NRG Ohio advancing pipeline project for Avon Lake coal-to-gas conversion

NRG Ohio Pipeline Co. LLC on March 19 filed more details with the Ohio Power Siting Board related to its December 2014 application for approval to build a new gas pipeline to support a coal-to-gas conversion at its Avon Lake power plant.

NRG Ohio parent NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) plans to add natural gas firing capability to Units 7 and 9 at the existing 732-MW coal-fired steam Avon Lake Generating Station located in Avon Lake, Lorain County, Ohio. The plan is to provide gas via a 24-inch diameter pipeline from Dominion East Ohio Gas Co.’s TPL12 pipeline with other tie-in options including Columbia Gas.

The proposed pipeline will travel in a southerly direction from the Avon Lake plant to the City of Grafton, Ohio. AECOM has conducted a Preliminary Routing and Supporting Desktop Feasibility Study for the project as contracted by NRG. The purpose of the analysis was to identify two viable routes to the Dominion and Columbia system tie-ins that share a 40% route overlap, as well as to detail the constraints and issues considered in siting these routes. The study also weighed potential cost and scheduling impacts on the siting, permitting, and construction of the project.

For the purpose of this study, two potential routes with 40% overlap were presented for the project:

  • Preferred Route 1 – 19.58 miles of pipeline running south and east of Elyria and west of Grafton connecting NRG’s existing power plant near Avon Lake to Columbia’s M&R Station and Dominion’s Line TPL-12 and;
  • Preferred Route 2 – 23.22 miles of pipeline running south and east of Elyria and west of Grafton connecting the power plant to Columbia’s M&R Station and Dominion’s Line TPL-12.

NRG Energy reported on Feb. 27 in an earnings statement that its NRG Business segment is working on a series of major projects. NRG Business’s multi-year capital investment program includes both generation additions and fuel conversions of about 4,400 MW of generation capacity. Assets undergoing planned fuel conversions or additions include:

  • Avon Lake 7 and 9 (in Ohio, to be completed in summer 2016);
  • Big Cajun II Unit 2 (Louisiana, to be completed spring 2015);
  • Dunkirk Units 2-4 (New York, spring 2016 completion);
  • Joliet Units 6-8 (Illinois, summer 2016 completion);
  • New Castle Units 3-5 (Pennsylvania, summer 2016);
  • Portland Units 1-2 (Pennsylvania, summer 2016); and
  • Shawville 1-4 (Pennsylvania, summer 2016).

All of these are coal-to-gas conversions, except Portland, which is coal-to-oil.

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.