Calpine nears air permit for gas-fired project in Pennsylvania

Calpine Mid-Merit LLC is nearing an air permit covering the construction of the Block 2 Electricity Generation Project at the existing power generation facility located in Peach Bottom Township, York County, Pa.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection published a May 9 notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin saying it intends to approve this permit.

The Block 2 Electricity Generation Project will involve the construction of two combined cycle natural gas/ultra low sulfur diesel fuel oil-fired combustion turbines, having a nominal 835 MW of capacity, as well as one natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler, one cooling tower, natural gas piping components, circuit breaker upgrades, five natural gas condensate storage tanks, and additional ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel oil storage in the existing tank.

The company will be subject to and comply with, among other requirements, the Standards of Performance for Stationary Combustion Turbines, Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) of Air Quality regulations, the Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) regulations under state code, and the Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements of state code.

The Plan Approval will contain additional recordkeeping and operating restrictions designed to keep the facility operating within all applicable air quality requirements, including requirements to equip the combined-cycle units with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) unit and an oxidation catalyst for control of NOx and carbon monoxide/volatile organic compound emissions, respectively, to meet BAT and other requirements.

The air quality analysis for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for the proposed major modification of Calpine Mid-Merit’s York Energy Center utilized the Ozone Limiting Method (OLM), which is currently implemented as a non-regulatory-default option within the EPA’s recommended near-field dispersion model, the American Meteorological Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD), said the notice.

In accordance with the recommendations under subsection 3.2 of the EPA’s Guideline on Air Quality Models, the department submitted a request to EPA Region III for approval of the use of the OLM in Calpine’s air quality analysis for NO2 in October 2014. The EPA Regional Administrator approved the department’s request in November 2014. The department is expressly soliciting written comments on the use of the OLM in Calpine’s air quality analysis for NO2.

According to the Calpine Corp. awebsite: “The York 2 Energy Center is a proposed 760 MW, dual-fueled, combined-cycle electric generating facility that will provide enhanced reliability to the regional power market. It will be located on the same site as Calpine’s York Energy Center in Peach Bottom Township, Pennsylvania. The project is expected to begin commercial operations by the summer of 2017.”

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Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy's Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication's editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University.

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