PSEG permits 450-MW gas project at Bridgeport Harbor

Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG) said Oct. 30 in its third quarter earnings statement that it is permitting a new unit at its Bridgeport Harbor power plant in Connecticut.

Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo said: “We continue to pursue investment opportunities across our business platform. Recently announced plans for PSEG Power to participate as an equity investor in the Penn East Pipeline; PSE&G’s filing to expand Energy Efficiency programs in New Jersey; the potential expansion of our Utility 2.0 investment program on Long Island; and, Power’s consideration of construction and permitting for a potential new generation unit at the Bridgeport Harbor Station will enhance our growth. These investments will also provide our customers with access to low-cost gas and cost effective technologies that reduce emissions as they also improve system reliability.”

PSEG Power plans to invest $100m-$120m for an equity interest in the to-be constructed PennEast Pipeline, a 105.5 mile pipeline that would bring gas from eastern Pennsylvania to New Jersey. The targeted in-service date is November 2017.

PSEG Power is considering construction of and proceeding with permitting for a new, highly efficient combined-cycle plant at its existing Bridgeport Harbor Station site based on the strength of the ISO New England capacity market. The proposed project would add approximately 450 MW of gas-fired generating capacity in Connecticut’s southwestern region to support electric system reliability. A final decision on this investment will be made in early 2015, the company noted.

PSEG didn’t say in the earnings statement what it would do with the coal-fired unit at Bridgeport Harbor, which is one of the few remaining coal units in New England and a focus for years of environmental group criticism. The facility consists primarily of three electric generating units: a 170-MW residual oil-fired cyclone unit; a 410-MW dual-fired unit (coal and oil); and a 22-MW combustion turbine.

Said a project website: “PSEG owns and operates four Combined Cycle plants similar to the new project proposed at Bridgeport, with a generating capacity of over 3,000 megawatts (MW). The proposed project will add approximately 450 megawatts of highly efficient generating capacity to Connecticut’s southwestern region to ensure electric system reliability. The plant primarily will run on natural gas, but also can run on ultra-low sulfur distillate fuel oil as a back-up, ensuring fuel diversity and dependability. The proposed unit will be equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control technology and meet all applicable federal and state emissions regulations. The new plant will represent close to a $550-million investment in the local and regional economy that will provide the City of Bridgeport with significant new tax revenue and other economic benefits. Actual construction of the new plant will be dependent on a successful bid into ISO-New England’s February 2015 or subsequent Forward Capacity Auctions.”

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.