Invenergy seeks Rhode Island approval for up to 1,000-MW Clear River project

Invenergy Thermal Development LLC on Oct. 29 applied for approval from the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board to construct and operate the Clear River Energy Center (CREC), a combined-cycle facility to be located on Wallum Lake Road (State Route 100) in Burrillville, Rhode Island.

Michael Polsky, president, founder, and CEO of Invenergy LLC, was joined by Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and other state and local leaders on Aug. 4 to announce plans for this project. This facility will play a major role in addressing energy reliability and affordability challenges due in part from aging coal and oil plant retirements, and is projected to result in $280 million in cumulative savings for Rhode Island consumers.

The facility will be configured as a two-unit one-on-one (1×1), combined-cycle station. Each unit will consist of an advanced class combustion turbine operated in a combined-cycle configuration with a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), a steam turbine and an air cooled condenser (ACC) for each train. The combustion turbine, steam turbine, and generator of each unit will be connected via a common shaft (otherwise referred to as a single shaft machine).

Each gas turbine will fire natural gas as a primary fuel and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel as a backup fuel.

The CREC Facility will have a nominal power output at base load of approximately 850 MW-1,000 MW while firing natural gas. The power generated by the facility will be transmitted through a new 345-kV transmission line to be installed from the facility through an existing National Grid right-of-way (ROW) to the Sherman Road Substation in Burrillville, Rhode Island.

The CREC will utilize air cooling with an air cooled condenser which reduces water consumption by more than 90% as compared to a traditional water cooled plant. The water supply for the facility will be provided by the Pascoag Utility District (PUD) through a dedicated pipeline to be installed from an existing well to the facility. Wastewater from the facility will be discharged to the Burrillville Wastewater Treatment Facility through a dedicated sewer line that will connect to the local sewer system.

Said the application: “The Facility being proposed will participate in the ISO New England Forward Capacity Market in order to address need for new capacity that has been created by announced and pending retirements of existing generators and load growth. Additional retirements are expected to occur due to changing market conditions, the age of a good portion the existing generation fleet and as a result of improved market performance as mandated by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.”

The facility is to be located on a site within the Town of Burrillville that is part of a larger parcel of land that includes both gas pipelines and electric transmission lines each of which have adequate capacity to support the project without requiring additional costly (and controversial) laterals for each of these interconnections, said the application.

The CREC Project will be able to address many of the challenges facing the ISO New England region, including:

  • Provide new, highly advanced generating technology that will be one of the most efficient generators in New England, helping lower regional energy costs.
  • Reduce regional air emissions by displacing older, less efficient and more polluting generation and improve air quality through the facilities use of best available emission control technology.
  • Modernize the electric generating infrastructure by providing new, highly efficient generation that has fast start and high ramp rate (flexible) generating capability, replacing older, less flexible generation. The fast start and flexible generating capability will support the integration of new and existing renewable generation onto the power grid.

Company says fast-ramping capability is a key plus

The application noted that regional power markets have shifted in recent years in response to fast-changing supply and demand parameters. The ISO-NE has identified issues that have led to inadequate peak generation capacity that have resulted in high-profile “narrowly missed catastrophic events” that have spurred market design changes like the new Pay-for-Performance Initiative (PI) that will result in a more efficient, flexible fleet, and penalize less reliable and more inflexible oil/gas steam-fired units that cannot respond to the market signals in a timely fashion. This market change will likely result in accelerating retirements of oil/gas steam capacity and incentivize the construction of newer and more efficient units, the company said.

Each unit at this project will consist of an advanced class (G-, H-, or J-class) gas turbine operated in a combined-cycle configuration with a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) equipped with natural fired duct burners and one steam turbine. The natural gas supply for the facility will be provided by a pipeline from the adjacent Spectra Energy Algonquin Compressor Station.

The facility will have a nominal power output at base load of approximately 850 MW-1,000 MW while firing natural gas (with supplementary HRSG duct firing) and 650 MW-800 MW while firing ULSD. Each 1×1 combined cycle unit will have a generator step-up (GSU) transformer to increase the voltage from the generator voltage to 345 kV. The GSU transformers will be connected to the facility switchyard located along the western edge of the site via underground cable duct banks

The transmission line will be installed and owned by National Grid as part of the generation interconnection application process. Connection to the Sherman Road Switching Station will be via a new 6-mile long 345-kV transmission line that will be constructed. The transmission line will run west from the CREC switchyard along a new right of way to the two existing 345-kV transmission lines northwest of the facility.

The facility will utilize state-of-the-art air emission controls. Each gas turbine/HRSG will be equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system for the control of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and an oxidation catalyst for the control of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Water injection will also be used during ULSD firing for NOX emissions control. Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM10/PM2.5) from the gas turbines/HRSGs will be minimized by the use of clean burning, low sulfur, low ash fuels, and the most efficient gas turbine combustion technology commercially available. NOX emissions from the natural gas fired auxiliary boiler and dew point heater will be controlled with ultra-low NOX burners and flue gas recirculation (FGR).

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.