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Minnesota Power Reaches Settlement Agreement with EPA Over NSR Allegations

LCG, July 17, 2014-Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE, Inc., announced yesterday that it has reached a settlement agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to resolve alleged violations of the New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act. The agreement does not include any admission of wrongdoing on the part of the company. Minnesota Power is one of many utilities in the U.S. whose investments in electric generation facilities were reviewed as part of the EPA's Coal-Fired Power Plant Enforcement Initiative that began in 1999 and resulted in over 25 related settlements.

MHI to Provide Carbon Capture System for Texas Project

LCG, July 16, 2014-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for a world's largest post combustion CO2 capture system for an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project in Texas. The MHI system will capture CO2 produced by an existing coal-fired power generation facility. The project is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Industry News

TVA Announces Plans Stop Burning Coal in Nine Electric Generating Units

LCG, August 25, 2010--The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced yesterday that, beginning next year, it will idle nine coal-fired units that have a combined electric generating capacity of approximately 1,000 MW. One of the units will be considered for repowering, with the fuel switched to biomass. These steps are part of TVA's strategy to replace or retire older, less-efficient, coal-fired units as a means of reducing carbon and other emissions from its generation portfolio.

TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore stated, "Much of our stakeholder input and other assessments point toward a greater reliance on nuclear power and energy efficiency and less reliance on coal....Replacing some coal with other, cleaner fuel sources allows a reduction in air emissions including carbon. One of TVA's key goals is to improve air quality."

Two units at the Widows Creek plant, located near Stevenson, Alabama, will be idled in fiscal year 2011. Four other units at the Widows Creek plant will be idled between 2011 and 2015. Shawnee Unit 10, near Paducah, Kentucky, will be idled and evaluated for conversion to biomass fuel. Two units at John Sevier near Rogersville, Tennessee will be idled within the next four to five years.

To offset the loss of generating capacity, TVA is installing new gas-fired, electric generation units at the John Sevier site. Additional gas and nuclear generating units are under construction at other TVA sites.

TVA is evaluating the future of other units within its coal fleet that includes 59 units at 11 plants with about 15,000 MW of generation. Over half of this coal-fired capacity is equipped with advanced environmental controls. The remaining units, totaling about 6,000 MW, will be evaluated to determine whether to install new emission controls, idle them or replace them with alternative generation.

TVA is not alone in its idling or repowering of older coal plants. Earlier this month, Xcel Energy submitted to the Colorado Public Utility Commission its plan to comply with Colorado?s new Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, which requires Xcel to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 70 to 80 percent from several coal-fired power plants by December 31, 2017.

Xcel's proposed plan will retire 900 MW of coal-fired generation at the Valmont and Cherokee stations by the end of 2017 and 2022, respectively. Furthermore, the 717-MW Cherokee facility will be repowered to use natural gas, which will increase the capacity to 883 MW. Unit 4 of the Arapahoe plant will also be repowered.



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