AES amending Huntington Beach project to conform with power contract

The California Energy Commission on Sept. 18 put out for comment a Sept. 9 application from AES Southland LLC for the Huntington Beach Energy Project for a major amendment to this gas-fired facility.

The company, which is a unit of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES), filed a Sept. 9 petition with the Energy Commission requesting to amend the Final Decision for the Huntington Beach Energy Project (HBEP). The 939-MW combined-cycle project was certified by the Energy Commission in October 2014. The proposed facility will be located in the city of Huntington Beach, Los Angeles County.

The modifications proposed in the Sept. 9 petition would allow HBEP to:

  • replace power block 1 as licensed, with a two-on-one combined-cycle natural gas-fired turbine (CCGT) configuration with two General Electric (GE) Frame 7FA.05 gas turbines and two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) without supplemental firing, a steam turbine generator (STG), an air-cooled condenser, and related ancillary equipment, with nominal summer capacity of 644 MW (net).
  • replace Power block 2, as licensed, with two GE LMS-100 PB simple-cycle gas turbine (SCGT) units with a nominal capacity of 200 MW.

Construction of the CCGT phase I, power block 1, is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2017 with commercial operation of power block 1 during the first/second quarter of 2020. Construction of the SCGT phase II, power block 2, is anticipated to begin during the first quarter of 2022 with commercial operation during the first quarter of 2024.

The reason for the proposed amendment is that Southern California Edison (SCE) announced publicly that AES Southland had been selected in the 2013 Local Capacity Requirements Request for offers (LCR RFO) to provide 644 MW of nominal capacity, with different technology than that permitted in the HBEP Final Decision, at the Huntington Beach site.

Revamped project adds simple-cycle capacity for load following

As originally licensed, HBEP was to be a 939-MW plant consisting of two independently operating, three-on-one, combined-cycle gas turbine power blocks. Each power block was to consist of three-gas-fired combustion turbine generators (CTG), three supplemental-fired heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), one steam turbine generator (STG), an air-cooled condenser, and related ancillary equipment. 

The amended version of the HBEP is an 844-MW (net) natural-gas-fired, combined-cycle and simple-cycle, air-cooled facility that will replace, and be constructed on the site of, the AES Huntington Beach Generating Station, an existing and operating power plant.

Other project elements in the new configuration include a natural-gas-fired auxiliary boiler, a set of natural gas compressors in each power block, water treatment facilities, and administration and maintenance buildings.

Similar to the HBEP Block 1, construction of the Amended HBEP CCGT power block will require the demolition of Huntington Beach Generating Station retired Unit 5 (former gas turbine generator) and two former fuel oil tanks. Similar to HBEP Block 2, construction of the Amended HBEP SCGT units will require the retirement and demolition of existing Units 3 and 4.

Noted the company in the Sept. 9 amendment application: “Ultimately, SCE selected a configuration that does not reflect the type of generating technology licensed in the Final Decision. Although the selected configuration is still combined-cycle generating technology, it is of less electric generating capacity than what was licensed. As explained above, the modification proposed herein is necessary to align the Licensed HBEP with the project configuration selected by SCE. Given the schedule and documented necessity for the Amended HBEP, and that the Amended HBEP will not result in any new or increased significant effects, the Project Owner requests that this Petition to Amend (PTA) be expedited through the CEC process. The Project Owner has been working since November 2014 to develop a project that will meet SCE requirements, and support the integration of renewables by providing efficient, fully dispatchable, quick-start, air-cooled generation that will also rely on certain infrastructure already associated with the Huntington Beach Generating Station facility.”

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.