Reliant Energy Completes $10 Million Upgrade of Pollution Control Equipment at Elrama Power Plant


Additional Improvements, New Technology for Monitoring to Further Lower Emissions

PITTSBURGH, June 6 // -- Reliant Energy announced today that it has completed installation and placed in service the final module of upgrades to the flue gas desulfurization system (scrubber) at its Elrama Power Plant.

The plant, located in Elizabeth, Pa., about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, is a 465 megawatt, coal-fired generating plant. Units 1, 2 and 3 were commissioned in the early 1950s, while Unit 4 began commercial operation in 1960. The scrubber at Elrama, one of the first in the United States, was installed in the mid-1970s and removes more than 80 percent of the sulfur dioxide produced during the combustion process.

The $10 million scrubber upgrades have further reduced SO2 emissions from Elrama by over 30 percent and are expected to reduce particulate matter emissions, and therefore "opacity," which refers to the darkness of the smoke emitted from the plant. With completion of the scrubber upgrades, the company is now focused on optimizing operation of the scrubber and on continued reductions in opacity.

"We are committed to continuing to reduce emissions at Elrama through our Opacity Reduction Project, which entails installation of additional instrumentation, combustion improvements, air flow improvements, and improvements to the existing emission control equipment," said Benjamin Ethridge, general manager, Elrama Power Plant. "We are confident that when this work is complete, we will see significant improvements in opacity at Elrama."

Later this year, Reliant also will place into service innovative emission monitoring technology that will provide better data on particulate matter emissions. This improved emissions data will allow the company to more quickly adjust plant operations to avoid excess opacity than the current instrumentation and observations allow.

Reliant Energy, Inc. (NYSE:RRI), based in Houston, Texas, provides electricity and energy services to retail and wholesale customers in the United States. In Texas, the company provides service to approximately 1.9 million retail electricity customers, including residential, small business and commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers. Reliant also serves commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers in the PJM (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland) market. The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the nation with approximately 16,000 megawatts of power generation capacity across the United States. These strategically located generating assets utilize natural gas, fuel oil and coal.

Source: Reliant Energy, Inc.

CONTACT: media, Pat Hammond, +1-713-497-7723 of Reliant Energy, Inc.

Web site: http://www.reliant.com/

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