Mattawoman Energy closing in on approval for 990-MW project in Maryland?

A utility law judge at the Maryland Public Service Commission on Oct. 13 issued a proposed approval for the 990-MW Mattawoman Energy LLC combined-cycle project, with that approval to be a final commission order if no objection is filed by Nov. 13 by an intervenor in the case.

Mattawoman Energy on Oct. 15 filed a request asking that the objection period be shortened to 14 days. The company is a project affiliate of Panda Power Funds.

Mattawoman Energy filed for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for this project, at a nominal size of 859 MW, in July 2013. The project has since been uprated to 990 MW, with associated changes causing a delay in the review of the project so that all parties could have input on those changes. The project site is in Prince George’s County, Maryland, about 12 miles southeast of Washington D.C.

The utility law judge noted that comments on this project were “strident,” with most comments being against the project, mostly from local residents, but also with many comments filed for the project and the jobs it will create. On Sept. 17, a local community group tried to intervene in the case, but was rejected for filing that request too late in the process. Some commenters said that Prince George’s County, with a majority black population, was unfairly targeted for this project. But the judge said there are few suitable locations for new power plants, and that this happened to be one of them.

In other recent developments for this project:

  • PJM Interconnection posted to its website a study, dated September 2015, that is an interim step in the process that Mattawoman Energy is pursuing to get an Interconnection Service Agreement. Mattawoman Energy has proposed a natural gas-fueled combined cycle facility arranged in a two combustion turbine, one steam turbine (2×1) configuration to be located in Brandywine, Maryland. It will have a total capability of 927 MW with 860 MW of this output being recognized by PJM as capacity. The proposed in-service date is May 1, 2018.
  • Said a July 2 report filed with the Maryland PSC by the company in this case: “Mattawoman Energy, LLC (Mattawoman Energy) is proposing to develop, construct, and operate a 990 megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power generating facility in southern Prince George’s County, Maryland. In addition to the power plant facility, which will be located on a 90-acre site, the project also requires construction of an approximately 10-mile long reclaimed water pipeline, an approximately 7-mile long natural gas pipeline, a 2.3-mile long electric generator lead line, and a substation.”

The Panda website says about the market need for this project:

  • More than 20 GW of coal-fired power plant retirements have been announced to take place in the PJM market, setting the stage for tightening reserve requirements;
  • More than 70 GWof power plants in PJM average 56 years of age;
  • Total peak demand growth of over 1.4% per year, or approximately 2,200 MW per year; and
  • Maryland currently imports approximately 40% of its power needs from out of state, causing severe transmission constraint issues.
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.