Home » EKPC proposes plan to ensure continued operation of Cooper Unit #1

EKPC proposes plan to ensure continued operation of Cooper Unit #1

Seeking to connect unit to existing emissions scrubber

BURNSIDE, Ky. (July 15, 2013) — To meet tightening federal air regulations and to ensure the future of a reliable generating unit at Cooper Station in Burnside, Ky., East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) is seeking regulatory approval to connect the unit to an existing scrubber at the plant.

EKPC's Cooper Unit #1.
EKPC’s Cooper Unit #1.

In 2012, EKPC added a circulating dry scrubber to Cooper Unit #2 at a cost of approximately $225 million. The scrubber removes sulfur dioxide and other emissions from the flue gas of the coal-fueled unit. Meanwhile, Cooper Unit #1 continues to face challenges in meeting more-stringent air rules, which could curtail operation of the unit as soon as 2015 if modifications are not made.

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EKPC proposes to construct ductwork to tie Cooper Unit #1 into Unit #2’s scrubber, which has sufficient capacity to handle the additional emissions. The proposed project is estimated to cost approximately $15 million. EKPC plans to request a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Kentucky Public Service Commission for the project.

“EKPC is proposing what we believe is a very reasonable investment to extend the life of a reliable generating unit,” said Tony Campbell, EKPC’s president and CEO. “We believe this will benefit our cooperative, the Lake Cumberland community and our owner-members and the 520,000 homes and businesses they serve.”

Cooper Unit #1, which came online in 1965, is a 116-megawatt coal-fueled unit.

“Ultimately, co-op members bear the costs of any modifications,” Campbell said. “We owe it to them to ensure that EKPC complies with these new rules while continuing to provide power as reliably and affordably as possible.”

Cooper #1 represents a substantial investment, including the generating unit, as well as transmission and fuel-handling facilities, EKPC said. The plant is fueled primarily by Kentucky coal.

The proposal resulted from a June 2012 solicitation issued by EKPC for up to 300 MW of electric-generating resources. In response to that solicitation, EKPC received more than 100 proposals from 65 bidders. EKPC is continuing to evaluate the remaining responses for the balance of the requested power.