Oregon council reviews draft approval for 420-MW South Dunes project

The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council is taking comment until June 25 on a draft proposed order approving a siting certificate application for the 420-MW South Dunes Power Plant project.

In its role as staff to the council, the Oregon Department of Energy reviewed the South Dunes Power Plant application for a site certificate, in consultation with state and local reviewing agencies. Based upon its review of the application, the department recommends the council grant the site certificate, subject to the conditions set forth in the draft proposed order now out for comment.

The analysis and recommendations contained in this draft proposed order are not a final determination. The council will hold a public hearing on this draft proposed order and the application on June 25 in Coos Bay, Oregon. Also, a public comment period closes on June 25 at the close of the public hearing.

The applicant is Jordan Cove Energy Project LP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Veresen Inc. The South Dunes Power Plant would be located in Coos County, approximately one mile north of the city of North Bend, Oregon, on the east side of Jordan Cove on the North Spit of Coos Bay. The project would primarily be located within a fenced area on the site of a former Weyerhaeuser linerboard facility, which was closed and then demolished.

This is a natural-gas-fueled combined-cycle plant, consisting of two 210-MW blocks, with duct-firing capability. The nominal generating capacity is 420 MW for the two power blocks combined. Each power block would consist of three combustion turbine generators, three heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine generator. Steam produced by the heat recovery steam generators would be delivered to gas conditioning systems for the Jordan Cove Energy Project (JCEP) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

The applicant proposes to utilize air-cooled condensers (ACC). The exhaust from the low pressure section of each steam turbine would connect to an air-cooled condenser. The proposed air-cooled condensers differ from typical cooling towers because the ACC units would rely on a closed-loop system as opposed to the open loop system, which creates a visible steam plume. The closed loop system is a dry cooling system that forces air across a number of tubes and fins, which allow the heat to dissipate without direct contact with water or exposure to the atmosphere. Therefore, the proposed air cooled condenser system eliminates water loss and does not create a steam plume.

Natural gas would be provided to the proposed energy facility from two sources: the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (approximately 4%), and boil-off gas and flash gas (approximately 96%) from the JCEP LNG terminal. The 36-inch Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline would enter the site near the southeast corner of the boundary. Natural gas would be available on a continuous basis from both sources. The total natural gas consumption is estimated at 87 million standard cubic feet per day.

The draft order noted that the applicant requests a construction start deadline three years from the effective date of the site certificate and a construction completion deadline five years from the beginning of construction, or eight years after the effective date of the site certificate. Jordan Cove Energy Project LP requests these deadlines because of the complexity of the project and the reliance upon other facilities that are currently being permitted and will need to be constructed in order to operate its power plant.

Pacific Connector and Jordan Cove Energy Project LP have both submitted 2013 applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. However, at this time, neither application has been approved. However, even if both are approved, both proposals would still need to be fully entitled prior to construction, which also requires FERC review, the draft order explained. Therefore, for these reasons, as well as potential unanticipated weather-related delays, construction delays and component delivery, the applicant requests three years from the effective date of the site certificate to begin construction and eight years from the effective date of the site certificate to complete construction.

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.