What are the costs for EPA RICE NESHAP Diesel Generator Compliance?

Cat generator EPA RICE NESHAP compliance service

After completing 117 EPA RICE NESHAP diesel generator compliance upgrades, I have a pretty good feel for what a “typical” turn-key upgrade project will range in cost for generators of any make/model/size or configuration.

1st – are you certain your generator requires upgrading? I’ve run into multiple situations where the generator owner was misinformed and was about to upgrade engines that were already compliant.

Download this easy to follow Diesel Generator EPA Compliance Checklist to confirm if your engine is affected by these regulations.

“Typical” compliance upgrade cost ranges

200kW – 350kW generators (with engines under 500hp) $18,000 – $23,000

400kW – 600kW generators $26,000 – $32,000

750kW – 900kW generators $28,000 – $36,000

1,000kw to 1,300kW generators $34,000 – $40,000

1,500kW to 2,000kW generators $40,000 – $70,000

What does “typical” mean?

RICE NESHAP diesel generator compliance upgrades require installing a diesel oxidation catalyst. Most commonly, we’ll be replacing the engine’s exhaust silencer (muffler) with a new silencer that incorporates a diesel oxidation catalyst. What I describe as “typical” is a generator installation where the exhaust silencer is visible and accessible from outdoors. Like what’s pictured above.

What can increase the costs?

  • Existing exhaust silencer is located indoors or inside a generator enclosure
  • Upgrading to Stainless Steel vs. painted Carbon Steel.
  • Replacing silencer insulation
  • Access limitations – large silencers can weigh #1,500 or more!
  • Over-designed solutions
  • Screen walls
  • Temporary backup generation*

What needs to be included?

  • Installation of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst sized to reduce CO (Carbon Monoxide) emissions by a minimum of 70% or reduce CO to below 23ppm (>500hp) or 49ppm (<500hp)
  • Install a non-resettable hour meter to record annual run time, if needed.
  • Complete an EPA approved “Performance Test” to demonstrate compliance with the new regulations within 180 days of the formal rule notification May 2nd 2016
    • Note: this test is only done after the catalyst has been installed. There is no requirement to conduct an emissions pre-test.
  • Electronically monitor the Catalyst 24/7/365 (all engines >500hp)
  • Install a crankcase ventilation system
  • Use Ultra Low Sulfur Fuel in diesel engines – NOTE: today only Ultra Low Sulfur Fuel is available.
  • Keep appropriate records of fuel consumption and demonstrate required annual maintenance
  • Maintain a Site Specific Monitoring Plan – engines >500HP. Many providers miss providing this, which could be trouble. Your Site Specific Monitoring Plan will be the first document requested by the EPA, when your site is audited.
  • Make regular notifications to the Federal EPA and DEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection)

*Do I need a backup generator during the project?

The majority (around 95%) of the 117 upgrade projects I’ve managed did not include a temporary backup generator… and there’s a good reason why; for many projects temporary backup generator can increases the length of time there’s no backup power available.

Yes, you read that correctly! If your concern is to minimise the amount of time your facility is without a backup generator, after consulting with your contractor, you may choose to not use a temporary generator during the project. Here’s why…

Temporary generators can take up to three or four hours to connect. The process often requires using the same electrical connections used by the existing generator. After taking your existing generator out of service, those connections are removed and the temporary connections are made.

During that 4 hour connection window, your facility has no backup available and there’s no quick way to revert back. Then consider the whole process needs to be reversed to disconnect the temporary. All totaled, you may be looking at 8 or more hours of exposure without any generator emergency backup.

During one of our typical projects, we may only need 2-3 hours to perform the work that requires the generator be out of service.

So, how can we help?

John Macgowan

Jmacgowan@hillyork.com or 727-432-5335


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