Scrubber Exceeds Emissions Reductions Goals
The installation of a "scrubber" has significantly reduced mercury and sulfur emissions at Merrimack Station in Bow, according to a progress report recently filed by Public Service of New Hampshire with the NH Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Recent tests show that the "Clean Air Project" is reducing mercury emissions by 97 - 98 percent, well above the 80 percent mercury reduction requirement set by the New Hampshire Legislature. The Clean Air Project is also reducing sulfur dioxide emissions by 96 - 98 percent, which exceeds the project's 90 percent sulfur dioxide emissions reduction goal.
"We are pleased to report that the Clean Air Project is achieving exceptional success," said William Smagula, PSNH Director of Generation. "Already ahead of schedule and under budget, the scrubber is now also beating the clean air benchmarks set by the State Legislature."
The installation of a "wet flue gas desulfurization system" at Merrimack Station was mandated by the State Legislature in 2006 (RSA 125-O:11) and is aimed at reducing emissions of mercury and other pollutants. In mandating the installation of the scrubber, the legislature set a mercury emissions reduction requirement of more than 80 percent from the flue gases of PSNH's coal units.
The filing to the PUC also reported on the status of the project's construction work and overall cost. The construction of the Clean Air Project has to date entailed more than 1.3 million man-hours of work over a three year period, all of which was completed without any lost-time accidents. The remaining construction work associated with the project is expected to be completed in June. The final cost of the project is projected to be $422 million, a reduction of $35 million compared to the initial project budget of $457 million.
"As the project's construction phase winds down, we continue to work in as safe, efficient, and cost effective a manner as possible," stated Smagula. "These efforts are a testament to the quality work of the New Hampshire companies and residents who served as the workforce for this project."
The Clean Air Project was declared in-service on September 28, 2011, almost two years ahead of the July 1st 2013 deadline set by the Legislature.