California commission plans El Segundo project site hearing

The California Energy Commission committee reviewing the proposed El Segundo Energy Center amendment will hold an Aug. 13 site visit and informational hearing.

The hearing is to give the public an opportunity to learn about the Los Angeles County project, offer comments, and view the proposed site, the commission said in a July 26 statement. The project applicant – El Segundo Energy Center LLC, a subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) – will explain the project and commission staff will explain the amendment process and its role in the review.

El Segundo is a 1,052-MW natural gas power plant built in the 1950s. In 2005, the commission approved a plan to demolish and replace Units 1 and 2 with Units 5, 6, and 7 with the continued use of once-through cooling. In 2010, the commission approved an amendment to install four rapid start combined-cycle units (Units 5-8) using dry cooling technology. Construction of Units 5-8 is underway with commercial operation scheduled to start in August 2013.

In April, the company filed an amendment that would demolish two steam boiler units (Units 3 and 4) and replace them with 449 MW of dry-cooled, natural gas-fired capacity (Units 9-12). This amendment is expected to eliminate the use of ocean water for once-through cooling. When completed, the facility’s total generating capacity would be 1,022 MW within Units 5-12.

If the commission approves the latest El Segundo amendment, the applicant plans to demolish Units 3 and 4 by the end of 2015. Construction on the project is expected to start by mid-2016 and conclude in 2018. The projected on-line date is summer 2018. The estimated capital cost for the project would be $420m to $500m.

Under the proposed amendment, the following new major equipment will be installed:

  • (Unit 9) – One NRG fast start combined-cycle generator unit (CC Fast), rated at 222 MW net, incorporating a General Electric natural gas combustion turbine generator designed to achieve 75% of base load output in 10 minutes;
  • One two-pressure, duct-fired heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) designed for rapid startup with conventional SCR/carbon monoxide (CO) catalysts;
  • (Unit 10) – One single-case, non-reheat axial exhaust admission condensing steam turbine generator (STG) rated at 112 MW and designed for non-traditional elevated condensing pressure to minimize cooling system size;
  • One Heller dry cooling tower system;
  • (Units 11 and 12) – Two Rolls Royce Trent 60 generators, rated at 55 MW/unit net, consisting of advanced aeroderivative simple-cycle gas turbines; and
  • One Cleaver Brooks auxiliary boiler consisting of a direct contact spray condenser and a mechanically-induced-draft dry-cooling tower.
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.