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Industry News

Arkansas PSC Approves Environmental Controls Retrofit for Flint Creek Power Plant

LCG, July 11, 2013--Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) received approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) for a project to retrofit its coal-fired Flint Creek Power Plant with environmental controls that are required to satisfy new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. The request was filed in February of last year.

SWEPCO, a subsidiary of AEP, and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) each own 50 percent of the 528-MW, base load facility located in Gentry. SWEPCO operates the facility, which was placed in service in 1978.

In order to comply with EPA's regulations, new environmental controls are necessary to operate Flint Creek beyond April 16, 2016. SWEPCO received from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality a one-year extension beyond the EPA?s 2015 deadline to continue operations if the company is in the process of installing controls.

The estimated direct cost of the project is $408 million. Pending the approval of environmental permits, SWEPCO expects construction of the new environmental controls to begin in January 2014. The compliance-related controls include: a dry flue gas desulfurization system (DFGD) to reduce SO2 emissions; low NOx burners (LNB) and overfire air (OFA) to reduce NOx emissions; activated carbon injection (ACI) to reduce mercury emissions; and a fabric filter (baghouse) to filter particulate matter.

SWEPCO President and Chief Operating Officer stated, "The Commission has done a thorough job of evaluating our request, and we are very pleased that they have found the Flint Creek retrofit to be in the public interest. The Commission?s decision recognizes that the addition of new technology will allow Flint Creek to meet stringent new EPA regulations and continue providing reliable and affordable power to SWEPCO customers and Arkansas Electric Cooperative members."

The SWEPCO officer further stated, "The Commission's decision recognizes the importance of Flint Creek as a base load power plant for Northwest Arkansas. It also reflects a place for coal in Arkansas' energy future, continuing SWEPCO's strategy of fuel diversity that avoids over-reliance on any one fuel to provide greater fuel cost stability for our customers."
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