“We were evaluating burning Indonesian coal to meet MATS (Mercury and Air Toxics Standards) requirements, but we developed alternatives,” Talen spokesman Todd Martin said in July, referring to the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule that took effect in April. In a victory for the coal industry, the Supreme Court since has overturned the rule, sending it back to the federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., for more consideration.
According to Martin, his Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company is purchasing low-chlorine steam coal from Colorado for Unit 2 at the Wagner plant and is installing activated carbon injection equipment on Wagner’s Unit 3 and on the 399-megawatt Crane plant near Baltimore. The 977-megawatt Wagner plant is located near Curtis Bay, Maryland.
Both plants also burn low-sulfur Powder River Basin coal.
Last fall, Talen bought about 60,000 tons of Indonesian coal for the test burn. The decision not to switch the plants to Indonesian coal was based largely on price, according to Martin, who did not elaborate.
In addition to coal, Crane burns oil, while Wagner also consumes natural gas and oil.
Talen’s 1,273-megawatt Brandon Shores plant, also near Curtis Bay, burns only steam coal. Raven acquired the three plants in 2012 for $400 million from Chicago-based Exelon Corp., the parent company of Commonwealth Edison, Baltimore Gas & Electric and Peco Energy.
Martin said Talen, formed this year from generation assets from Riverstone Holdings and PPL Corp., plans to continue operating Wagner, Crane and Brandon Shores indefinitely.
Brandon Shores, he noted, “already has a SCR [selective catalytic reduction system], a baghouse, and all of the other things, and they don’t need additional equipment to meet MATS.”