produce 10 times as much power as the former plant at Edwardsport, but with about 70 percent fewer emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates combined.

The facility will use excess steam that would normally be wasted to power a second turbine and increase plant efficiency and output.

About 3,500 construction workers and other professionals worked on-site during peak construction. The plant will employ about 140 full-time workers. In addition, the 1.7 million to 1.9 million tons of coal the plant will use each year will support an estimated 170 mining jobs.

Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 6,900 MW of owned electric capacity to about 790,000 customers.