Energy Future outlines status of gas-fired project permitting work

Energy Future Holdings on Sept. 7 filed with its bankruptcy court an updated disclosure statement related to a pending reorganization plan that would see its Oncor power transmission operations sold to NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) and its Luminant power plant operations spun off to creditors.

In the filing, the company noted its efforts to permit new or repowered gas-fired facilities through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). “In recent years, the TCEQ granted air permits to Luminant to build natural gas fueled generation units at certain of our existing plant sites. We believe current market conditions do not provide adequate economic returns for the development or construction of these facilities; however, we believe additional generation resources will be needed in the future to support electricity demand growth and reliability in the ERCOT market.”

The potential facilities that form the basis of such air permits are:

  • DeCordova Combustion Turbine, two units, 420 MW to 460 MW, air permitting granted
  • DeCordova Combined Cycle, one unit, 730 MW to 810 MW, air permitting pending
  • Eagle Mountain Combined Cycle, one unit, 730 MW to 810 MW, air permitting pending
  • Lake Creek Combustion Turbine, two units, 420 MW to 460 MW, air permitting granted
  • Permian Basin Combustion Turbine, two units, 420 MW to 460 MW, air permitting granted
  • Tradinghouse Combustion Turbine, two units, 420 MW to 460 MW, air permitting granted
  • Tradinghouse Combined Cycle, two units, 1,460 MW to 1,620 MW, air permitting pending
  • Valley Combustion Turbine, two units, 420 MW to 460 MW, air permitting granted

At DeCordova and Tradinghouse, the combined-cycle projects are alternatives to the simple-cycle projects at each site.

Luminant’s current natural gas-fueled power operations consist of 36 units at nine plant sites with 6,443 MW of nameplate capacity, including:

  • eight combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units at Forney with total nameplate capacity of 1,912 MW;
  • six CCGT units at Lamar with total nameplate capacity of 1,076 MW;
  • two steam units at Graham with total nameplate capacity of 630 MW;
  •  two steam units at Lake Hubbard with total nameplate capacity of 921 MW;
  • two steam units at Stryker Creek with total nameplate capacity of 675 MW;
  • one steam unit at Trinidad with total nameplate capacity of 240 MW;
  • four combustion turbines at DeCordova with total nameplate capacity of 260 MW;
  • six combustion turbines at Morgan Creek with total nameplate capacity of 390 MW; and
  • five combustion turbines at Permian Basin with total nameplate capacity of 325 MW.

Texas agency has moved on several of the new project permits

Some examples of the TCEQ permitting work, as previously reported by Generation Hub, are:

  • The TCEQ said in a July 26 notice that it is ready to approve permitting for DeCordova II Power Co. LLC that would allow combined-cycle operation of a simple-cycle plant in Hood County. The company is seeking a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Air Quality Permit, which would authorize a modification to add combined-cycle optionality for the simple cycle combustion turbines at Units 5 and 6. DeCordova II Power owns the DeCordova Steam Electric Station, which currently consists of two combustion turbines (CTGs) authorized to operate in simple cycle. The simple-cycle operations were authorized in August 2013. The CTGs will be one of two options: General Electric or Siemens. DeCordova is seeking to augment the electrical generating capability of the DeCordova Station by adding combined cycle operations. The new project will include an increase in the annual hours of operation for the CTGs, the installation of two duct burner (DB) fired heat recover steam generators (HRSGs), a steam turbine, an auxiliary boiler, an emergency generator, and a firewater pump.
  • Eagle Mountain Power Co. LLC was working last year on permits to authorize construction of the Eagle Mountain Steam Electric Station located in Fort Worth in Tarrant County, Texas. The project will include two natural gas-fired combined cycle combustion turbine generators (CTG) equipped with heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), natural gas-fired dry low NOx (DLN) combustors, and natural gas-fired duct burner (DB) systems.
  • The TCEQ said in a January 2015 notice that it had gotten an application for an air permit on new gas-fired peaking capacity in Fannin County. Valley NG Power Co. LLC appliedto authorize construction of two natural gas-fired simple cycle combustion turbine units at the Valley Steam Electric Station in Fannin County, Texas.

Energy Future nearing completion of reorganization process

Upon receipt of regulatory approvals and emergence, an entity at the moment called “Reorganized TCEH,” which includes power generator Luminant, will operate as a stand-alone company poised to benefit from a strong balance sheet and enviable positioning in Texas’ competitive energy market, said Energy Future Holdings (EFH).

The company announced Aug. 26 that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has confirmed Texas Competitive Energy Holdings’ amended plan of reorganization, which contemplates a tax-free spin off of the company’s competitive businesses, known as TCEH and including Luminant, along with supporting business services.

In addition to court approval, the company has already received a majority of the key regulatory approvals required for emergence from bankruptcy, with a final approval from the Railroad Commission of Texas anticipated in September. Upon receipt of that approval, Luminant, TXU Energy and EFH Business Services, which will collectively be known as “Reorganized TCEH” in the short-term, can then emerge from Chapter 11.

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.