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.“