Chalk Point Generating Station

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Chalk Point Generating Station
Chalk Point Generating Station 5-19-2019.jpg
Chalk Point Generating Station in 2019
CountryUnited States
LocationEagle Harbor, Maryland
Coordinates38°32′37″N 76°41′19″W / 38.54361°N 76.68861°W / 38.54361; -76.68861Coordinates: 38°32′37″N 76°41′19″W / 38.54361°N 76.68861°W / 38.54361; -76.68861
StatusOperational
Commission date
  • 1964
Decommission dateJune 2021 (Unit 1 & 2)
Owner(s)NRG Energy
Thermal power station
Primary fuelOil and natural gas (Units 3 & 4)
Power generation
Units operational
2 × 659 MWe (Units 3 & 4)
Nameplate capacity
  • 2,553 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Chalk Point Generating Station is an electricity-generating plant, comprising oil and natural gas fired units, owned by NRG Energy, located near the town of Eagle Harbor, Maryland, United States, on the Patuxent River.

Plant operator GenOn Energy Holdings closed the two coal-fired units at the plant in June 2021.[1] Environmental and community advocates supported the closure, but highlighted the lack of plan in Maryland to support a "Just Transition" for the community and employees of the plant.[2]

Individual Units[edit]

The facility consists of Units 3 and 4, which are oil and natural gas fired units rated at 659 MWe each, put into service in 1975 and 1981. These units are cooled by natural draft cooling towers. The units comprise seven combustion turbines owned and operated by NRG.

  • Oil-fired units GT1 and GT2 (put into service in 1967 and 1974) are rated at 16 MWe and 35 MWe.
  • Oil/gas-fired units GT3–GT6 (put into service in 1991) are rated at 103, 103, 125, and 125 MWe respectively.
  • Unit SGT1, an oil/gas-fired combustion turbine, is rated at 94 MWe and was put into service in 1990. The turbine was owned by the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) until 2015, when it was acquired by NRG.[3]

The combined name-plate capacity of all seven combustion turbines is 601 MWe.[4][5]

Units ST1 and ST2, closed in 2021, are coal-fired dry-bottom, wall-fired steam generating plants rated at 364 MWe each. They were put into service in 1964 and 1965.

History[edit]

The Chalk Point plant began service in 1964.[6] All of the GenOn generating units at the Chalk Point Generating Station were built by the Potomac Electric Power Company, which sold them to the Southern Company in December 2000 as a result of the restructuring of the electricity generating industry in Maryland. The station was included in the Mirant spin-off from the Southern Company in April 2001. Mirant was merged into GenOn Energy in 2010,[7] and GenOn merged into NRG in 2012.[8]

GenOn announced in August 2020 that it planned to shut down the two coal-fired units in June 2021. Environmental and community advocates supported the closure, but highlighted the lack of plan in Maryland to support a Just Transition for the community and employees of the plant.[2]

Fuel delivery[edit]

Coal was delivered to the Chalk Point generating station by CSX Transportation trains via the Herbert Subdivision, a former Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) line. This line is accessed via the Amtrak Northeast Corridor line. The coal was delivered from trains staged at the CSX Benning Yard (also former PRR facilities) in Anacostia, Washington, DC.

Dispatch of electricity[edit]

The electrical output of Chalk Point Generating Station is dispatched by the PJM Interconnection regional transmission organization.[6]

Environmental impacts[edit]

In 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that the Chalk Point plant emitted over 21 lbs/MWh of sulfur dioxide (SO2), ranked as the 24th largest such emitter in the United States.[9]: 12  It was ranked as the 43rd largest emitter of nitrogen oxides (NOx).[9]: 16  In 2010 EPA reported that Chalk Point emitted 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).[10] In 2019 the plant emitted 0.6 metric tons of CO2.[11]

In August 2018, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) required three generating stations across the state, including Chalk Point, to meet current federal wastewater standards (effluent guidelines) by November 2020. The coal-fired units at these plants discharged arsenic and mercury to their respective receiving waters, as allowed by 1980s-era pollution standards under expired permits. Upgrading the plants' treatment systems to Maryland's current standards "could reduce discharges of toxic metals by 97 percent."[12] EPA published the updated federal standards in 2015.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shwe, Elizabeth (2021-06-14). "Md. Coal-Fired Power Plant Will Retire Five Years Early — Before Worker Retraining Kicks In". Maryland Matters.
  2. ^ a b Shwe, Elizabeth (2020-08-14). "Two Coal Plants in Prince George's County Will Shut Down By Next Year". Maryland Matters. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  3. ^ Cassell, Barry (2015-11-20). "FERC okays NRG buy of 77-MW unit at Chalk Point plant in Maryland". Transmission Hub. Tulsa, OK: Endeavor Business Media.
  4. ^ "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  5. ^ Maryland Department of Natural Resources (2007-04-02). "Environmental Review of the Proposed Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) Project at the Chalk Point Generating Station" (PDF). Maryland Public Service Commission Case No. 9086 docket. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04.
  6. ^ a b GenOn Energy, Houston, TX. "Chalk Point Generating Station." Archived November 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Accessed 2011-06-28.
  7. ^ de la Merced, Michael J. (2010-04-12). "Merger of Energy Producers To Form $3 Billion Company". The New York Times.
  8. ^ de la Merced, Michael J. (2012-07-23). "NRG Energy to Buy GenOn in Move to Bolster Stocks and Cut Costs". The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: Environmental Integrity Project. July 2007.
  10. ^ "Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large Facilities; Data Year: 2010". Facility Level Information on Greenhouse Gases Tool. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  11. ^ "Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large Facilities; Data Year: 2019". Facility Level Information on Greenhouse Gases Tool. EPA. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  12. ^ Dance, Scott (2018-08-14). "Maryland requires three coal power plants to limit arsenic, mercury water pollution starting in 2020". Baltimore Sun.
  13. ^ "Steam Electric Power Generating Effluent Guidelines - 2015 Final Rule". EPA. 2018-11-30.