Dominion To Continue To Operate Salem Harbor Power Station
* Continued use of low-emission coal allows strict emissions limits to be met
* Company considering number of options to comply with new regulations
* Dominion expects to be full participant in regional greenhouse gas market
Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation’s largest energy producers, announced today that it would continue to operate the Salem Harbor Power Station in compliance with strict environmental regulations. The announcement was made in accordance with an agreement the company has with Massachusetts and other parties to declare its plans for the station by this summer.
“Salem Harbor has demonstrated that it is a viable, reliable and an environmentally sound resource for meeting the growing electricity demands of the Boston area,” said Mark F. McGettrick, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Generation, the company unit that operates its power stations. “We are confident that we can economically meet the requirements of tough, new Massachusetts and regional environmental laws that will take effect in the next few years.”
McGettrick noted that Salem Harbor achieved significant reductions in air emissions over the last decade. Since Massachusetts established its stringent air emission regulations, the station has reduced emissions of:
* Sulfur dioxide by 79 percent,
* Nitrogen oxides by 77 percent, and
* Mercury by more than 85 percent. Dominion plans to test other measures that will place the units in compliance with mercury emission reductions of 95 percent beginning in October 2012.
Dominion purchased Salem Harbor in January 2005. The station has three coal-fired units and one oil-fired unit with a total generating capacity of 745 megawatts, or enough electricity for about 745,000 homes.
Shortly after the purchase, Dominion entered into an Amended Administrative Consent Order (AACO) with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and other parties in May 2005 that set strict environmental limits for the reduction of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury that the station would have to achieve. At that time, Dominion also said it would announce in the summer of 2008 its future plans for the power station.
“We are proud to say that through the hard work and dedication of Salem Harbor’s employees, the station has met every aspect of the AACO,” McGettrick said.
The station was able to achieve the reductions and comply with some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the country through switching to coal that has low sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions rates and by using low-sulfur oil. It also installed systems that allow the station to handle and store the new coal.
The continued use of low-emission coal will allow Salem Harbor to continue to meet Massachusetts’s strict air emissions standards. Dominion plans to test other measures that will place the units in compliance with mercury emission limits of 95 percent beginning in October 2012. For example, Dominion’s test of an activated carbon injection system on Salem Harbor Unit 1 resulted in mercury emissions in compliance with the new regulation.
Dominion also will participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auctions that start in September as part of its plan to comply with RGGI regulations that begin Jan. 1, 2009.
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