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Boardman Plant Air Emissions

Boardman 2020 progress report
PGE has made important progress implementing a modified operating plan for our Boardman Plant, often called the Boardman 2020 plan. As part of this plan, PGE has installed new emissions controls at the plant, and has agreed to end the use of coal there by Dec. 31, 2020. The plan was approved by state and federal regulators in 2010 and 2011.

Installation of new controls
New emissions controls installed at Boardman have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by about 50 percent and mercury emissions by 90 percent. A final set of new controls going into service in 2014 completes planned retrofits at the plant, allowing permitted levels of sulfur dioxide emissions to be reduced by 75 percent. PGE invested a total of about $60 million to achieve these reductions while allowing the plant to continue providing reliable, affordable power for PGE customers.

The new controls include:
  • New low-NOx burners and modified overfire air ports to comply with Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) standards for oxides of nitrogen. These were installed in the spring of 2011 and are operating as planned.
  • An activated carbon injection system to allow capture and removal of mercury from the plant’s emissions. This system was also installed in the spring of 2011 and is operating as planned.
  • A separate dry sorbent injection system to comply with BART standards for sulfur dioxide. PGE has also switched to a coal supply that contains less sulfur. This system was installed in 2013, with testing and optimization completed in time to assure that the plant meets its new standards as of summer 2014.

Boardman Controls

Illustration of new emissions controls
View illustration (PDF) and details about new and planned emission controls for the Boardman Plant.

Next steps
In addition to completing testing and installation of new emissions controls at the plant, PGE will engage stakeholders in a comprehensive analysis of potential options to replace the power from the Boardman Plant after 2020 — or convert the existing plant to a different fuel, such as biomass — as part of its integrated resource planning process.

Adoption of the Boardman 2020 plan completed a process that began when PGE volunteered in 2006 to have the Boardman Plant be the first Oregon facility evaluated under BART guidelines for regional haze. The utility then submitted an initial analysis and control plan to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in 2007. After the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission adopted its first BART rule in 2009, PGE incorporated the rule’s emissions control requirements into the company’s long-term resource plan, but also responded to stakeholder requests for further analysis of an alternative strategy based on a 2020 timeline.

In January 2010, PGE announced that it would pursue a 2020 alternative, and submitted an initial 2020 plan to DEQ in April. The company also modified its integrated resource plan with the Oregon Public Utility Commission. PGE then updated and strengthened the 2020 plan in August and October, incorporating new technologies and further tightening proposed emissions and operational restrictions to address concerns of regulators and stakeholders.

The OPUC acknowledged the revised 2020 plan in November 2010, noting that earlier closure dates would not allow enough time for the company to secure reliable replacement power. The OEQC adopted regional haze rules incorporating the 2020 plan in December 2010 and forwarded the plan to the EPA for final approval which came in 2011.

Newspaper editorials
Below are local newspaper editorials about the Boardman 2020 plan:

About the Boardman Plant
The Boardman Power Plant is a 585-megawatt coal-fired electricity generating plant in northeastern Oregon. It is one of PGE’s most cost-effective sources of power and a key resource in meeting Oregonians’ energy needs.

PGE operates the Boardman Plant and owns 80 percent of it. The other owners are Idaho Power Company, 10 percent; and Power Resources Cooperative, 10 percent.

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