Portsmouth Genco seeks break from FERC over coal plant shutdown in Virginia

Portsmouth Genco LLC, which has been planning to shut its coal-fired Lake Kingman power plant in Virginia, on March 23 applied at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval of a related matter.

Portsmouth Genco petitioned for a limited waiver of the deadlines set forth in section 6.6(g) of Attachment DD of the PJM Interconnection Open Access Transmission Tariff with respect to Lake Kingman. The limited waiver is necessary to allow PJM and the Market Monitoring Unit (MMU) to process Portsmouth Genco’s request for an exception to the must-offer requirement for the facility for the May 2015 Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) Base Residual Auction (BRA) for Delivery Year 2018-2019.

This request reflects the deactivation notice submitted to PJM and the MMU indicating that the facility will be deactivated prior to the 2018-2019 Delivery Year. As a result, the facility will be physically unable to participate in the 2018-2019 Delivery Year and must secure a must-offer exception for the BRA that is scheduled to commence on May 11, 2015. Portsmouth Genco asked that the commission grant this petition on or before April 22, to allow Portsmouth Genco to obtain a must-offer exception for the facility prior to commencement of the 2018-2019 BRA. Portsmouth Genco said it is authorized to represent that PJM and the MMU do not oppose this request.

Portsmouth Genco owns and operates a 115-MW (nameplate rating) facility located in Portsmouth, Virginia. The facility is interconnected to the transmission system owned by Dominion Virginia Power and operated by PJM. Prior to Jan. 14, 2015, the full capacity of the facility was committed to Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) under a long-term power purchase agreement. On Aug. 29, 2014, NOVEC timely submitted a preliminary exception request for the facility for the 2018-2019 BRA in accordance with the section 6.6(g) of the PJM Tariff. The request indicated that NOVEC and Portsmouth Genco were evaluating possible retirement of the facility due to changes in market conditions that made it uneconomic to continue operating the facility. On Jan. 14, 2015, NOVEC’s contractual rights to the capacity of the facility were terminated.

After completing the process of evaluating market conditions and the facility’s operating costs, including repair and overhaul cost estimates, Portsmouth Genco made the determination to deactivate the facility, because its operation is no longer economically feasible. On Feb. 2, 2015, Portsmouth Genco submitted a notice of deactivation to PJM. PJM has completed its reliability analysis and the facility is expected to deactivate on or around May 31, 2015.

A company contact is: Jacob A. Pollack, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Cogentrix Energy Power Management LLC, 9405 Arrowpoint Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28273, Tel (704) 525-3800, jacobpollack@cogentrix.com.

Said the Cogentrix website about this plant: “The Portsmouth Genco, LLC facility is an upgraded version of the plant originally developed and constructed by Cogentrix in 1988. The plant is a nominal 110 MW under-feed stoker coal-fired cogeneration facility located in Portsmouth, Virginia along the banks of the Elizabeth River. Although originally designed and commissioned as a cogeneration plant, Portsmouth no longer has customers for its cogenerated steam. All of the plant output is dedicated to generating electricity, which is delivered to Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC).”

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.