Posted on Sat., June 6, 2009
By Ray Scherer
St.Joe News Press

Environmental upgrades reduce Iatan emissions

State-of-the-art control system in operation

IATAN, Mo. - Kansas City Power & Light officials recently rolled out the first phase of environmental upgrades at its coal-fired power plant site in northern Platte County.

A new 850-megawatt coal-fired Iatan II plant - set to go on line in summer 2010 - will have identical environmental controls with the existing Iatan I facility, according to project director Brent Davis. For now, KCP&L's current plant has been retrofitted with systems to remove carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other toxic emissions.

The alterations are part of a 2007 collaboration between the utility, Concerned Citizens of Platte County and the Sierra Club of Missouri. The agreement called for KCP&L to install pollution controls to both the Iatan I and Iatan II units. The utility said it has been investing in state-of-the-art emission control equipment designed to exceed current and future government Clean Air requirements.

The changes were completed to the current plant even as thousands of workers descended on the site to build the Iatan II facility, which will result in even fewer emitted pollutants upon its completion.

"So we actually had two major projects going on at once," Mr. Davis said.

Upon its completion, officials said the Iatan II plant will reduce 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. A permit issued by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources requires a 74 percent reduction of sulfur dioxide and 43 percent reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions for Iatan I and II combined by next summer.

The Iatan I environmental improvements were installed last October and met all in-service criteria mandated by the Missouri Public Service Commission on April 19, Mr. Davis said.

A reduction in emissions is one portion of KCP&L's comprehensive energy plan for its communities and customers.

Fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal at the plant, will continue to be offered to road construction companies, Mr. Davis said.

The Kansas City-based Mid America Regional Council - which reviews regional air quality issues for the metropolitan area - has told the utility it is pleased with Iatan's environmental changes, said spokeswoman Katie McDonald. KCP&L is being cited as a leader in making such improvements, she added.

"It's a big driver of our current rate case," Ms. McDonald said of the construction. The public service commission is currently reviewing KCP&L's rate case for the area formerly served by Aquila. A decision is expected by August.

Ray Scherer can be reached at rscherer@npgco.com.

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