The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 19 granted a waiver to the operator of an oil-fired power plant in Hawaii that was needed because an issue for its steam customer meant that the facility fell slightly out of qualifying facility (QF) compliance in 2014.
On Dec. 29, 2014, Kalaeloa Partners LP filed a Form 556 application seeking commission recertification of its KPLP Facility as a QF, and also requested a temporary limited waiver of the QF efficiency standard for the calendar year 2014.
Kalaeloa’s plant is a 222-MW (net), low-sulfur-fuel oil-fired topping-cycle cogeneration facility located in Kapolei, Hawaii. It consists of two combustion turbine generators, two waste heat recovery steam generators, one extraction/condensing steam turbine generator, and associated equipment. Steam output has been purchased by its thermal host, PAR Petroleum LLC d/b/a Hawaiian Independent Energy LLC, to be used for refinery purposes. The QF also includes certain transmission interconnection facilities that interconnect the QF with the Hawaiian Electric Co. transmission system. Kalaeloa sells the electric output of the QF to Hawaiian Electric.
Atopping-cycle cogeneration QF must comply with the operating and efficiency standards. Kalaeloa stated that its QF historically always has satisfied the requirements for QF status, and that it currently satisfies the standards for QF status except with respect to the cogeneration QF efficiency standard. Kalaeloa said that it expects the QF’s calendar year 2014 efficiency to be approximately 42.3% of the total energy input, just below the required 42.5% efficiency standard.
Kalaeloa said that its steam off take customer, PAR Petroleum, caused a one-time limited issue with turbine efficiency at the beginning of the year. The use of Alaskan North Slope crude oil supply resulted in turbine fouling, reducing the top cycle efficiency and overall plant efficiency. The thermal host has subsequently stopped using the Alaska North Slope crude and has performed extensive turbine blade cleaning efforts. Despite being unable to satisfy the efficiency standard, the QF has continued to supply electrical energy to Hawaiian Electric under an existing long-term power sales agreement. The PAR refinery has improved efficiency and Kalaeloa stated that it expects the cogeneration QF to return to levels exceeding the efficiency standard in 2015 and beyond.
Kalaeloa’s filing was noticed in the Federal Register, with no protest filed. “Kalaeloa’s request for waiver of the cogeneration QF efficiency standard for the calendar year 2014 is granted,” said the FERC order.