Georgia Power gas unit leads generation additions in October

Georgia Power’s third 840-MW combined-cycle gas unit at the Jack McDonough station in Cobb County, is the largest power plant to come online during October, according to a monthly report from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff.

There was more than 1,760 MW of new electric generating capacity brought online during October and more than 1,000 MW of that total is fueled by natural gas, according to the Nov. 13 update from FERC’s Office of Energy Projects.

In Georgia, the Southern (NYSE: SO) subsidiary brought online the third 840-MW unit at the McDonough-Atkinson plant. “The three natural-gas fired units are replacements of the retired coal-fueled units. These units are designed to recycle cooling water through the cooling towers to reduce the thermal impact on the Chattahoochee River,” according to the FERC report.

In California, Mariposa Energy LLC’s 200 MW, simple-cycle natural gas-fired project in Alameda County came online. The electricity generated is sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under long-term contract.

Several utility-scale wind projects came online during the month.

** EDF Renewable Energy’s 101-MW Spearville 3 wind project in Ford County, Kan., is online. Spearville 3 consists of 63 GE XLE 1.6 MW wind turbines. The electricity produced is sold to Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) under long-term contract.

** NextEra Energy’s (NYSE: NEE)’ 400- MW Limon I and II Wind Energy Center in Lincoln County, Colo., is online. This is a twin 200-MW facility, each Limon project consists of 125 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines. The electricity generated is sold to Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) under long-term contract.

** Golden Valley Electric Association’s 24- MW Eva Creek wind project in Denali Borough, Alaska is online. Eva Creek consists of 12 RePower Systems AG 2.05 MW turbines, is Alaska’s largest wind energy project.

** AltaGas Ltd and Black Hills Energy’s (NYSE: BKH) 29-MW Busch Ranch Wind Phase I in Huerfano County, Colorado is online. Busch Ranch consists of 16 Vestas Wind Systems V100 1.8-MW turbines. AltaGas’ 50% interest in the electricity generated is sold to Black Hills Energy under a long-term contract. Busch Ranch Phase II with 61 MW is expected to come online in September 2013.

** Bethel Wind Energy LLC’s 36-MW Hawkeye Wind project in Fayette County, Iowa is online. Hawkeye Wind consists of 15 Nordex N100 2.5 turbines. The electricity generated is sold to Central Iowa Power Cooperative under long-term contract.

On the solar power front, Siete Solar LLC’s 25-MW Queen Creek Solar project in Maricopa County, Ariz., is online. The electricity generated is sold to Salt River Project (SRP) under long-term contract. Also SunPower’s roughly 14-MW photovoltaic system at Naval Air Weapon Station China Lake in Kern County, California is online. The electricity generated is sold to the U.S. Department of Navy under long-term contract. Capital Dynamics’ 6-MW Swan Creek MPA in Middlesex, N. J., is online. The electricity generated by this roof-mounted photovoltaic system is sold to US Foods under a long-term contract.

There were also a couple of major landfill-to-gas projects deployed during October. Broadwalk Renewables LLC’s 33-MW landfill gas-to-energy facility at Olinda Alpha in Orange County, Calif., is online. This project is a recipient of a $10m stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The electricity generated is sold to Anaheim Public Utilities under long-term contract.

Also, Dfo Partnership’s 34 MW landfill gas-to-energy H Power expansion project in Honolulu County, Hawaii is online. The electricity generated will supply 8% of the electricity consumed in Oahu.

There was also a 5-MW hydroelectric project deployed in Colorado.  Boulder, Colo.’s 5-MW Boulder Canyon hydroelectric plant is online. The project was made possible by the $1.8m grant from DOE for the extensive modernization it required. Boulder Canyon was originally opened in 1910.

Finally, Anaergia Services’ 3-MW fuel cell power plant at Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s (IEUA) Water Recycling Plant in Ontario, California is online. This is the largest fuel cell operating on digester gas in the U.S. The electricity generated is sold to IEUA under long-term contract.

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 wayneb@pennwell.com.