Reliant Energy Invests in Pa. Plant Emission Controls

Reliant Energy of Houston announced June 23 that it is investing approximately $50 million to reduce mercury emissions at five Pennsylvania coal-fired generating plants. The investment will allow removal of at least 80 percent of the mercury content of the coal burned at Shawville, Portland, Conemaugh, Titus, and New Castle stations.

Together with existing and already committed controls at other units, this investment will ensure Reliant's fleetwide compliance with Pennsylvania's Phase 1 Mercury Regulations.

Installation of these emission control systems that clean the air through activated carbon injection will begin in the first quarter of 2009 and will be completed by December 2009. The Mer-Cure™ Sorbent Injection Systems are designed by Alstom, an international leader in air quality control and environmental protection systems.

"We are committed to environmental stewardship and have developed a comprehensive program to reduce our environmental footprint," said Mark Jacobs, Reliant Energy president and chief executive officer.

The company operates 19 power plants in Pennsylvania and employs more than 1,000 people in the state. At these Pennsylvania locations, Reliant is investing more than $435 million in emissions control-related improvements. The company also is investing $375 million at the Keystone and Cheswick plants to install scrubber systems to remove sulfur dioxide that will be completed in 2009, and more than $10 million in upgrades to the existing scrubbers at the Elrama station.

The scrubber installations at Keystone and Cheswick, in addition to existing selective catalytic reduction systems for control of nitrogen oxides, are expected to bring these two plants into compliance with the Pennsylvania Phase I Mercury Regulations. They will also comply with the plant-wide mercury removal requirements of the Pennsylvania Phase II Mercury Regulations more than five years before those requirements take effect in 2015.

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