York, PA Elec Plant Dropping Coal for Now, Burning Marcellus Gas

Brunner Island Power Plant

The Brunner Island Power Plant is located in York County, PA, but straddles Lancaster County. It is a huge 1,490 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant, and has been the target of environmentalists for years. In February, MDN told you that the new owners of the plant are investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can, at least part of the time, burn Marcellus Shale gas (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). The plant was issued a draft permit by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in April allowing the plant to discharge pollutants (into the atmosphere) and heated water into the Susquehanna River. The DEP is holding a public hearing on the draft permit, on July 24 in Manchester, PA. All of which sounds rather mundane. However, in coverage of the upcoming hearing, we read that Talen Energy (the new owner) “plans to burn little or no coal until 2019 as part of a ‘site evaluation.'” Now that is interesting. If true, that means either right now, or very soon, almost all (perhaps all) of the fuel powering the plant is Marcellus Shale gas…

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