Pennsylvania agency works on permits for Tenaska power project

Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners LLC is proposing to build a natural gas fired power station in South Huntington Township, Westmoreland County, said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Jan. 7

In order to begin construction, the company must obtain an air quality plan approval and a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) water permit from DEP. In the air quality plan approval application, Tenaska requests permission to construct and temporarily operate the gas-fired facility. The company’s NPDES application requests to discharge water used to cool the power generation equipment into the Youghiogheny River. DEP has issued draft approvals for both requests which include conditions specifying how these air emissions and waste-water discharges must be controlled.

A local open house and environmental justice listening session has been scheduled for Jan. 21 to get public input on these draft approvals. On Feb. 11, a formal public hearing will be held at the same location. The public comment period will close on Feb. 23.

The DEP didn’t provide any more details on the project itself.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in April 2014 had granted a waiver to Tenaska Inc. related to an in-development, 930-MW gas-fired project in Westmoreland County, Pa. On Feb. 18, Tenaska had filed a request for a limited waiver of the procedural deadlines for a competitive entry exemption from the minimum offer price rule set forth in Attachment DD to the PJM Interconnection Open Access Transmission Tariff. Specifically, Tenaska sought, and was approved for, a waiver for the Westmoreland Generating Station for the May 2014 base residual auction for the 2017-2018 delivery year.

Tenaska, together with certain of its affiliates, developing the Westmoreland Generating Station, a 930-MW natural gas-fired facility to be located in South Huntington Township. Tenaska explained that, although no final decision has been reached to construct the station, it has determined that it is possible to achieve an in-service date prior to the 2017-2018 capacity delivery year, and has decided to continue developing the station to target that date. Tenaska said that, in order for the Westmoreland Station to become a realistic possibility from an economic perspective, the capacity would need to clear in PJM’s 2014 base residual auction for the 2017-2018 delivery year, which might not occur without a minimum offer price rule exemption.

Said a Westmoreland project fact sheet on the Tenaska website: “Tenaska has based its plan on an approximately 950-megawatt (MW) electric generating facility, although the plant could be smaller. At 950 MW, the plant would produce enough power to meet the energy needs of approximately 950,000 homes. The electricity would be sold into the PJM Interconnection regional transmission organization to meet growing regional energy needs.”

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.