AEP-PSO finishes environmental project at coal-fired power plant

Public Service Co. of Oklahoma has completed an environmental upgrade project at its Northeastern Station in Oologah, Oklahoma.

The power plant’s coal-fired Unit 3 has begun operating with newly-added environmental controls. Completion of the project to add the new emissions-reducing equipment is a milestone in a years-long effort to develop and carry out a plan to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules addressing regional haze and other pollutants.

PSO president and chief operating officer, Stuart Solomon, said the new environmental upgrades permit the company to meet federal environmental requirements and are a key part of PSO’s plan to provide cleaner power supplies for its customers.

“It is with great pride that we announce the completion of these environmental upgrades, which allow Unit 3 at Northeastern Power Station to meet federal environmental rules and continue to provide power to our customers for years to come,” said Solomon. “Along with the continuing addition of renewables to our energy mix, PSO is providing cleaner power supplies and improving air quality in Oklahoma, while maintaining excellent reliability and low prices for our customers.”

In April 2012, PSO announced it had entered in an agreement in principle with the State of Oklahoma, EPA, and the Sierra Club for its Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP), which was primarily focused on PSO’s compliance with EPA regulations affecting the Company’s two coal-fired units at NES.

The ECP’s main feature was the addition of new environmental controls to NES Unit 3, allowing it to operate for another 10 years, before its eventual retirement in 2026.  The Plan also provides for the shutdown in April 2016 of coal-fired Unit 4 at NES.

PSO’s ECP also involved upgrades to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at several company-owned gas-fired generating units.

New environmental controls for NES Unit 3 include the addition of Activated Carbon Injection (ACI) to capture mercury in the flue gas, Dry Sorbent Injection (DSI) to reduce acidic gases and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and a Fabric Filter (also called a baghouse) to trap and filter out particulate matter.

Site work to prepare for construction began in 2014.  The bulk of the project’s major construction took place throughout 2015.

Gary Knight, PSO vice president – Generation, said the project was one of the most successfully-managed he’s ever seen.

“Collaboration between plant personnel, engineering and project management, as well as the many contractors involved, is what led to this successful outcome,” said Knight.

PSO will be replacing the power from the soon-to-close NES Unit 4 with purchased power from the gas-fired Calpine generating facility east of Tulsa, and with additional supplies of wind energy from new contracts that went into effect at the beginning of 2016.   

PSO, a unit of American Electric Power is an electric utility company serving more than 540,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. 

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