California commission seeks input on staff report on Alamitos repowering

The California Energy Commission is taking comment until Aug. 12 on a Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA) on the proposed Alamitos Energy Center (AEC).

The PSA is not a decision document for these proceedings, nor does it contain findings of the Energy Commission related to environmental impacts or the project’s compliance with local, state, and federal laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS). The PSA will serve as a precursor to the Final Staff Assessment (FSA). During the 30-day public comment period on the PSA, staff will notice a public workshop indicating the location, time and date. After the conclusion of the workshop and the 30-day public comment period, staff will then prepare its FSA.

In October 2015, AES Southland Development LLC submitted a Supplemental Application for Certification to the commission for the Alamitos Energy Center project. The SAFC replaces the original Application for Certification (AFC) filed in December 2013.

The AEC would be constructed on the site of the Alamitos Generating Station (AGS), an existing and operating power plant in the city of Long Beach, California. AEC as currently proposed would be a nominal 1,040-MW, natural-gas-fired, combined-cycle and simple-cycle, air-cooled facility consisting of two power blocks to provide fast starting and stopping, reliable, flexible multi-stage generating resources.

  • Power Block 1 would consist of two natural-gas-fired combustion turbine, 640-MW generators (CTG) in a combined-cycle configuration (collectively AEC CCGT), with two unfired heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), one steam turbine generator (STG), an air cooled condenser, an auxiliary boiler, and related ancillary equipment.
  • Power Block 2 would consist of four natural gasfired, simple-cycle CTGs with fin-fan coolers and ancillary facilities (collectively, AEC SCGT) for a nominal 400 MW.

The existing Alamitos Generating Station Units 1–6 are currently in operation with a net generating capacity of 1,950 MW. Although AES still intends to demolish all six operating units, the demolition is not part of the proposed AEC project, but would take place through a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of Long Beach after the AEC begins commercial operation. Demolition is expected to occur after 2020. Demolition of retired Unit 7 remains part of the proposed AEC project.

Construction activities at the project site are anticipated to last 56 months, from first quarter 2017 until third quarter 2021. The existing AGS facilities utilizing once-through cooling are not under the commission’s jurisdiction and are not directly part of the proposed project before the commission. Regardless whether the AEC facility is licensed or constructed, these older units are scheduled to be shut down by 2020 under the State Water Board phase out of once-through-cooling.

The AEC would interconnect to the existing Southern California Edison 230-kV switchyard adjacent to the northern side of the property. No new offsite natural gas lines would be necessary for the project. AEC would be supplied via the existing service pipeline for AGS Units 5 and 6 from the offsite 30-inch-diameter, high-pressure pipeline owned and operated by Southern California Gas Co.

The AEC CCGT would include two General Electric (GE) 7FA.05 CTGs with a nominal rating of 227 MW each. The CTGs would be equipped with evaporative coolers on the inlet air system and dry low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) combustors. Also two HRSGs with no supplemental firing, each equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit in the ductwork for the control of NOx emissions, and an oxidation catalyst to control carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. There would also be one single-flow, impulse, down-exhaust-condensing STG with a nominal rating of approximately 229 MW.

The AEC SCGT would be located on the northern portion of the AEC site, adjacent to the San Gabriel River. The AEC SCGT would include four GE LMS 100 PB natural gas-fired CTGs with a nominal rating of 100 MW each. Each CTG would be equipped with SCR equipment containing catalysts to further reduce NOx emissions, and an oxidation catalyst to reduce CO emissions.

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.