TVA, Southern powered up big gas power plants during April

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Georgia Power started commercial operation of major new combined-cycle gas power plants during April, according to a FERC staff report.

TVA’s 880-MW John Sevier combined-cycle facility near Rogersville, Tenn., entered service during April. This new plant will help replace two of the four coal units at the John Sevier fossil plant that are being idled at the end of the year in order to meet federal pollution standards.

That’s according to the monthly infrastructure report from FERC’s Office of Energy Projects.

The same report, recently posted on FERC’s web site, also noted that Georgia Power’s second 840-MW natural gas combined-cycle unit has come online at the McDonough-Atkinson station in Smyrna, Ga. “The first unit came online in December 2011 and the third unit is currently under construction with expected operational date in November 2012. These new units are replacement for two retired coal units,” the FERC staff reported.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) 128-MW Solano Wind Phase 3 near Rio Vista, Calif., appears to be the largest wind project deployed during April. Phase 3 consists of 55 Vestas turbines and completes SMUD’s wind expansion project in Solana County, with a total of 229 MW. SMUD was the first large California utility to have 20% of its power coming from renewable energy, SMUD said in a May 10 news release.

EverPower’s 75-MW Highland North wind project in Cambria County, Pa., entered service. The project consists of 30 2.5 MW Nordex turbines. EverPower’s first wind project in Cambria County, the 62-MW Highland Wind, came online in 2009. The electricity generated supplies FirstEnergy Solutions, an affiliate of FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE).

There were a number of solar projects to come online during April, including Cathartes Private Investments’ and Nexamp’s roughly 4 MW Westford Solar Park in Westford, Mass. This is New England’s largest privately owned solar power facility, with 14,000 photovoltaic panels. The electricity generated is contracted to National Grid. Nationally, FERC cited 1,948 MW of generating capacity installed during April, with none of it involving coal or nuclear.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at