Wisconsin Public Service seeks FERC approval of Fox plant buy

Wisconsin Public Service Corp., Fox Energy Co. LLC, Fox Energy OP LP and Fox River Power LLC applied Dec. 28 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization for WPSC to purchase 100% of the membership interests in Fox Energy, the owner of the gas-fired Fox Energy Center.

The applicants requested a commission order approving the transaction without a hearing and without conditions, other than those normally included in Federal Power Act Section 203 orders, within approximately 30 days of this filing, or within about 60 days if issuance of an order within 30 days proves not to be feasible.

The applicants stated that WPSC has submitted an application for approval of the transaction to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and is hopeful that the PSCW may issue an order by Feb. 28, 2013. The applicants would like to close the transaction as soon as possible after that date.

“A timely closing would serve the public interest since the Transaction is not purely financial in nature, but also involves the ownership transfer to WPSC of a large generating plant that is already a major component of the power supply serving WPSC’s customers and necessary for their receipt of reliable and economically-priced public utility service,” the companies noted.

Fox Energy is a single asset company that engages in the production and sale of electricity from the Fox plant. Fox Energy sells this power pursuant to market-based rates and has no native load customers. Fox Energy’s principal customer is WPSC, under a tolling agreement under which WPSC purchases about 500 MW and associated energy from the plant and supplies the natural gas to generate that power. Fox Energy sells the energy equivalent of approximately 50 MW of the plant’s output, related to the plant’s duct burning capability, in the Midwest ISO organized markets.

Sellers are affiliates of General Electric, ITOCHU

Fox OP is owned by Aircraft Services Corp., which has a 1% general partnership interest in Fox OP, and General Electric Credit Corporation of Tennessee, which has a 99% limited partnership interest in Fox OP. Both of Fox OP’s owners are wholly-owned, indirect subsidiaries of General Electric (NYSE: GE).

Fox River is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tyr Energy, which in turn is owned by ITOCHU International, which holds a 20% interest, and I-Power Investment, which holds an 80% interest. Both are units of Japan’s ITOCHU Corp.

WPSC, a unit of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG), owns approximately 2,240 MW of summer seasonal capacity, and also purchases approximately 930 MW of summer seasonal capacity under long-term contracts. Those purchases include the 500 MW purchase from the Fox plant.

The Fox plant is a natural gas‐fired combined cycle facility with a summer rating of about 548 MW and a winter rating of around 638 MW. Based on summer conditions, the facility can produce approximately 500 MW (net plant output) in combined cycle operation, with an additional 50 MW of peaking capacity available while duct firing.

The plant is comprised of two GE model 7FB.01 Combustion Turbine Generators (CTGs), arranged in a 2x2x1 configuration, with two Nooter/Eriksen Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs), one condensing Toshiba Steam Turbine Generator (STG) and the associated balance‐of‐plant equipment. Each CTG is capable of operating on No. 2 distillate fuel oil as a backup fuel and is equipped with supplementary natural gas‐fired duct burners.

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.