Coal Age

DEC 2018

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Page 39 of 59

38 December 2018 news continued sources "all have expressed a desire to con- tinue shipping coal to OMU to make up for the deficiencies in shipments that OMU had them constrained under terms of the force majeure. This deficiency in shipments will allow the coal suppliers to ship all of the tons that would have been shipped as required in the coal supply agreements to keep the coal vendors whole on volumes proposed for delivery and acceptance." Under this carry-forward tonnage de- livery plan, if the coal suppliers ship all of the deficient coal from the prior three years, "OMU will have enough coal to op- erate our proposed generation level until the scheduled retirement dates of our gen- erating units, and, will not require any ad- ditional supply," Roberts said. The deficient amounts are estimated at 650,000 tons to 750,000 tons. US Senator Backs Bill Guaranteeing Loans for HELE Coal Plants U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced new legislation on November 19 to revamp the Department of Energy's (DOE) loan guarantee program and incentivize energy producers to construct new, cleaner, and more efficient coal-fired units. SB 3653, the Reinvigorating American Energy Infrastruc- ture Act, would expand eligibility for DOE's existing loan guarantee program to high-ef- ficiency, low-emission (HELE) generating coal plants. This would broaden the eligi- bility for DOE's loan program, which would encourage reinvestment in coal technology, the senator's office said in a statement. "Indiana's coal producers provide af- fordable, reliable energy to homes and businesses throughout the Midwest," said Sen. Young. "My bill will help ensure that this vital energy source is competing on a level playing field while also keeping up with advances in technology that can lead to cleaner and more efficient coal-fired power plants." This would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which established a loan guar- antee program known as Section 1703 that was focused on supporting clean innova- tive technologies. This bill would make federal loan guarantees available for new high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal power plants in the U.S. for units that are larger than 350 megawatts (MW ) and modular units smaller than 350 MW. Eligible large-scale HELE units would need to use 65% of their net energy out- put to generate electricity and derive at least 65% of their annual heat input from coal or one or more coal derived fuels. They must also be designed so that they achieve an overall generation of at least 40%; have the capability of accommodat- ing the equipment to capture carbon diox- ide emissions from the unit; and minimize water consumption. Small-scale, HELE units would be re- quired to meet those specifications as well as have a load following capability down to 25% of maximum continuous rating for the unit and the capability to achieve high ramp rates of not less than 4% of the maximum continuous rating per minute of the unit. McNamee Moves on to Senate Vote The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has advanced President Don- ald Trump's nomination of Bernard Mc- Namee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by a vote of 13-10. The nomination now heads to the Senate floor. Democrats tried, but failed, to delay the vote. Many have opposed his nomi- nation since it was announced because of McNamee's work with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Department of Energy, specifically Secretary Rick Perry's plan to bail out the coal and nuclear in- dustries. FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil and re- views proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydro- power projects. Things got more intense after a video was released of a speech McNamee gave back in February when he was the director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In the speech, he promoted fossil fuels and nuclear over renewables. He named several environmental groups, such as EarthJustice, Sierra Club, Natural Resourc- es Defense Council, and the Environmental Defense Fund, who he said were promot- ing an "organized propaganda campaign against fossil fuels" and said they were try- ing to return the "administrative tyranny." He added that if people wanted to talk about the science behind it all, they should speak about the physics of the grid. "The real science is keeping the lights on," he said. And that is with nuclear and fossil fuels, he added. McNamee currently serves as the ex- ecutive director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Policy. EPA Proposes Revisions to Advance Clean Energy Technology In early December, the U.S. Environmen- tal Protection Agency (EPA) proposed re- visions to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from new, modified, and recon- structed fossil fuel-fired power plants. The EPA's proposal would revise the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(b)'s determination of the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for these plants. It would replace the EPA's 2015 determination that partial carbon capture and storage (CCS) tech- nology was the BSER for new coal units. "Consistent with President Donald Trump's executive order promoting energy independence, EPA's proposal would re- scind excessive burdens on America's ener- gy providers and level the playing field so that new energy technologies can be a part of America's future," said EPA Acting Ad- ministrator Andrew Wheeler. "By replacing onerous regulations with high, yet achiev- able, standards, we can continue America's historic energy production, keep energy prices affordable, and encourage new in- vestments in cutting-edge technology that can then be exported around the world." "Today's actions reflect our approach of defining new, clean coal standards by data and the latest technological informa - tion, not wishful thinking," said EPA Assis- tant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum. "We take seriously our responsibility to protect public health and the environment in a manner consis- tent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act and will continue to do so. He added that coal-fired power will continue to be a part of America's energy future and the revised standards will make sure the emissions profiles of new plants continue to improve. This proposal will ensure that any new coal plants built in the United States use the most advanced, clean coal technologies that have been adequately demonstrated, the EPA said. News Continued from Page 16

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