ERCOT says new gas-fired capacity in the works out to 2017

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, in a Dec. 1 report on the Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) in the ERCOT Region, 2016-2025, said there are several gas-fired units that are planned for operation over the next couple of years.

The following gas-fired Planned Resources have finalized the necessary agreements and permits to be added to the CDR report:

  • Elk Station combustion turbine generator (CTG) 2 (Switchable), Hale County, projected for commercial operation in 2016, 202 MW;
  • Elk Station CTG 3, Hale County, projected commercial operation in 2016, 202 MW;
  • Friendswood G, Harris County, projected commercial operation in 2017, 115 MW; and
  • Wolf Hollow 2, Hood County, projected commercial operation in 2017, 1,077 MW.

The ERCOT report doesn’t name the backers of these projects.

In the case of the Elk Station it would be Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, which built its 202-MW Elk Station Unit 1 over the last couple of years and has also been permitting additional capacity at the plant site.

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC on Oct. 13 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an amended Standard Generation Interconnection Agreement with Friendswood Energy Genco LLC for a 129-MW, simple-cycle project. The agreement covers the Friendswood Energy Generation Project, which will have a Point of lnterconnection nnear the H. O. Clarke Substation in Harris County. The single unit will be a Westinghouse 501D5 natural gas-fired combustion turbine generator.

Senior executives from Exelon GenerationAlstomGeneral Electric and Zachry were joined on July 9 by community leaders from Hood County to officially break ground on a new combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) at Exelon’s Wolf Hollow Generating Station. The new CCGT will provide about 1,000 MW extra to the existing 704-MW natural gas-fired power plant.

One project named on the Dec. 1 ERCOT list doesn’t have gas directly as the fuel, but would fire gas indirectly. That is the Bethel compressed air energy storage (CAES) project, located in Anderson County, due for commercial operation in 2018 and sized at 324 MW.

Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC on July 14 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas a copy of a Standard Generation Interconnection Agreement with APEX Bethel Energy Center LLC. The Point of Interconnection is located in Anderson County, at the to-be-constructed New Bethel Switching Station. The project consists of two generators each with 164 MW of individual output, for a total of 328 MW. The scheduled commercial operation date under this agreement is Dec. 15, 2018.

APEX Bethel Energy Center in March 2014 got from EPA’s Region 6 office a final air permit for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the Bethel Energy Center in Anderson County. Apex received an permit for its non-GHG pollutants from the TCEQ in 2012. It proposes to use CAES technology developed by Dresser-Rand to produce up to about 317 MW. The Bethel plant will consist of two expansion turbines/generating trains each rated at 158.34 MW, said the air permit documents. During the air compression and storage process, electric motor driven compressors are used to inject air into an underground cavern for storage under high pressure. Electricity is generated by releasing the high-pressure air, heating it with natural gas combustion and expanding the air through sequential turbines (i.e., expanders), which in turn drive an electrical generator.

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.