NTE seeks North Carolina approval for gas-fired, 500-MW project

NTE Carolinas II LLC, which has an affiliate that is already constructing a gas-fired power plant in North Carolina, on July 29 applied to the North Carolinas Utilities Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity authorizing the construction of the Reidsville Energy Center, an approximately 500 MW natural gas-fired facility in Rockingham County, N.C.

NTE Carolinas II is a wholly-owned first tier subsidiary of NTE Carolinas II Holdings LLC, which is an affiliate of NTE Energy LLC. NTE Energy, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, plans to develop, construct, own, acquire and operate electric generating facilities in the competitive wholesale supply markets of North America. NTE Energy companies recently closed financing and began construction on two projects totaling 950 MW of capacity and approximately $1.25 billion in financing.

  • One of these is the 475-MW Kings Mountain Energy Center in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, for which the commission issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to NTE Carolinas LLC in October 2014.
  • The other is the Middletown Energy Center, a 475-MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility in Middletown, Ohio.

NTE Energy, through its subsidiaries, is currently developing approximately 2,835 MW of generating capacity, with projects located in Texas, Ohio, Connecticut, Florida, and North Carolina.

As for the Kings Mountain Energy Center (KMEC), since the 2014 issuance of the CPCN, all required permits for construction have been received, and equity and debt financing for the KMEC project has closed and been funded. Construction began in August 2015. As of this date, the KMEC site is at rough grade. All piles have been installed, the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and exhaust stack foundations have been placed, the combustion turbine generator (CTG) and steam turbine generator (STG) foundations are being formed, and rebar has been installed. Concrete placement for the CTG foundation has recently begun. Excavation for underground water, fuel gas, instrument air, drain piping, and the duct bank is ongoing.

The fabrication, installation and backfilling of equipment for the process water, fuel gas, fire water, and raw water pipes, as well as the oily water drains, and the pipe systems for instrument air and hydrogen are ongoing. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas has begun fabrication of the CTG, Toshiba America Energy Systems Corp. has begun fabrication of the STG, and Vogt Power International Inc. has begun fabrication of the HRSG. KMEC construction is on schedule.

New Reidsville plant due for construction start in 2018

The Reidsville Energy Center facility will be constructed as a one-on-one combined cycle combustion turbine electric generating facility in Rockingham County. The facility will consist of one CTG (either a Mitsubishi MSOlGAC or Siemens Energy SGT6-8000H), one HRSG, and one STG. 

Additional equipment to support the facility includes exhaust stacks, auxiliary boiler, combustion turbine enclosure, turbine air inlet ducts and silencers, continuous emission monitor systems (CEMS), generator step-up transformers (GSUs), a station service transformer (SST), switchgears, a gas metering/conditioning station, water treatment trailers, a de-mineralized water tank, transmission and interconnection equipment, mechanical draft evaporative cooling towers, a standby diesel generator, and a fire protection system.

The expected service life of the facility is projected to be 30 years. Construction is anticipated to begin as early as First Quarter 2018, with commercial operation expected to be as early as Fourth Quarter 2020.

The facility will be constructed on approximately twenty acres of an approximately 90-acre site, bounded by North Carolina Highway 65 (NC-65) to the east and New Lebanon Church Road to the west. The current street address of the future driveway location onto the property is 4781 NC-65, Reidsville, NC 27320. GPS coordinates of the approximate center of the proposed facility are: 36° 20′ 03″ N, 79° 49′ 55″ W.

Natural gas will be the only fuel burned by the facility, requiring up to 95,000 MM Btu/day to operate at full output. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) has existing interstate pipelines crossing the facility site. The facility lateral is expected to be approximately 650 feet long, and its sole purpose is to connect the facility with Transco’s interstate natural gas pipelines. NTE is currently in discussions with Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (PNG), the local distribution company (LDC) serving Rockingham County, regarding construction, ownership, maintenance, and operation of the lateral. NTE anticipates that PNG will construct, own, maintain, and be responsible for compliance testing on the lateral.

The facility will interconnect with the electric transmission system of Duke Energy Carolinas LLC (DEC), via the Ernest Switching Station, immediately adjacent to the facility site. NTE has completed the feasibility study with DEC and has begun the system impact study. Only minor expansion of the Ernest Switching Station is required to accommodate NTE’s interconnection.

The 230-kV circuits from the CTG and STG’s GSUs will meet at the facility’s substation, located on NTE’s property. From the facility’s substation, a single 230-kV circuit will run to the Ernest Switching Station. This line will cross only NTE and DEC properties and no other parcels. No third-party private rights-of-way will need to be acquired for any of these facilities. This application for certification is intended to encompass all these ancillary transmission facilities up to the Ernest Switching Station.

The application added: “The need for new generation in North Carolina is demonstrated in the 2015 Integrated Resource Plans (“IRP”) filed by DEC and Duke Energy Progress, LLC (“DEP”). DEC’s 2015 IRP projects annual growth rates of 1.5% in summer and winter peak demand for its retail and wholesale customers for the years 2016 through 2030. This growth results in a summer peak demand of 18,764 MW in 2016 that grows to 23,125 MW in 2030, which is an increase of 4,361 MW. With the expected load growth, DEC’s IRP concludes that an additional 5,711 MW of capacity is needed to support growth, while maintaining system reliability through 2030. DEP’s 2015 IRP projects growth rates in summer peak demand of 1.5% and in winter peak demand of 1.3% for its retail and wholesale customers for the years 2016 through 2030. This growth results in a summer peak demand of 13,048 MW in 2016 that grows to 15,981 MW in 2030, which is an increase of 2,933 MW. With the expected load growth, DEP anticipates adding 5,292 MW of additional generating resources through 2030. Of the 5,292 MW of new generation, DEP expects 3,483 MW to be natural gas-fired combined cycle facilities. Collectively, DEC and DEP have a projected need for over 11,000 MW of additional generating resources through 2030.”

The company also wrote: “Based on its assessments and its investigation of market activity by regional loadserving entities, NTE has concluded that there is a need for additional peaking, intermediate and baseload capacity in North Carolina. NTE has identified specific wholesale customers who are interested in purchasing the output of the Facility, and is currently negotiating power supply agreements.”

A project contact is: Michael Green, Vice President, NTE Carolinas II LLC, 24 Cathedral Place, Suite 300, Saint Augustine, Florida 32084, (904) 687-1857, mgreen@nteenergy.com.

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.