Texas-based TXU Generation Co and its affiliates have asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to implement a system-wide cap of key atmospheric emissions for the company’s existing and proposed coal-fired power plants.
While the move is voluntary the company has asked that the emissions cap scheme be made legally enforceable.
“If approved, this unprecedented step establishes a binding contract between TXU and the state,” said Mike McCall, chief executive officer of TXU Wholesale, adding: “It will guarantee that TXU will make the air cleaner by reducing more emissions than are added by the new units. We believe other Texas power developers should abide by this same high standard.” McCall added: “Equally important, it puts other power companies on notice: If you want to build new power plants here, then you better be ready to step up to the plate to improve air quality by meeting this new standard.”
For TXU, the key emissions cap for nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and mercury will be 20% lower than 2005 levels, requiring its coal fleet emission rates per megawatt hour to fall by nearly 70%.
In April TXU announced a $10 billion investment to build 11 new coal-fired plants at nine sites with a combined capacity of more than 9 GW. Up to $2.5 billion of investment will go on the best available environmental controls on the new plants and to adjust fuel mix and retrofit existing units with additional environmental control technology, the company says.
The company intends to retrofit existing facilities with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR), upgrades of Flue Gas Desulfurisation units (FGD/scrubbers), Sorbent Injection equipment and fuel switching.
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