Emissions control equipment installed
The last of three units at Navajo Generating Station (NGS) has now been equipped with new emission-control equipment designed to help further improve regional visibility along the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon.
Workers at NGS finished installing low-NOx burners on Unit 1 in April, completing a three-year, $45 million effort to retrofit all three 750-megawatt (MW) coal generating units at the plant. The low-NOx burners reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the plant by at least 40%, resulting in an annual reduction of approximately 14,000 tons of NOx.
When released into the atmosphere, NOx creates ammonium nitrate particles that can contribute to regional haze. Other contributors to occasional regional haze are automobile emissions, forest fires and blowing dust.
"By voluntarily installing low-NOx burners at NGS, we are doing our part to protect visibility at the Grand Canyon for future generations," said David Areghini, SRP's associate general manager of Power, Construction & Engineering Services. "As one of the largest and most important sources of energy in the Southwest, it is important that NGS continues to operate in a responsible manner on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people who benefit from the electricity produced at the plant."
Installation of low-NOx burners at NGS is the latest major environmental control project at the plant. In the 1990s, scrubbers were installed on the plant's three generating units as part of a negotiated settlement involving SRP, the state of Arizona, the Grand Canyon Trust and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The scrubbers remove approximately 90% of the sulfur dioxide produced by the combustion of low-sulfur coal at NGS.
Construction on the scrubbers began in 1994 and was completed at an estimated cost of $420 million.
Prior to the installation of the scrubbers, NGS was equipped with approximately $200 million in environmental-control equipment that was installed when the plant was built in the early 1970s. The plant also uses coal with a sulfur content of less than 1%.