Coal, Emissions, Gas

GRDA board votes to decommission 41-year-old coal-fired unit

The board of directors for the public utility Grand River Dam Authority voted to decommission one of its two coal-fired units in eastern Oklahoma.

The Grand River Energy Center Unit 1, with a capacity of 520 MW, had generated electricity since 1978. It was taken offline last year after the GRDA installed a new gas-fired combined cycle unit. The 520-MW, coal-fired Unit 2 will continue operation.

Unit 1 was not seen as efficient to retrofit with expensive environmental improvements and could have closed as early as 2016. Delays in building Unit 3 and a fire which severely damaged and incapacitated Unit 2 forced GRDA officials to put out the closure until late last year.

The 495-MW gas-fired Unit 3 was built at a cost of close to $300 million. Unit 3 is powered by a Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems 501J combustion turbine generator, a duct-fired heat recovery steam generator and a SRT-50 steam turbine generator.

GRDA is an Oklahoma state agency which sells power to municipalities, electric cooperatives and industrial customers.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).