The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Nov. 20 ruled that a 1.6-ME expansion of an existing landfill gas-fired power plant of East Kentucky Power Cooperative is a normal part of doing business and no certificate for the project is needed.
On Aug. 14, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) filed an application requesting that the commission declare that an expansion of EKPC’s landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) facility at the Bavarian Landfill in Boone County, Kentucky, is an ordinary extension of an existing system in the usual course of business and that a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) will not be required. EKPC also requested to be relieved from any requirement to file such applications for future LFGTE projects, so long as the LFGTE facility to be developed is a system resource that benefits EKPC’s members.
EKPC requested that the commission expedite its decision and issue an order on or before Nov/ 1, on the basis that “prompt approval of this Application is critical to Applicant’s efforts to develop the Project.”
EKPC proposes to expand the existing Bavarian LFGTE facility by increasing its generation output by 1.6 MW. EKPC states that the growth of the Bavarian Landfill and the increased capacity of the gas collection system, along with the continuing need to provide economical electric energy through the use of renewable resources, led EKPC to investigate expanding the Bavarian LFGTE facility.
The existing facility has an installed capacity of 3.2 MW and consists of four Caterpillar 3516 800-kW engine generators housed in a concrete block building with a fuel compressor and associated switchgear. The Bavarian LFGTE expansion will include the addition of a single Caterpillar G3520 1.6-MW engine generator and switchgear housed in a concrete block building extension, a fuel compressor housed in a separate concrete block building, an engine-cooling system, and a step-up transformer. The building extension and transformer will be sized for future expansion at the Bavarian site.
The estimated capital cost for the expansion is $2,261,946. EKPC states that the cost to construct and operate the facility will not materially affect its financial condition or result in an increase in its rates. EKPC further states that it will use equipment from the recently closed Mason County LFGTE facility, which will result in capital savings. The projected all-in cost of energy from the Bavarian LFGTE for 2015 is $45/MWh and, after the proposed expansion, from $46.83/MWh in 2016 to $49.08/MWh (levelized) in 2021.
The commission ruled that the 1.6-MW Bavarian LFGTE expansion is properly classified as an ordinary extension of existing systems in the usual course of business, and a CPCN is not required for its construction.