Invenergy starts commercial operation of 600-MW Nelson gas plant in Illinois

An Invenergy affiliate said May 18 that it has started commercial operation of the 600-MW Nelson combined-cycle natural gas plant in Lee County, Ill.

Located in the city of Rock Falls, approximately 120 miles west of Chicago, The Nelson facility is a combined-cycle project that uses General Electric 7FA gas turbines and GE steam turbines.

A portion of the project’s output is sold long-term to WPPI Energy, a regional power company serving 51 locally-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities. The remaining power is sold into the PJM Interconnection wholesale market.

During construction, Nelson employed approximately 350 workers, and currently, a full-time staff of two dozen employees operates and maintains the facility.

The Illinois state Environmental Protection Agency issued a modified air permit to the Nelson facility in January.

The commercial operation was announced by Invenergy Clean Power. Earlier in May, an Invenergy affiliate announced start of commercial operation of a roughly 31 MW energy storage project, Grand Ridge Energy Storage, in La Salle County, Ill.

“Invenergy is pleased to reach this milestone with Nelson, our first operating natural gas-fired power generation facility in our home state of Illinois,” said Jim Shield, Chief Development Officer for Chicago-based Invenergy. “We’re proud to continue to invest in Illinois’ clean energy economy, with our statewide operating portfolio – which includes wind, solar, and energy storage projects as well – now totaling more than 1,200 MW.“

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at