ODEC expects to sign lead contractor for Wildcat Point this year

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) said March 27 that it expects to sign a contract with an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) vendor for the 1,000-MW Wildcat Point natural gas power plant in Cecil County, Md., later this year.

Negotiations are currently underway for an EPC vendor, ODEC officials said during a March 27 investor briefing call for the 11-member cooperative based in Virginia.

The Maryland Public Service Commission recently granted a provisional approval for Wildcat Point. Unless there is an appeal by April 7 the approval for the certificate of public convenience and necessity will become final.

ODEC’s estimated cost of the 1,000-MW natural gas plant remains at roughly $675m, not counting some of the financing costs and certain other expenses.

An EPC vendor agreement could be signed at mid-year. Engineering work should be completed and construction should start by the end of 2014, officials said.

ODEC has already reached an agreement with Mitsubishi Power Systems for gas turbines at the site. In addition, ODEC also has a contract with Alstom for heat recovery steam generators and certain other equipment.

ODEC currently gets most of its electricity from outside sources. ODEC has set a goal of securing between 50% and 70% of its power from either owned generation assets or long-term contracts.

About 65% to 70% of ODEC energy is bought from the market. But in the first year of Wildcat Point operation, ODEC will get 80% of its generation from owned generation resources, ODEC said. That 80% figure will then diminish with expected load growth.

Among other generating assets, ODEC is a minority owner in the Dominion (NYSE:D) North Anna nuclear plant and the Clover coal plant in Virginia. Nuclear availability was down somewhat in 2013 due to an unusual “double-refueling” outage at the two North Anna units, officials said.

On other items, ODEC said it was making some improvements in its transmission system on the Eastern Shore.

ODEC also improved its financial standing in 2013 thanks to an improved rating from Moody’s. “This gives us a solid rating across all three rating agencies,” said ODEC President and CEO Jack Reasor.

An energy rate increase, affected in part by the harsh winter weather, will go into effect in April, ODEC said.

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.