More than 4,300 MW of new generation deployed during December

There was more than 4,300 MW of electric generating capacity brought into commercial operation during the final month of 2014, according to just-released data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

There was 2,112 MW of natural gas-fired capacity and 1,570 MW of wind generation commissioned during December, according to the Energy Infrastructure Update issued by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects.

The data indicates 15,384 of new electric generating capacity came online during 2014, which comes within about 500 MW of the prior year’s total of 15,886 MW. That’s in spite of the industry’s current forecasts of flat-to-minimal load growth.

At the same time, natural gas accounted for virtually all of the conventional power plant generation brought online during 2014 – with only an incremental amount of new coal and nuclear generation brought online.

The figures show 7,485 MW of new gas power deployed during 2014, which actually exceeds the 2013 gas total of 7,378 MW.

By contrast new coal generation for 2014 was only 106 MW and there was a nuclear uprate of 71 MW. In 2013 there had been no nuclear and 1,543 MW of new coal capacity deployed.

Wind power had a mega-year in 2014 with 4,080 MW brought online compared to 1,690 MW being brought online in 2013. The wind surge was affected by the lapse and renewal of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind.

Dominion Warren plant leads monthly natural gas generation

The Dominion (NYSE:D) 1,329 MW Warren County natural gas plant in Front Royal, Va., came online during December. The power generated will supply the growing demand in Northern Virginia.

In addition, Entergy (NYSE:ETR) commissioned its 561 MW natural gas-fired Nine Mile Point LA project in Jefferson Parrish, La. Entergy Louisiana built the plant. Power is being sold to Entergy New Orleans under long-term contract.

Also Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) brought its 222 MW natural gas-fired Port Westward Generating Plant Expansion project in Columbia County, OR is online. Port Westward Generating now has a total capacity of 705 MW. The 483-MW phase 1 came online in 2007.

Slew of renewable energy projects come online during December

There was a long list of wind, solar and other renewable resources commissioned during December.

The renewable projects include:

• Three MidAmerican Energy wind projects in IA, with a combined capacity of about 506 MW, are online: 250 MW Lundgren Wind project in Webster County, 117.5 MW Macksburg Wind project in Madison County and 138.6 MW Wellsburg project in Grundy County.

Stephen Ranch Wind Energy LLC’s 210.8 MW Stephen Bor Lynn Wind Phase 1 project in Borden County, TX is online.

• Portland General Electric Co.’s 267 MW Tucannon River Wind Farm project in Columbia County, WA is online.

E.ON and GE Energy Financial Services’ 201 MW Grandview Wind Farm project in Carson County, TX is online. The power generated will feed into the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones infrastructure in Texas.

Headwaters Wind Farm LLC’s 200 MW Headwaters Wind Farm project in Rudolph County, IN is online. The power generated is sold to Indiana Michigan Power under long-term contract.

CMS Energy (NYSE:CMS)’s 105 MW Cross Winds Energy Park project in Tuscola County, MI is online.

Invenergy Energy Marketing LLC’s 27.5 MW Spring Canyon III Wind Farm project in Logan County, CO is online. The power generated is sold to Platt River Power Authority under long-term contract.

Lansing Board of Water and Light’s 19.2 MW Lansing Board of Water and Light Wind Farm project in Gratiot County, MI is online. The power generated is sold to Exelon Wind LLC under long-term contract.

Marsh Hill Energy LLC’s 16 MW Marsh Hill Wind Farm project in Steuben County, NY is online.

The power generated is sold into the NYISO wholesale markets.

Anderson Wind I LLC and Anderson Wind II LLC’s 15 MW Anderson Wind project in Chaves County, NM is online. The power generated is sold to Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc. under long-term contract.

Mojave Solar LLC’s 280 MW Abengoa Mojave Solar project in San Bernardino County, CA is online. The power generated is sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under long-term contract.

Southern Power Co.’s 150 MW Solar Gen 2 project in Imperial County, CA is online. The power generated is sold to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. under long-term contract.

Dominion Resources Inc.’s 40 MW RE Camelot Solar project in Kern County, CA is online. The power generated is sold to Southern California Edison under long-term contract.

Arizona Public Service Co.’s 32 MW APS Gila Bend Solar Power Plant project in Maricopa County, AZ is online.

Avalon Solar LLC’s 28 MW Marana Solar expansion project in Pima County, AZ is online. Marana Solar now has a total capacity of 35 MW. The 7 MW phase 1 came online in 2013. The power generated is sold to Tucson Electric Power under long-term contract.

Duke Energy Renewables’ 23.8 MW HXO Airport Solar One project in Halifax County, NC is online. The power generated is sold to Dominion Virginia Power under long-term contract.

Dominion Resources Inc.’s 19.8 MW CID Solar project in Kings County, CA is online. The power generated is sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. under long-term contract.

Newman Solar LLC’s 13 MW Newman Solar project in El Paso County, TX is online. The power generated is sold to El Paso Electric Co. under long-term contract.

Indianapolis Solar Project II LLC’s 7.5 MW Indianapolis Airport Solar Project IIA, and Bulldog Energy LLC’s 2.5 MW Indianapolis Airport Solar Project IIB in Marion County, IN are online. The power generated from both projects is sold to Indianapolis Power & Light under long-term contract.

Desert Green Solar Farm LLC’s 6.3 MW Desert Green Solar Farm project in San Diego County, CA is online. The power generated is sold to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. under long-term contract.

Ameren Missouri’s 5.7 MW O’Fallon Solar project in Saint Charles County, MO is online.

LES Services LLC’s 6 MW landfill gas-fired Zimmerman Energy Facility project in Fulton County, IN is online. The power generated is sold to Northern Indiana Public Service Co. under long-term contract.

Rentech Nitrogen Pasadena LLC’s 15.8 MW Pasadena Cogen project in Harris County, TX is online. The Cogen is powered by surplus steam from Rentech Nitrogen’s sulfuric acid plant.

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.