Vectren has invested millions of dollars to improve air quality issues at
its power plants. New technologies have allowed us to dramatically reduce emissions
at existing facilities and continue to utilize Indiana's most abundant natural resource, coal.
Power Supply Overview
Vectren's Electric Generation System
Vectren Power Supply generates electricity with both coal-fired units
and natural gas-fired or oil-fired turbines. Our generation facilities include:
F. B. Culley Generating Station; A. B. Brown Generating Station; Warrick Unit 4
whose operation and ownership is shared with Alcoa; Northeast Gas Turbines,
Broadway Avenue Generating Station Gas Turbines and two A. B. Brown Gas Turbines.
Jointly, Vectren's electric generation fleet has the capacity to generate
1,295 megawatts to serve 141,000 customers in a seven-county area including
Dubois, Posey, Gibson, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer and Pike.
Historic Air Emission Reductions
Since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, emissions of air pollutants from the
coal burning electric power industry have decreased significantly.
SO2 (sulfur dioxide) emissions are down 50% since 1970.
NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions are down 70% since 1970.
PM (particulate matter) emissions are down 30% since 1986.*
* EPA began nationwide monitoring of particulate emissions in 1986.
By contrast, air emissions from Vectren's system have decreased even more dramatically
in the same time period. Through the investment of millions of dollars in emissions
control equipment, Vectren's power system is one of the best controlled in the Midwest.
SO2 emissions are down over 90% since 1970. All units in the Vectren system are equipped
with scrubbers for SO2 control.
NOx emissions are down 80% since 1970. All units in the Vectren system are controlled
for NOx, with four of the five units having selective catalytic reduction technology
for advanced NOx control.
All units in Vectren’s system have advanced controls for particulate matter, with
two units having state-of-the-art fabric filters that remove 99% of soot and dust.
Glossary of Terms
Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)
When fossil fuels burn at sufficiently high temperatures, nitrogen oxides are formed.
Although there are many sources of NOx - for example, gasoline-powered automobiles
are major sources of NOx - coal-fired power plants account for approximately 25% of
the emissions of NOx in the U.S.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
SO2 belongs to the family of sulfur oxide gases (SOx). Sulfur is prevalent in all
raw materials, including crude oil, coal and ore that contain common metals like aluminum,
lead, and iron. The sulfur present in nearly all fossil fuels combines with oxygen when
coal is burned and is released into the atmosphere as SO2 gas.
Particulate Matter (PM)
PM describes a mixture of tiny solid particles such as dirt, soil, dust, and ashes,
as well as liquid droplets that are suspended in the atmosphere. They come from a
variety of sources such as cars, factories, construction sites, tilled fields, stone
crushing, and burning of wood. PM is indirectly formed when gases from burning fossil
fuels react with sunlight and water vapor.