Reliant trade hours for emissions control at California plant

As the electricity crisis in California continues to unfold, Reliant Energy Inc., Houston, Friday said it has reached an agreement with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District under which Reliant will be able to operate its Mandalay 3 unit, Oxnard, Calif., for additional hours in exchange for reducing emissions from the units.

Aug 4th, 2000


As the electricity crisis in California continues to unfold, Reliant Energy Inc., Houston, Friday said it has reached an agreement with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District under which Reliant will be able to operate its Mandalay 3 unit, Oxnard, Calif., for additional hours in exchange for reducing emissions from the units.

Richard Baldwin, Ventura County air pollution control officer, said the agreement means the California Independent System Operator will have access to an additional 120 Mw of power during critical power shortages.

In return, Reliant Energy has agreed to reduce emissions from these units. Reliant Energy is already providing the added power supplies to the Southern California power grid.

The agreement provides that Reliant Energy will be able to operate its Mandalay 3 unit, which provides natural gas-fired peaking power during periods of high demand, for additional hours during the year. The unit, comprised of eight combustion turbines, had been restricted in its operating time due to environmental emissions limitations.

Reliant Energy will install best available control technology, expected to be water injection, on the plant's combustion turbines to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, a major contributor of smog, the company said.

In the interim, until the enhanced environmental upgrading is completed, the company will pay $4,000/hr in mitigation fees for each hour it operates the plant's combustion turbines in excess of the current limit. The $4,000 fee will be matched with an $8,000 contribution from a program that supports reduction of air pollutants associated with heavy-duty diesel engines.

Peak emissions will be reduced to levels about one-third of the present rate from this source, while reductions can also be accelerated from diesel-powered equipment because of the additional funding to the Carl Moyer program, Reliant officials said. The company said the additional electricity from Mandalay will also reduce use of dirtier diesel standby engines being called into use during energy curtailments to major users of electricity.

Reliant Energy purchased the Mandalay power generating station in 1998, as well as four other power plants, from Southern California Edison Co. Together, the plants are capable of producing more than 3,700 Mw of power.

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