Louisiana Generating, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), will continue emissions reductions at the Big Cajun II Electrical Generating Station while providing affordable power to cooperative customers in Louisiana.
After buying Big Cajun II, Louisiana Generating upgraded the burners and fuel that reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO
) 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.
“We are very proud of the work we have done to reduce emissions at Big Cajun II over the decade we have owned the plant,” said Jennifer Vosburg, President of Louisiana Generating. “We are equally proud of the work we will do over the next three years to make Big Cajun II even cleaner.”
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.
The capital cost of making the plant modifications and achieving the emission improvements are within the total environmental capital costs previously disclosed publicly by NRG.