Chapter 7Electricity Supply Technologies7.2
The simplest repowering approach is
, where the existing power plant site is reused with anentirely new NGCC system. Cost and performance data for the General Electric “H” frame turbine was used;this class of turbine will be the most efficient in the post-2000 period, with the lowest cost per kilowatt of capacity. While site repowering provides the highest cycle efficiency (since none of the existing boiler islandequipment is reused), it also requires a greater capital investment (see Appendix G-1).The more conventional approach is referred to as
steam turbine repowering
. In this case, a new gas turbine andheat recovery steam generator (HRSG) are integrated with the existing steam turbine and auxiliary equipmentfrom the coal plant. Due to age of equipment and the fact that the steam turbine was designed for linkage witha coal-fired boiler, the efficiency of a
steam turbine plant would be lower than at a
plant. The steam turbine repowering option has a higher operating cost (due to the lower efficiency) but alower capital cost (see Appendix G-1).The cost-effectiveness ($/tC) of both repowering options was examined for all coal-fired power plants greaterthan 50 megawatts (MW).
Included in the cost calculation were the cost of repowering, hook-up, andtransmission. We analyzed the site repowering results for the two alternative gas/coal price differentials: $0.72and $1.18 per million Btu (MBtu)
, three price ranges for carbon permits (<$50/tonne, $50-100/tonne, and$101-150/tonne), and three environmental externality values for SO
(none, low, and high). Inaddition, a sensitivity analysis was performed to examine the impact on cost-effectiveness if additional naturalgas pipeline infrastructure (hook-up and transmission) were not needed to ensure gas deliverability torepowered plants. This sensitivity analysis (referred to as the "no additional transmission cost" case) wasconducted only for those power plants that are currently connected to the natural gas pipeline network (i.e.,dual-fuel). Appendix G-3 contains a complete description of the methodological steps and key data parameters.The analytical approach was static in that the cost of repowering was computed for each candidate power plantbut the analysis did not optimize unit/plant production cost, dispatch, or system load. Moreover, for the steamrepowering case, the largest steam turbine (not each individual steam turbine) at the plant was repowered togenerate the equivalent of 1995 plant output (kilowatt-hours, kWh), since this is both more economic andconsistent with industry practice than repowering each turbine. Lastly, the gas delivery infrastructure costs(hook-up and transmission) were derived assuming (1) no excess capacity in the current delivery system, and(2) that if such a fuel-switching strategy were implemented, the natural gas pipeline industry would buildcapacity (even if done incrementally) to meet the total estimated gas requirements of repowering all candidateplants and allocate appropriate delivery costs to each repowered plant. Assumptions regarding gasdeliverability are described below in Section 184.108.40.206.
In 1995, there was 335 GW of coal-fired capacity at 404 power plants in the United States. Figure 7.1indicates that this capacity was comprised of:319 dual-fuel units (units that can burn both coal and natural gas),122 multi-fuel units (coal-fired units at sites with natural gas or petroleum units), and711 coal-fired units (units at coal-only plant sites).