Colorado Springs Utilities is trying to drum up business for the local company that invented sulfur dioxide scrubbers that are now at the center of a community debate about the future of the Martin Drake Power Plant downtown.
But so far, no one has called back.
In September, Chief Energy Services Officer Bruce McCormick sent a letter to 10 utilities with coal-fired power plants in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Utah and Iowa touting Neumann Systems Group’s wet flue gas desulfurization system.
“We chose NeuStream®-S scrubbers because we thought NSG represented the best technology and best value for our ratepayers. We still do,” McCormick wrote in the one-page letter.
“Based on our success to date, we are happy to have partnered with NSG in this effort, and recommend them highly as a smart, honest, responsive, and cooperative partner for your flue gas desulfurization needs,” he wrote.
The letter was obtained by The Gazette under an open-records request.
The purpose of the letter was to “generate awareness and interest in the NeuStream solution among utilities with similar emissions control needs,” Utilities spokesman Dave Grossman said in an email.
“The effort supports the 3 percent sales assistance fee portion of the agreement with Neumann Systems Group,” he added.
Under the agreement with Nuemann, Colorado Springs Utilities stands to make 3 percent on the company’s gross sales of its scrubbers for 10 years.
McCormick’s letter apparently didn’t generate much interest.
“Bruce has not yet been contacted by any of the utilities,” Grossman said.
Here is the full text of the letter and its recipients:
August ___, 2012
<<TITLE, UTILITY COMPANY>>
RE: Support for Neumann Systems Group’s wet Flue Gas Desulfurization
Dear <<Utility CEO>>,
You may know that Colorado Springs Utilities is more than 60% complete on a $73.5M contract to design and construct SO2 scrubbers on our Martin Drake power plant located near downtown Colorado Springs. We have contracted Neumann Systems Group, Inc. (NSG) to design and build two full-scale NeuStream®-S scrubbers (combined 227 MW). Colorado Springs Utilities has invested approximately $50 million in research and development services with NSG for the design, building, testing, and operation of separate, escalating 2 MW and 20 MW pilot plants to test and develop NSG NeuStream® multi-pollutant control technology. Scrubber construction is due to start later this year for a fully operational system in 2014.
I am pleased with the outstanding results NSG has obtained across the spectrum of air pollutants, from SO2 to CO2 capture, in a series of relatively low-cost retrofit systems with small “footprints.” Our internal testing of SO2 capture, verified by EPRI, shows the NeuStream®-S scrubbers:
– Capture 97% of SO2 from our PRB coal-fired power plants,
– Are extremely reliable, exceeding our two-year continuous operation requirement,
– Are capable of handling either high- or low-sulfur coal,
– Use about one-fourth to one-half as much water as competing desulfurization systems,
– Use about one-half as much parasitic power as competing systems (~1%),
– Cost about half the CapEx and OpEx of wet FGD (limestone forced oxidation) and Dry FGD (lime spray dryer) on the market, and
– Require about one-tenth the absorber volume of competing desulfurization systems.
We chose NeuStream®-S scrubbers because we thought NSG represented the best technology and best value for our ratepayers. We still do. Based on our success to date, we are happy to have partnered with NSG in this effort, and recommend them highly as a smart, honest, responsive, and cooperative partner for your flue gas desulfurization needs.
Bruce McCormick, P.E.
Chief Energy Services Officer