AES Huntington Beach gets extended reliability deal for two units

AES Huntington Beach LLC on Nov. 12 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the latest one-year extension of a Reliability Must-Run Service Agreement with the California Independent System Operator for Huntington Beach Generating Station Units 3 and 4 (HB 3 & 4).

This latest extension would cover calendar year 2016. AES Huntington Beach, a unit of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES), currently owns and operates part of and leases and operates part of the Huntington Beach Generating Station. This is a natural gas-fired facility located in the city of Huntington Beach, California, within the balancing authority areas operated by CAISO.

The commission previously accepted extensions of the term of the RMR Agreement for the years 2014 and 2015. By letter dated Sept. 30, CAISO gave AESHB notice to extend the term of the RMR Agreement for an additional calendar year, through Dec. 31, 2016. No changes to any language or rates contained in the RMR Agreement previously accepted by and on file with the commission are proposed by this filing.

Under the RMR Agreement, AES collects a cost-of-service rate in exchange for operating two synchronous condensers necessary to provide voltage support in the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego/Imperial Valley local areas that is critically needed as the result of the unexpected retirement of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3. The RMR Agreement provides CAISO the ability to dispatch HB 3 & 4 to provide voltage support when required by CAISO for local reliability.

A listed AES contact is: Weikko Wirta, Plant Manager, AES Huntington Beach LLC, 21730 Newland Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92646, Tel: 714-374-1421, Fax: 714-374-1495,

AES working on approval of revised version of repowering project

Notable is that AES is looking to repower this plant. The AES Southland Development LLC on Oct. 27 asked the California Energy Commission for an expedited schedule, with a commission decision on May 11 of next year, related to its Sept. 9 amendment request for the Huntington Beach Energy Project (HBEP). The commission had approved one version of the project in October 2014. The Sept. 9 amendment was prompted by specific needs in a power sales contract worked out with Southern California Edison following the commission approval.

The HBEP would replace, and be constructed on, 28.6 acres entirely within the footprint of the existing and operating AES Huntington Beach Generating Station (HBGS) located in an industrial area of Huntington Beach, California. The redesigned project would total 844 MW and be constructed in two phases.

  • Phase 1 would be a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, air-cooled, 644-MW facility.
  • Phase 2 would be two 100-MW simple-cycle gas turbines.

The approved version of the project was licensed as a 939-MW plant consisting of two independently operating, three-on-one, combined-cycle gas turbine power blocks. Each power block would have consisted of three Mitsubishi natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators, three supplemental-fired heat recovery steam generators, one steam turbine generator, an air-cooled condenser, and related ancillary equipment.

Removal/demolition of existing Huntington Beach Generating Station Units 3 and 4 will occur in advance of the construction of the HBEP phase 2 SCGT power block. Demolition and removal of the Unit 5 peaker (former gas turbine generator), two former fuel oil tanks, associated fuel oil pipelines, asbestos and containment berms will begin in mid 2016.

If the HBEP amendment is approved by the Energy Commission, construction and demolition activities at the project site are anticipated to take 96 months, lasting through the first quarter of 2024.

Construction of the CCGT 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 power block 2 is anticipated to begin during the first quarter of 2022 with commercial operation during the first quarter of 2024.

Existing Huntington Beach Generating Station Unit 1 will be retired in the fourth quarter of 2019 to provide interconnection capacity for the new CCGT units, and Unit 2 will be retired either after commercial operation of the HBEP SCGT units or at the final compliance deadline for once-through-cooling intake structures as determined by the State Water Resources Control Board, after which demolition of Huntington Beach Generating Station Units 1 and 2 will commence.

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.