Several gas-fired projects make progress lately in the U.S. and Canada

Several gas-fired power projects in the U.S. and Canada marked major milestones in the past couple of weeks, with a major move for the Southern Power unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) coming with a Feb. 10 notice from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) of plans to issue two air permits for the Jackson County Generating Facility, which is a 920-MW, gas-fired peaker.

The plant property is located south of Lundquist Road at the intersection of Texas County Road 710 and Lundquist Road at Ganado in Jackson County. This application for the permits was submitted to the TCEQ in July 2014.

The Jackson County project will consist of four natural gas-fired simple-cycle combustion turbines (CTs), five fuel gas heaters, and a firewater pump engine. The CTs planned for this project are the Siemens F5 model, each at 230 MW in size.

Other recent developments for gas-fired projects include:

  • The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board is taking comment on a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed 200-MW West Medway II project in Medway, Mass. Exelon West Medway LLC and Exelon West Medway II LLC, subsidiaries of Exelon (NYSE: EXC), are pursuing this expansion of an existing plant. The project is a new, fast-starting peaker. It would run primarily on natural gas, but could also run on ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel oil. The project will utilize two simple-cycle General Electric LMS100 combustion turbine generators, said the FEIR.
  • NRG Canal 3 Development LLC applied on Dec. 3 with the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board for approval to construct a new plant in the town of Sandwich, capable of generating around 350 MW. The board has that application up for comment until Feb. 29. This project would be located at the existing Canal Generating Station. NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) on Feb. 11 announced that its Canal 3 development project, a 333-MW gas turbine peaker, cleared the ISO New England tenth forward capacity auction. Canal 3 is scheduled to go online in 2019, with capital investment beginning in late 2017 and significant development expenditures in 2018. This would be a dual-fuel, natural gas and ultra-low-sulfur-distillate (ULSD) oil, simple-cycle, quick-start plant capable of generating up to 350 MW, the permitting documents show. The facility would include one General Electric 7HA.02 simple-cycle peaking combustion turbine, or a comparable unit. The gross electrical output of the new CTG will vary from approximately 330 MW at higher ambient temperatures to approximately 365 MW at very low ambient temperatures.
  • 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 expects to begin construction of the 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. 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. This company is part of Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG).
  • TransCanada Corp. (TSX, NYSE: TRP) reported in its Feb. 11 earnings statement that construction continues on the 900-MW Napanee natural gas-fired power plant in eastern Ontario. TransCanada expects to invest approximately C$1 billion in the facility during construction. Commercial operations are expected to begin in late 2017 or early 2018. Production from the facility is fully contracted with the Ontario IESO. The Napanee project is located on the existing Ontario Power Generation Lennox Generating Station site in the County of Lennox and Addington near the Town of Napanee. It features two 271-MW gas turbine/generator sets and one 457-MW steam turbine/generator set.
  • AltaGas Sonoran Energy Inc. filed with the California Energy Commission on Feb. 4 an application for an 18-month delay, to June 2018, on the construction start deadline for the Blythe Energy Project Phase II. Currently, the deadline for commencement of construction of Blythe II is Dec. 14, 2016, with the requested eighteen-month extension allowing for a deadline of June 14, 2018. In December 2005, the California commission approved a license to construct the 520-MW Blythe II project. AltaGas Power Holding (U.S.) Inc. acquired 100% of the equity interests in the owner of Blythe II. Caithness Blythe II had its name changed to AltaGas Sonoran Energy. Immediately thereafter, AltaGas Sonoran developed modifications to the project design in an effort to construct a least cost, best fit project while taking into account the current energy market and environmental conditions, as well as to resolve interconnection issues associated with the licensed project. On July 15, 2015, AltaGas submitted a petition to amend, including replacement of the two Siemens SGT6-5000F combustion turbines with a single General Electric Frame 7HA.02 combustion turbine, and replacement of the Siemens steam turbine generator with a single-shaft General Electric D652 steam turbine generator.
  • The Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board said in a Feb. 5 notice that it will conduct a public hearing on March 31 in the Burrillville High School Cafeteria on an October 2015 application from Invenergy Thermal Development LLC for approval to site and construct the Clear River Energy Center. This would be a combined-cycle facility of 850 MW to 1,000 MW in capacity. The project site is on Wallum Lake Road in Burrillville. The plant is intended to fire natural gas as a primary fuel and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel as a backup. 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 as a backup fuel.
  • The Alberta Utilities Commission on Feb. 4 granted a request from the TransAlta MidAmerican Partnership (TAMA Power) to delay the commission-imposed deadline by four years, until the end of 2022, to complete construction of the 856-MW, combined-cycle natural gas-fired project known as Sundance Unit 7. This project would be located at the existing Sundance coal-fired power plant. The commission issued its approval to construct Sundance 7 in June 2015, with a construction completion deadline of Dec. 31, 2018. TAMA Power said the extension is required because of the current regulatory uncertainty and economic volatility in Alberta. That volatility is in large part due to a world decline in oil prices, which impact Alberta’s oil sands industry, a mainstay of its economy. TAMA Power is a joint venture of TransAlta Corp. and MidAmerican Energy Holdings. The Unit 7 project will consist of two natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators, each rated at 345 megavolt-amperes (MVA), one steam turbine generator rated at 400 MVA and a standby diesel 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.