After buying Big Cajun II, Louisiana Generating upgraded the burners and fuel that reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by a third. These additional changes and upgrades announced today will further that progress. Work will be done during regularly scheduled outages and completed by April 2015.
To meet EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) requirements, Louisiana Generating will convert one of the three units at the plant from coal to natural gas, eliminating virtually all mercury and particulate matter from the unit’s emissions. Louisiana Generating will also install activated carbon injection on another unit and upgrade the electrostatic precipitators. MATS goes into effect in April of 2015.
“This conversion will allow us to meet new EPA regulations as we see greater diversity and flexibility in our ability to meet the power needs of our customers on the hottest and coldest days,” said Vosburg. “All plants across the nation will have to meet these new EPA requirements and through this natural gas conversion, we have selected the route that ensures our co-op customers will benefit from cleaner and more diverse power as they continue to enjoy electricity costs that are among the lowest in Louisiana.”
Separate from the new regulation, Louisiana Generating has also settled decade-old charges by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for work done by the previous owner of the Big Cajun II Electric Generating Station. With this agreement, Louisiana Generating will:
- Install Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) control equipment to reduce nitrogen oxide on all three units.
- Install Dry Sorbent Injection equipment on Unit 1 to reduce sulfur dioxide.
“This agreement provides greater strength for Big Cajun II through additional controls that will allow the plant to comply with environmental regulations both now and in the future,” said Vosburg. “In addition, the mitigation projects covered by the agreement will provide an opportunity to give back to our community as it showcases NRG Energy's alternative energy solutions such as solar and electrical vehicles in Louisiana. This is a win-win-win situation – a win for the environment, a win for our customers and a win for our community.”