EPA officials have suggested to Kansas environmental officials that integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology be considered as “best available control technology” for the controversial coal-fired Holcomb Power Plant proposed to be built by Sunflower Electric Power Corp.
But this is a thinly-veiled effort by the EPA to apply pressure against the construction of new coal-fired power plants.
IGCC, which involves turning coal into gas before combustion, is an expensive and a not-ready-for-prime-time technology that could force utilities simply to opt out of coal and into natural gas.
An industry source told Carbon Control News,
“If IGCC is going to be considered BACT for coal generation, then you might as well throw in natural gas as well because in both cases you’re using entirely different forms of generation to achieve lower emissions.”
BACT is the EPA standard that must be met for new sources of air emissions.