NRG to switch several coal units to gas, two to diesel

NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) intends to continue operations at the Avon Lake facility Units 7 and 9 (Ohio) and the New Castle facility Units 3, 4, and 5 (Pennsylvania), which are currently operating coal units that had been scheduled for deactivation in April 2015.

NRG said in its Aug. 7 Form 10-Q report that it intends to add natural gas capabilities at these Avon Lake and New Castle units, which are expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.

In other recent developments for coal-fired capacity being switched to other fuels:

  • NRG said it expects to convert the coal-fired Big Cajun II Unit 2 in Louisiana to natural gas capabilities (590 MW) by spring of 2015 as part of its environmental capital expenditures program.
  • In late April of this year, NRG notified PJM Interconnection that it no longer intends to place coal-fired Units 1, 2, 3, and 4 at the Shawville facility (597 MW) in Pennsylvania in long-term protective layup, but instead will mothball those units beginning on April 16, 2015, and then return them to service no later than June 1, 2016, using natural gas.
  • NRG intends to convert Units 6, 7 and 8 of the Joliet coal facility (1,326 MW) in Illinois to run on natural gas no later than June 2016.
  • In December 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a deal under which NRG and transmission provider National Grid expect to negotiate a contract to add natural gas to the Dunkirk facility to enable Units 2, 3 and 4 to operate on natural gas. Unit 1 will remain mothballed. All four units are currently coal-fired. NRG and National Grid agreed to the material terms of a ten-year contract, and those terms were approved by the New York State Public Service Commission on June 13, 2014. The agreement will commence when the first of three Dunkirk units supplies power into the grid while operating on natural gas, which is expected in late 2015.
  • In late April 2014, NRG notified PJM Interconnection that it no longer intends to deactivate Portland Units 1 and 2 (401 MW) in Pennsylvania, but instead mothballed those units effective June 1, 2014, and will return them to service no later than June 1, 2016, using ultra-low sulfur diesel.
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.