Backers of Russell City gas plant project lining up FERC approvals

Russell City Energy Co. LLC, which is building a gas-fired power plant in California, on July 18 applied with FERC for several things, including acceptance of a proposed market-based rate tariff for the Russell City plant.

The company also wants FERC authorization for Russell City to sell energy, capacity, and certain ancillary services at market-based rates. It also wants waivers and blanket authorizations, like the commission has granted to other entities with market-based rate authorization.

“Russell City owns and will operate an approximately 625 MW (nameplate) natural gas-fired electric generating facility (the ‘Russell City Facility’) located in Hayward, California,” said the application. “Russell City is owned by Calpine Russell City, LLC (‘Calpine Russell City’) (75 percent) and Aircraft Services Corporation (25 percent). The Russell City Facility is fully committed to Pacific Gas and Electric Company under a long-term tolling agreement.”

Calpine Russell City is a direct subsidiary of Calpine Development Holdings Inc., which is wholly owned by Calpine Power Co., which is wholly owned by Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN). One hundred percent of the voting interests in Aircraft Services Corp. are held by General Electric Capital Corp. (GECC) (48%), and GE Structured Finance Inc. (GESF) (52%). Monogram Credit Services LLC holds a non-voting interest in Aircraft Services Corp. (itself a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of GECC). GESF is a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of GECC. GECC is a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of General Electric (NYSE: GE).

Russell City is contemporaneously filing a notice of self-certification of exempt wholesale generator (EWG) status, the application noted.

“Russell City respectfully requests authorization to sell electric energy, capacity, and certain ancillary services at market-based rates in the CAISO market,” the application said. “The Commission will allow wholesale sales of energy and capacity at market-based rates, provided that the seller and its affiliates in the relevant region do not have, or have adequately mitigated, horizontal and vertical market power. Russell City does not possess or have the ability to exercise horizontal or vertical market power. Accordingly, Russell City meets the Commission’s requirements for receiving authority to make sales of energy, capacity, and certain ancillary services at market-based rates.”

The project website said the plant went into construction in late 2010 and is due for operation in 2013. Russell City will be up to 40% more fuel efficient and up to 90% cleaner than comparable older technology power plants operating today, the website said.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.