Binghamton BOP to revive 48-MW power plant in New York

Binghamton BOP LLC wants to restart the shut 47.7-MW Binghamton Cogeneration Plant in the City of Binghamton, N.Y., and applied Aug. 22 at the New York State Public Service Commission for needed approvals.

The facility was retired in 2012, but now Binghamton BOP has determined that market conditions justify the addition of new generating facilities in New York. So it plans to commence operations at the facility later this year.

Binghamton BOP is asking that the commission grant it: a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity; and a lightened regulatory regime similar to that provided to other merchant owners of generating facilities.

Binghamton BOP is the owner of the facility and all of its components. The land upon which the facility is located is owned by Binghamton Land LLC, an affiliated company. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Wellhead Equipment Leasing LLC, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wellhead Electric Co. Inc.

Wellhead has been in the electric generation business for over 20 years, and its principals have been involved in the electric industry for far longer. The company owns, operates, and develops gas-fired power generation projects. Its fleet consists of nine power plants in California and one in Oregon. It is also developing a 624-MW gas-fired combined cycle facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Binghamton facility has a nameplate rating of 47.7 MW. Before it was retired, it was capable of operating on natural gas or fuel oil. Binghamton BOP intends to operate it on natural gas, but said it will preserve the option to use fuel oil. Binghamton BOP simultaneously is registering the facility with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and will sell its output into the NYISO’s wholesale energy, capacity, and ancillary services markets.

Binghamton BOP acquired the facility from Standard Binghamton LLC in 2012. The facility was retired by Standard Binghamton prior to consummating the transaction.

Upon acquisition of the facility, Binghamton BOP removed the gas and power turbine equipment. Because the future plans for the facility were uncertain, the company maintained the remainder of the equipment on-site in a protective lay-up status. On-site personnel have performed weekly maintenance activities to preserve the equipment, and outside technical consultants conducted periodic inspections to assess ongoing equipment condition and viability. The gas turbine was maintained in a similar status, but at a Wellhead-owned location in California.

Binghamton BOP noted that it has maintained the operating air permit for the facility and is current with all applicable permit fees. While some other permits required to operate the facility have lapsed, the company is securing new permits. The company is also coordinating with New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) to restore gas service to the facility and the electrical interconnection with the bulk power system.

The gas turbine at the facility was an LM 5000 unit manufactured by General Electric. Wellhead intends to reinstall an LM 5000 unit – either the same turbine that was removed or an identical model. The power turbine will be replaced with the same model that was formerly used. Once the facility is restored to service, its heat input and power production ratings should be the same as they were prior to 2012.

“Restarting the Facility is in the public interest,” the company told the commission. “Its production of electricity will produce very low emissions, and the LM 5000 technology has a long record of reliability. Binghamton BOP anticipates that the Facility will improve grid stability and can provide local voltage support, if needed. Environmentally, the Facility formerly had not been considered a major source of air emissions under the applicable Clean Air Act regulations, and the re-use of the same equipment will not change its emissions profile.”

A company contact is: Daniel Richardson, Plant Manager, Binghamton BOP LLC, c/o Wellhead Electric Co. Inc., 650 Bercut Drive, Suite C, Sacramento, CA 95811, Tel. 916-447-5171, Email: drichardson@wellhead.com.

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.