Old Dominion seeks approval of 1,000-MW gas project in Maryland

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative applied May 20 at the Maryland Public Service Commission on its 1,000-MW (nominal), gas-fired Wildcat Point Generation Facility project, to be located in Cecil County, Md.

ODEC is seeking a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the project. The plant will consist of two natural gas-fired combustion turbines and a steam turbine in a two-on-one combined-cycle configuration. The facility will be fueled only by natural gas and will not have any capability to run on oil.

The project will be located adjacent to the existing Rock Springs Generation Facility and utilize the undeveloped portion of the Rock Springs site. The targeted commercial operation date for the Wildcat Point project is June 2017.

To meet this deadline, ODEC told the commission it must participate in the May 2014 PJM Interconnection reliability pricing model (RPM) base residual auction (BRA) to firmly secure its capacity requirements under the PJM rules.

“Our region needs new sources of cost-effective, reliable and environmentally balanced electricity,” said Lisa Johnson, ODEC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, in a May 23 statement about the PSC application. “This filing makes a compelling case for Wildcat Point, from ODEC’s proven track record building and owning a generation facility in Maryland to the rising demand for electricity in our region. We are grateful for the broad support we have received from the Cecil County government and look forward to working with the PSC during their review of our application.”

ODEC will own the Wildcat Point project separately from the plant next door

The project will be 100% owned by ODEC and will be separated from the existing Rock Springs Generation Facility, which is jointly owned by ODEC and Essential Power Rock Springs LLC, in Rising Sun, Cecil County. The site of the new facility will be contractually controlled by ODEC. Essential Power Operating Co. LLC currently operates the Rock Springs facility on behalf of the joint owners. Some common facilities will be shared between the existing facility and the new project, including the existing water tank, and the existing 500-kV switchyard for the project’s electrical interconnection. No additional power lines will be required to interconnect the project to the electrical grid.

The new project will require additional cooling water, to be provided either by installing an intake on the Susquehanna River and associated pipeline or by purchasing water from a local water authority.

ODEC said it is currently negotiating with several natural gas suppliers to provide service to the project site. There are three major interstate gas pipeline companies that can serve the facility.

This project is needed because the energy needs of ODEC’s member distribution cooperatives are projected to increase from approximately 12.5 million MWh in 2013 to approximately 20 million MWh in 2030. ODEC’s capacity needs are projected to increase from 513 MW in 2015 to 1,154 MW by 2022.

In June 2012, ODEC launched its 2012 request for proposals (RFP) initiative to solicit power supply proposals to help meet projected capacity and energy needs. The RFP was based on the results of ODEC’s 2012 resource planning efforts.

The 2012 RFP requested proposals for intermediate and baseload, dispatchable generation resources or firm power sales ranging in size from 100 MW to 800 MW, with a commercial operation or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) term start between June 1, 2015, and June 1, 2018. PPA proposals were required to have a term of at least 10 years or up to 30 years. In July 2012, ODEC received 82 offers from 27 bidders representing 14,834 MW. Two of these proposals were projects to be built and owned by ODEC and one of these two is the project being proposed in the May 20 application.

A short list of RFP bidders was approved by ODEC’s Board of Directors in December 2012. The best two 2012 RFP offers were recommended to the ODEC Board in February 2013. This project was ultimately selected in March 2013 as the best proposed generation resource available from the 2012 RFP process.

Project equipment to include either G- or H-class turbines

The project power train will consist of two G- or H-class advanced design, combustion turbine generators (CTGs), two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) with duct burners and reheat capabilities for increased efficiency, and one condensing steam turbine generator (STG). ODEC is currently in negotiation with turbine suppliers who will ultimately supply equipment to the project.

The combined-cycle balance of plant equipment will include one deaerating surface condenser; one wet mechanical draft cooling tower; one natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler and associated ancillary equipment. The CTG exhaust gases will be used to generate steam in the HRSGs. Steam from the HRSGs will be admitted to a reheat, multi-shell, condensing STG.

The CTG and associated equipment will include emission control systems necessary to meet the proposed emission limits. NOx emissions will be controlled by a combination of dry low NOx combustors in the CTGs and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems in the HRSGs. Carbon monoxide (CO) will be using an oxidation catalyst (also referred to as a CO catalyst). Natural gas does not contain appreciable amounts of sulfur, so SO2 emissions would be minimal without additional controls.

To provide steam during plant start-up, the project will use a gas-fired, packaged, auxiliary steam boiler. When the plant is offline, the auxiliary steam boiler will also be used for condensate heating and establishing STG seal steam to maintain the plant in a warm state and expedite start-ups.

Duct firing will be used by the project as a cost-effective, supplemental means of increasing plant capacity. Natural gas will be burned in the duct burners to provide additional steam from the HRSGs to the STG, thereby increasing STG power output. Duct firing will be used at times of high electrical power demand to increase the electrical output of the STG only. Duct burners will be installed in each HRSG and burn natural gas only.

The electrical switchyard system is a collector type 500-kV system which provides an interface between the combined-cycle plant GSU transformers and the existing Rock Springs Generation Facility switchyard. The electrical switchyard includes all equipment from the GSU transformer high voltage bushings to Bus 5 in the existing 500-kV switchyard. The substation will be designed based on PJM’s standard of 1550-kV base impulse level for 500-kV substations.

ODEC has filed two Generator Interconnections requests for the project with PJM. The first request is listed as Y1-065 and is for 840MW; the second request is for an incremental increase of 135 MW and can be found under Y3-102 on the PJM website (Appendix F). Y1-065 has completed the System Impact Study phase and will require no System Transmission Upgrades within PJM. The results of the Y3-102 Feasibility and System Impacts Studies have not been completed. Final Interconnection Service Agreement(s) will be filed by PJM with FERC under the PJM Tariff.

ODEC says project has many economic benefits

The Wildcat Point project represents a total capital expenditure of $675m, excluding certain owner and financing costs, from 2013 through 2016. The new power station is expected to start operation in 2017. Economic impacts of the project include:

  • Total economic impact created during 2013-2016 in Cecil County is estimated to be $109.7m, supporting 1,616 jobs.
  • Total economic impact created during 2013-2016 in Maryland is estimated to be $349.1m, supporting 2,785 jobs.
  • The annual total economic impact created after 2017 is estimated to be $35.3m for Cecil County, over $1.0bn during the 30-year operational period of the facility.
  • The annual total economic impact created after 2017 is estimated to be $40.4m for the state of Maryland, over $1.2bn during the 30-year operational period of the facility.
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.