Recently the focus of our emission controls program has been on the reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the Martin Drake and Ray Nixon Power Plants to comply with Colorado’s Regional Haze Compliance Schedule issued in March 2015. Controls for these emissions go into effect at the end of this year.
Last week, we notified the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that both power plants are demonstrating early compliance with the more stringent SO2 emissions limit mandates. Compliance for NOx requirements was previously demonstrated and communicated to CDPHE as well.
Our emission controls program, which consisted of commissioning new equipment to control these emissions, is projected to come in $15 million below the $288.5 million budget.
To adhere to new SO2 emissions levels, we installed scrubber systems at the Martin Drake and Ray Nixon Power Plants. With these new systems operating, SO2 levels from Drake are being reduced by 95 percent from 2005 levels. At Nixon, these levels have dropped by 75 percent from 1998 levels.
We are also seeing great results with our NOx controls, in which we installed over-fire air and ultra-low NOx burners on both plants. Since 1998, these controls have reduced NOx emissions by 83 percent from Drake and 68 percent from Nixon.
We are proud to report that all systems are performing as planned to achieve the new compliance limits. This is just the latest example of the work we have done to further improve our community’s air quality.