More than simply complying with regulatory requirements, we make sure our plants operate as efficiently and reliably as possible to reduce emissions and deliver reliable, low-cost electricity to our customers.
In our more than 116 years of providing power to Oklahoma and western Arkansas, our generation fleet has evolved to meet the demands of all those we serve within our communities.
Knowing that air emissions are a byproduct of using fossil fuels to generate electricity, we’ve put technology and practices in place that make a meaningful contribution to improving our ambient air quality footprint. With a commitment to compliance with regulatory requirements, we make sure our plants operate as efficiently and reliably as possible to reduce emissions yet continue to deliver reliable, low-cost electricity to our customers.
Since 2000, we’ve added more than 1,000 MW of high efficiency, natural gas combined-cycle combustion turbines, which are some of the best performing units in our region. Today, we’re in the process of adding more than 400 MW of quick-start natural gas engines to better respond to the ever-changing nature of our energy grid and better support Oklahoma’s fast-growing renewable presence within the Southwest Power Pool’s energy grid.
We’ve also added more than 840 MW of wind power and close to 2.5 MW of small-scale utility solar energy to our generating fleet, and we're building a new 10-megawatt solar power plant in Covington, OK, which will be capable of generating enough electricity to serve the needs of over 10,000 average Oklahoma homes.
Through the years, emissions have dropped more than 40 percent for the key pollutants from our generating fleet. Over the next few years, we’ll continue to reduce emissions and carbon intensity through our investment of more than $700 million in emissions control improvements at our power plants and a conversion of 40 percent of our coal-fueled fleet to natural gas beginning in 2019. Through these actions, our overall emissions will drop by about 30 percent for carbon dioxide (CO2) over 70 percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx), 85 percent for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 80 percent for mercury.
Each of our plants uses state-of-the-art, EPA-certified Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS), which measure the products of combustion in our power plants around the clock. An integral part of our emission reduction strategy, CEMS allows us to verify compliance and quantify the emission reductions we invest in on behalf of our communities. The sensitivity is remarkable – for example, CEMS measures the presence of mercury down to parts per billion (ppb) levels. A concentration of 1 ppb is roughly equivalent to 1 second in 32 years.
Emissions data from OG&E’s fossil generation fleet is reported on an on-going basis to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) as well as the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is publicly available here: https://ampd.epa.gov/ampd/
We know the steps we take today make an impact on the entire well-being of the communities we serve–whether they have a need for cleaner air, lower cost energy or reliable electric delivery. It’s part of our commitment to balancing the delivery of reliable and reasonably priced electricity with our responsibility to the environment.
Our commitment to corporate stewardship begins with the belief that we're only as strong as the communities we serve.
OG&E’s commitment to being a responsible corporate steward of the environment is due to a blend of smart choices: fuel diversity, technology improvement, educational and community outreach and, going beyond compliance with regulatory requirements when beneficial to all stakeholders.
We have a dual responsibility to protect our natural resources and to provide safe, reliable and reasonably priced power.