PSEG clears new gas-fired unit in Connecticut that will replace existing coal unit

PSEG Power Connecticut announced Feb. 11 that it has cleared 485 MW of Installed Summer Capacity from a new gas-fired combined-cycle plant in the ISO New England Forward Capacity Auction.

PSEG Power Connecticut expects to begin construction of the gas-fired plant in 2017. The plant, which represents an investment of more than $550 million, is targeted to be completed and supplying needed energy to the Connecticut region for the year beginning June 2019. The plant will be located at PSEG Power Connecticut’s existing Bridgeport Harbor Station site. 

“This is a true win for Bridgeport – not only adding new clean energy to the grid, but creating jobs, tax revenue, and general economic activity within the region,” said Richard P. Lopriore, president of PSEG Fossil. “We look forward to providing reliable energy to Connecticut and the region for many years to come.”

The plant will create 350 construction jobs and approximately 20 permanent jobs, add tax revenue to the City of Bridgeport, as well as other economic benefits. The plant primarily will run on natural gas, but also will be able to run on ultra-low-sulfur distillate (ULSD) fuel oil as a back-up fuel, ensuring fuel diversity and exceptional dependability.

 “We are pleased that PSEG Power will be making further investments in power generation in our city,” said Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. “The new plant will result in jobs and tax-base generation, adding more than $5 million in additional tax revenue per year to the city.”

PSEG Power Connecticut, the City of Bridgeport, and several community groups and environmental organizations also announced Feb. 11 that they have agreed to a Community Environmental Benefit Agreement (CEBA) associated with the plant. Among the components of the CEBA, if all conditions are met, PSEG Power Connecticut agreed to finalize plans to: retire the coal-fired Bridgeport Harbor Station Unit 3; establish a $2 million fund to support projects and improvements focused on creating environmental benefits for Bridgeport residents; assign a Community Liaison Officer to be the main point of contact with community groups: and work with the community to support local and regional hiring. In the CEBA, the city agrees to express its unqualified support for the new gas-fired combined-cycle plant.

“This is a great example of the City, community groups, and a local business working together for the benefit of all,” Ganim said. “Along with PSEG’s investment in this power plant and the potential for additional renewable generation, the company will be investing in local civic groups and community projects, as well as charting a course for the future of this significant property that doesn’t involve coal. This is a real win for all parties.”

Bridgeport Harbor has one 383-MW coal unit. There are only a handful of coal-fired units left in operation in New England, which is far from any coalfield and generally working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plant is located on Long Island Sound on the west shore of Bridgeport Harbor. Its two operating units include the coal-fired unit and a combustion turbine peaking unit that is rarely used.

PSEG Power Connecticut’s Bridgeport Harbor and New Haven Harbor stations are part of PSEG Power LLC’s generating fleet. PSEG Power is an independent power producer that generates and sells electricity in the wholesale market, with a fleet totaling 11,782 MW of generating capacity. PSEG Fossil is one of four main subsidiaries of PSEG Power, and operates the company’s portfolio of natural gas, coal- and oil-fired units. PSEG Power is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG).

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.