New wind farm goes online for Golden Spread, new gas units in the works

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative Inc. told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a Dec. 31 filing that it is looking to add new gas-fired generating capacity over the next few years, but this won’t be any problem in terms of market power issues in its operating regions.

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, on behalf of itself and its affiliate with market-based rate authority, Golden Spread Panhandle Wind Ranch LLC (GS PWR), on Dec. 31 filed its Updated Market Power Analysis in support of its continued authority to sell energy, capacity and ancillary services under its Market-Based Rate Tariff.

Golden Spread is a non-profit electric generation and transmission cooperative organized under the Texas Electric Cooperative Corporation Act. Its purpose is to supply wholesale electric power and energy at the lowest feasible cost to its sixteen member distribution cooperatives. Approximately 213,000 retail consumers located in the Panhandle, South Plains and Edwards Plateau regions of Texas, in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, and in Southwestern Kansas receive electric service from Golden Spread’s members. Golden Spread operates in the Southwest Power Pool and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas regions.

As a result of a corporate reorganization completed in June 2012, several generation-owning entities that were owned by Golden Spread ceased to exist, and subsequently filed with the commission to cancel their respective market-based rate authority. As a result, Golden Spread directly owns the following principal generation assets:

  • Mustang Station Units 1-3, an approximately 487-MW gas-fired combined cycle facility located in the Southwestern Public Service (SPS) balancing authority near Denver City, Texas;
  • Mustang Station Units 4-5, each of which is an approximately 152 MW gas-fired combustion turbine generator located adjacent to Mustang Station Units 1-3; and
  • Antelope Station, which has eighteen 9.34 MW (168 MW total) Wärtsilä reciprocating engine generators located near Abernathy, Texas. Golden Spread also directly owns four 1-MW diesel-fueled generators used to provide voltage support in transmission constrained areas pending construction of new electrical transmission facilities to address reliability concerns, whuch are known as Ranger Units 1-4, and a 1-MW diesel generator, known as the Reese Unit.

Golden Spread also owns GS PWR, an exempt wholesale generator with market-based rate authority, which owns a wind-powered facility placed in service in September 2011 and located in Oldham, Randall, and Potter counties, Texas. The nameplate capacity of the GS PWR Facility is 78.2 MW.

Golden Spread’s primary long-term contract for its SPP member load is a partial requirements purchase power agreement with SPS, providing for up to 500 MW of capacity and associated energy in 2013 and declining thereafter through 2019. Golden Spread has also entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Minco Wind III LLC for up to 100.8 MW from a wind facility located in Oklahoma. This facility achieved commercial operation in December 2012.

“Golden Spread also has plans to develop and own additional generation,” the filing added. “A new resource called Mustang 6, a gas-fired generating facility located in the SPS balancing authority near Denver City, Texas, with a summer-rated capacity of up to 170 MW is under construction and anticipated to be placed in service in mid 2013. Additionally, by filing submitted on November 20, 2012 in Docket No. ER13-422-000, Golden Spread sought to modify its cost-based rate schedules on file with the Commission to identify a new gas fired generating resource of up to 200 MW that is scheduled to be placed in service in 2015. Both of these new resources will be used to replace expiring and declining contracts, to serve Member load, and to make sales on a bilateral basis.”

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.