Minnesota Power has announced plans to upgrade Boswell Energy Center Unit 4 in Cohasset, Minn. with emissions controls that will reduce its mercury emissions by 90 percent. The upgrades will also provide significant reduction of particulates and sulfur dioxide.
Minnesota Power, based in Duluth, is a utility division of Allete Inc. (NYSE: ALE).
Minnesota Power owns 80 percent of the 585 MW Boswell 4 with the balance owned by WPPI Energy. Minnesota Power’s portion of the project is estimated to be $350 to $400 million over the next several years. WPPI Energy will pay the cost of its share of the project. Multi-emission reduction project plans and permit applications will be filed with federal and state regulators next month.
With requirements for a 90 percent mercury reduction on Boswell Unit 4 by 2018 already in state
statute, Minnesota Power has been analyzing a Unit 4 retrofit as pending Environmental Protection
Agency regulations affecting coal units across the nation are finalized. Technology choices, resource needs, economic projections, customer cost impacts and project execution were key factors in this extensive assessment. The EPA’s issuance of the MATS Rule for mercury reduction in December of 2011 was a key factor in the timing of Minnesota Power’s decision.
Over the past six years, Minnesota Power has invested approximately $350 million dollars to reduce emissions by about 70 percent overall on its system, with most of this investment applied to
Boswell Unit 3, the company’s second largest generator. The Boswell 4 project will increase overall emission reduction to around 85 percent. Every phase of Minnesota Power’s ongoing resource planning process has underscored that emission reduction investments in Boswell 3 and 4 to enhance and sustain these core energy sources are a good value for customers.
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