NRG is zero for three on moving forward with gas-fired projects in California

Three affiliates of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) told the California Energy Commission in March 2 updates that they have made pretty much no forward progress lately in getting their gas-fired power projects into full development.

Under a June 2014 commission order that suspended a review proceeding until June 30 of this year, NRG San Gabriel Power Generation LLC has to file quarterly status reports. It is working on the San Gabriel Project, a 696-MW natural gas-fired facility to be located at the site of an existing power plant in Rancho Cucamonga, California, within the jurisdiction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

“There are no new developments to report at this time,” said the March 2 quarterly update. “San Gabriel requested the suspension of the proceeding due to permitting difficulties associated with the unavailability within the South Coast Air Basin of emission offsets from the market that are needed to satisfy applicable SCAQMD rules. Those permitting difficulties persist. San Gabriel and its ultimate parent, NRG Energy, Inc., continue to look for solutions to address the lack of available offsets, and for contracting opportunities that would support active development of the San Gabriel Project. San Gabriel will provide an update regarding any new developments in its next quarterly status report.”

This plant will consist of a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant and associated linear facilities. It will be a 2×1 configuration which will consist of two combustion turbine generators (CTG), two supplementally fired heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), one steam turbine generator (STG), and ancillary equipment. It will be primarily sited within the existing 60-acre Etiwanda Generating Station (EGS) property located on Etiwanda Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino County, California.

The other stalled projects are:

Valle Del Sol Energy LLC

Under another June 2014 suspension order, Valle Del Sol Energy LLC has a case that is on hold until June 30, 2015. It is developing the Sun Valley Project, a 500-MW natural gas-fired peaking plant to be located in the City of Menifee, California, within the jurisdiction of SCAQMD.

The March 2 update said: “Earlier this year Valle Del Sol executed a Generator Interconnection Agreement for the Sun Valley Project, thereby preserving the Sun Valley Project’s position in the interconnection queue. Permitting difficulties are ongoing due to the unavailability within the South Coast Air Basin of emission offsets from the market that are needed to satisfy applicable SCAQMD rules. Valle Del Sol and its ultimate parent, NRG Energy, Inc., continue to look for solutions to address the lack of available offsets, and for contracting opportunities that would support active development of the Sun Valley Project. Valle Del Sol will provide an update regarding any new developments in its next status report.”

This project is a simple cycle (peaking) power plant located near Romoland, in unincorporated Riverside County. It would be a nominal 500-MW simple-cycle power plant, consisting of five General Electric LMS100 natural gas-fired turbine-generators.

NRG Willow Pass LLC

Another June 2014 suspension order has shelved until June 30 the commission’s review of the Willow Pass Project, a 550-MW, natural gas-fired facility to be located at the site of an existing power plant in Pittsburg, California.

“There are no new developments to report at this time,” said the March 2 update. “Willow Pass and its ultimate parent, NRG Energy, Inc., remain committed to pursuing the Willow Pass Project and continue to look for opportunities to restart active development. The timing likely depends on the availability of a long-term contracting opportunity that would support financing and construction. Willow Pass will provide an update regarding any new developments in its next quarterly status report.”

Willow Pass would be located two miles west of the Pittsburg city center within the existing Pittsburg Power Plant site. Willow Pass would occupy a 26-acre parcel adjacent to the existing generating units. Willow Pass would consist of two power blocks, each containing one Siemens Flex Plant 10 (FP10) combined-cycle unit. The combined generating capacity of the two power blocks would be approximately 550 MW (net). The units are expected to operate at a 40%-50% capacity factor and would use air-cooled heat exchanger technology to reduce water consumption.

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.