We are working to reduce power plant mercury emissions by:
Mercury emissions from our power plants are reported annually through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory database.
Resources for mercury emissions and reduction efforts:
We have worked with the environmental community, state regulators, and other utilities in Colorado to develop new state air quality rules around mercury emission monitoring and control. All coal-fired units in Colorado were required to monitor mercury and begin reporting emissions to the state in 2009. On units that qualify as low mercury emitters, emissions can be calculated based on semi-annual testing. The following Xcel Energy plants in Colorado qualify as low emitters: Valmont Station; Cherokee Station Units 1, 2, 3 and 4; and Hayden Station Units 1 and 2. No monitoring is required at our Arapahoe Station because the plant is scheduled for retirement.
Under new Colorado rules, mercury emission controls capable of achieving at least 80 percent capture are installed at the following Xcel Energy power plants:
|Power Plant||Control In-service Date|
|Comanche Station - Pueblo, Colo.||2008|
|Pawnee Station - Brush, Colo.||2012|
In Minnesota, legislation is in place that targets mercury emission reduction through mercury control plans. In December 2007, Xcel Energy filed a plan with state regulatory agencies to reduce mercury emissions by up to 90 percent on select units at our Allen S. King and Sherburne County (Sherco) Generating Plants. After state regulators approved our plan, we added mercury controls on Sherco Unit 3 in 2009 and on Allen S. King Unit 1 in 2010. Controls are installed and operating on both units. The combination of existing air pollution controls and the new mercury controls result in removal of about 90 percent of mercury in the coal. In December 2009, we filed a plan for Sherco Units 1 and 2 that proposed installation of mercury controls on Sherco Units 1 and 2 by 2014 to reduce mercury emissions by up to 90 percent. Wet scrubbers on Sherco 1 and 2 already remove more than 40 percent of the mercury in the coal, and this schedule will enable us to test emerging technologies we believe to be compatible with portions of our existing wet scrubbers, as well as new emerging multi-pollutant systems. Both approaches have the potential to do a better and more cost-effective job of reducing emissions.
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