Two Elk Energy Park Unit 2

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The Two Elk Energy Park Unit 2 plant, was to be built by North American Power Group (NAPG) and would have been located adjacent to several coal mines. It would service contract buyers using PacifiCorp’s transmission system. NAPG stated that this would be the first of multiple expansions at the site. Each would have been a 600 MW IGCC or a 750 supercritical pulverized coal facility, and each would be independently permitted, owned, and operated.[1]

State officials issued an air permit for the project, even though sponsors missed key deadlines in their permit application. State authorities repeatedly extended these deadlines; on the one occasion that the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) revoked the permit for non-compliance, the state settled NAPG’s resulting lawsuit by rewriting the permit and reissuing it without public comment or participating – an apparent violation of the federal Clean Air Act.[2]

In Oct. 2007, sponsors signed a transmission agreement with PacifiCorp, allowing the project to move ahead.[3] On Dec. 20, 2007, the Sierra Club and the Powder River Basin Resource Council filed suit against the project’s construction permit, questioning the state DEQ’s extension of the plant’s permit for two years, on the grounds that no construction work was done on the project during that period.[4]

In January 2008, the North American Power Group submitted an application for an air quality permit.[5]

On January 29, 2009 the Sierra Club filed a complaint with the Wyoming District Court against Two Elk Generating Partners. The Sierra Club argued that the construction could not proceed because the coal-fired plant's permit had not been updated since 2003 and subsequently had not taken into account new pollution control technologies, thus violating the Clean Air Act. The Sierra Club also stated that since the plant was originally permitted, two other coal-fired plants have begun construction in Campbell County, which would add significantly to the county's overall pollutant load. The facility will release approximately three million tons of CO2 and other pollutants each year.

Even so, on August 31, 2009 the Court granted Two Elk's motion to dismiss the Sierra Club's case. Sierra Club is now considering its appellate court options.

Two Elk began constructing an administration building in the summer of 2009, but it is not yet clear whether or not they have the funding to proceed.[6]

In March 2010, the Sierra Club reported that the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has officially withdrawn the North American Power Group's (NAPG) application for the Two Elk 2 coal plant facility. This means that they will have to start the application process from the beginning if they decide the pursue the project.[7]

Project Details

Sponsor: North American Power Group
Location: Gillette, WY
Capacity: 750 MW (if using supercritical technology) or 600 MW (if using IGCC technology)
Type: Supercritical or IGCC
Projected in service: TBD
Status: Advanced permitting

Financing

Citizen Groups

Resources

References

  1. North America Power Group website, accessed January 2008.
  2. Western Resource Advocates website, accessed January 2008.
  3. Two Elk Plant Inks Transmission Deal, Gillette News-Record, October 5, 2007.
  4. Environmental Groups Challenge Two Elk Permit, KJCT website, December 20, 2007.
  5. "Two Elk 2", Western Resource Advocates site, accessed November 2008.
  6. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed November 3, 2009. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  7. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed March 6, 2010. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)

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