La Paloma Energy Center scores legal victory for its Texas power project

file

The U.S. Environmental Appeals Board on March 14 rejected a Sierra Club petition for a review of an air permit issued to La Paloma Energy Center LLC for a gas-fired power project in Texas.

The Sierra Club had petitioned the board to review a greenhouse gas (GHG) prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit that Region 6 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued in November 2013 to La Paloma Energy Center, LLC (LPEC). The permit authorizes LPEC to construct and operate a 637-MW to 735-MW natural gas-fired power plant in Harlingen, Texas.

The project is being developed by Coronado Power Ventures LLC and Bechtel.

The Sierra Club challenged the permit's emission limits for greenhouse gases on two grounds, claiming that the Region clearly erred or abused its discretion: by failing to base the permitted GHG emission limits for the combined cycle natural gas-fired combustion turbines that will be used at this facility on the energy efficiency of the most efficient of the three turbine models that LPEC identified for potential use at this facility; and by declining to require LPEC to consider adding a solar thermal energy component to the proposed facility in order to further reduce GHG emissions because the Region incorrectly concluded that solar technology would “redefine the source.”

“Sierra Club has failed to demonstrate that the Region clearly erred or abused its discretion in establishing the GHG permit limits for the combustion turbines at the proposed LPEC facility,” said the March 14 decision. “The Board finds no support in EPA's [best available control technology] BACT guidance for Sierra Club's position that the three specific turbine models proposed by LPEC must be identified as separate control technologies throughout the Region's five-step analysis. The Region had a rational basis for its determinations that all three of the permitted turbine models are comparably efficient on a performance basis, that the assigned BACT limits are substantially equivalent except for marginal differences attributable to capacity, and that the GHG emission limits for all three turbine models represent BACT for highly efficient combined cycle combustion turbines.”

The club added on the second point of appeal: “Sierra Club has failed to demonstrate that the Region abused its discretion in concluding that adding solar technology to this facility would ‘redefine the source.' Under the circumstances of this case, the business purposes and site-specific constraints described in the administrative record support the Region's conclusion that the addition of supplemental solar power to this facility would constitute redesign of the source.”

In its application, LPEC said the proposed facility would consist of two natural gas-fired combined cycle combustion turbines, each exhausting to a fired heat recovery steam generator. LPEC explained that, while “final selection of the combustion turbine model would not be made until after the permit was issued,” it was considering three models, each producing different maximum baseload power: the General Electric 7FA (183 MW), the Siemens SGT6-5000F(4) (205 MW) and the Siemens SGT6-5000F(5) (232 MW). Combined with the steam turbine's output capacity of about 271 MW, the combustion turbines would produce a total generating capacity at this facility of 637, 681, or 735 MW, depending upon which combustion turbine model is finally selected.

This article was republished with permission from GenerationHub.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Miss. Power Co. announces start of gasifier at Kemper plant

Mississippi Power Co. announced Monday that it had fired up gasifiers at its Kemper County power plant for the first time.

 MS Power coal-to-gas conversion nearly complete

MS Power coal-to-gas conversion nearly complete

A coal-to-gas conversion project at a power plant operated by Mississippi Power is nearly complete.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

EIA: Coal-fired generation alive and well in the coming decade

Coal-fired power generation from existing plants will increase through 2025, this according t...

Report: Nuke dump radiation leak could have been prevented

A radiation leak that forced the indefinite closure of the federal government's only undergro...

Areva’s nuclear reactor vessel flaws may be “costly”

The French nuclear regulator says anomalies found in Areva’s nuclear reactor technology are “...

Southern Power acquires 32MW solar project from First Solar

Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary, Southern Power, has acquired controlling interest in...

Second robot completes survey of Fukushima reactor containment vessel

A second shape-shifting robot completed a survey from inside of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear...

PacifiCorp considers joining California ISO

PacifiCorp signed a memorandum of understanding to explore full participation in the Californ...

Herbert: Uranium shouldn't be in Utah before federal review

Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that he wants federal regulators to review how hazardous a ty...

Environmentalists press for bill to expand solar power

Environmentalists are urging lawmakers to back a bill they say would help more residents inve...

Power Engineering Current Issue

02/01/2015
Volume 119, Issue 2
1502PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Buyers Guide Categories

Buyers Guide Product Listings

Predictive Maintenance

IPS field service technicians use state-of-the-...

Mitsubishi Gas Turbines

Mitsubishi's advanced turbine technology includ...

Turbine Services Limited

Turbine Services Limited, a wholly owned subsid...

Condition Monitoring

TIGER® Monitoring System automates the knowledg...
Power Industry Wire News

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors

Magnum Hunter Resources Chairman and CEO to Present at IPAA OGIS New York 2015

Magnum Hunter Resources Chairman and CEO to Present at IPAA OGIS New York 2015

GEI Global Energy Corp. Explores Solar Opportunities

GEI Global Energy Corp. Explores Solar Opportunities

Envision Solar Installs Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations in San Francisco as Part of "Driving on Sunshine" Campaign

Envision Solar Installs Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations in San Francisco as Part of ...

ZBB Energy and Solar Power, Inc. (SPI) Announce Global Strategic Partnership With an Initial Supply Agreement Valued at Between $80 Million and $120 Million

ZBB Energy and Solar Power, Inc. (SPI) Announce Global Strategic Partnership With an In...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>