The Kings Mountain Energy Center Project involved environmental and engineering services to support the construction of NTE Energy’s new 500 MW combined cycle power generation station located on an undeveloped parcel near the Town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Geosyntec provided a broad range of environmental consulting and permitting services, including environmental due diligence, natural resources assessments, wetlands delineations and jurisdictional determination, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) coordination, and air permitting support. Construction of the project commenced in April 2016.
Geosyntec’s Scope of Services
Geosyntec was retained by NTE Energy to perform ecological surveys, environmental site assessment (Phase 1 ESA), air quality impact analysis, and environmental permitting support for a new combined-cycle power plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Geosyntec supported site suitability for the greenfield site development by conducting wetlands and ecological surveys, an environmental site assessment (ESA) and regulatory agency consultation with the US Army Corps of Engineers and other North Carolina Regulatory Agencies to satisfy North Carolina SEPA and other regulatory requirements. Geosyntec conducted surveys of the near 300 acre proposed site and assisted NTE Energy with facility siting and feasibility to limit potential environmental permitting. This included situating the facility to avoid impacts to a number of head water streams located on the site and limit the amount of forested land affected by the project. Geosyntec coordinated with the US Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404, US Fish and Wildlife Service and a number of state natural resources agencies for authorization of the project. The air permitting component of the project involved performing interactive source modeling for a number of criteria pollutants and extensive coordination with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Ongoing support to NTE Energy for this project includes environmental management support for permit compliance auditing, permit tracking and agency reporting, and inspections during construction of the facility.
Geosyntec was able to exclude several sources from the interactive source modeling demonstration based on an in-depth review of data obtained from historic air permitting files. This project was unique in that the state agency required that the Fine particle pollution (PM2.5) federal major source baseline date of 20 October 2010 be ignored and that the PM2.5 increment demonstration be based on a major source baseline date of 6 January 1975, the major source baseline date for PM10. Due to the lack of information on PM2.5 emissions data since 1975 from increment consuming sources, Geosyntec undertook a unique modeling approach that utilized potential emissions information from the PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) emissions inventory as a starting point, with iterative refinements made as needed. With this step-wise approach, Geosyntec was able to demonstrate that the plant would not significantly contribute to any modeled off-site violation of the PM2.5 increment, thus allowing the permitting process to proceed while satisfying the state’s unusual request.