SHAWVILLE – Once rated as one of the “dirtiest” plants in the state, the NRG Energy Inc. power plant in Shawville has plans that will drastically reduce its emissions.
According to David Gaier, spokesperson for the East Region, NRG Energy Centers, the Shawville plant will see significant environmental benefits as a result of plans to convert from a coal-fired power plant to natural gas.
In an e-mail, Gaier said sulfur dioxide emissions will be reduced by more than 99 percent; nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 88 percent; and particulates will be reduced by 98 percent after the plant’s conversion.
According to previously published GantDaily.com articles, last summer, NRG Energy announced plans to cease coal-fired operations in April of 2015, to convert the Shawville plant to natural gas and to re-open it in the spring of 2016.
“Another key point is that the coal units will be taken offline by the end of Q2 of 2105. Between that time and the time when those coal units come back online in mid-2016 as gas-fueled units, there will be no emissions whatsoever, as those units will not be operational,” said Gaier.
According to the previous article, if NRG continued its coal-fired operations at the plant, it would have to install an extensive, back-end environmental control system, which would not be economically feasible.
NRG officials found the coal units could be converted to operate on natural gas, which would also dramatically improve the plant’s emissions profile and be able to comply with the environmental regulations.
According to the previous article, the Shawville plant has four coal units and all four coal units will be converted to natural gas. A gas pipeline will be drilled to transport the gas to the plant.
Also, according to the previous article, the Shawville plant will have about 40 employees after the conversion to natural gas.