654-MW Empire cogen plant in New York to be sold to three parties

Several parties applied Oct. 14 with the New York State Public Service Commission for a non-approval, or failing that an outright approval, for the sale of a 653.7-MW power plant to a partnership of three parties.

The applicants were Energy Capital Partners I LP, Energy Capital Partners I-A LP, Energy Capital Partners I-B LP and ECP I (NE Energy IP) LP as one group of sellers, plus Empire Gen Holdings Inc., Empire Gen Holdco LLC, Empire Generating Co. LLC and TTK Power LLC. They are seeking a declaratory ruling that the commission need not review under New York State Public Service Law the the ECP Entities’ proposed sale of 100% of the indirect ownership interests in Empire Generating to TTK Power, which is jointly owned by Tyr Energy Inc., The Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc. and Tokyo Gas America Ltd.

The petitioners said this transaction constitutes a transfer of the indirect control of a lightly regulated wholesale merchant generating facility and thus qualifies for a non-approval by the commission. In the alternative, the petitioners requested that the commission approve the transaction, without modification or condition.

Upon the consummation of the transaction, Empire Generating will continue to sell power from its approximately 653.7-MW (nameplate) combined cycle cogeneration plant in Rensselaer, New York, under negotiated rates under its market-based rate tariff and under individual power sales agreements entered into pursuant to that tariff.

The New York State Board on Electric Generation and Siting and the Environment had granted a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (CECPN) to Empire Generating’s predecessor, Besicorp-Empire Development Co. LLC (BEDCO) in 2004 for the construction of this facility. The Siting Board subsequently approved the transfer of BEDCO’s CECPN to Besicorp-Empire Power Co. LLC (BEPCO). BEPCO later changed its name, becoming Empire Generating. The facility began operating in 2010. It is connected to the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) transmission system by an approximately 8.1 mile transmission line. Empire Generating also owns and operates a natural gas transmission line that provides natural gas supply to the facility.

TTK Power is a newly-formed company jointly owned by Tyr Energy, Kansai and TGA. Tyr Energy will indirectly own 50% of the membership interest in TTK Power and Kansai and TGA will each indirectly own 25% in TTK Power.

  • Tyr Energy is owned by ITOCHU International Inc. (which holds a 20% interest) and I-Power Investment Inc. (which holds 80%). ITOCHU and IPower are both subsidiaries of ITOCHU Corp. out of Japan. Tyr Energy is affiliated with two existing generation plants and two projects in development that are not yet operational within the PJM Interconnection balancing area authority, the application noted. The two existing facilities are Tenaska Virginia Partners LP, which owns a 900-MW (seasonal) natural gas-fired plant in Fluvanna County, Virginia, and Commonwealth Chesapeake Co. LLC, which owns a 318-MW (seasonal) oil-fired plant in Accomack County, Virginia. The two in-development projects are Future Power PA LLC, a 337-MW natural gas-fired plant in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and Hickory Run Energy LLC, a 1,000 MW natural gas-fired plant in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.
  • Kansai is a vertically integrated power company in Japan. Its 36 GW of power generation facilities, 18,000 kilometers of transmission lines, and 13 million customers make the company the second-largest electricity provider in Japan. It engages in overseas independent power projects in the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos and Australia.
  • Tokyo Gas America is a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., the largest natural gas utility in Japan. TGA has invested in various energy-related businesses such as oil and gas acreage in the Eagle Ford and Barnett basins in the United States.

The application said that Empire Generating will enter into a management services agreement with NAES Corp. under which NAES will perform certain general, administrative, and other management services to and for the benefit of TTK Power and certain of its subsidiaries. Empire Generating also will enter into one or more project asset management agreements with Tyr Energy under which Tyr Energy will perform certain general, administrative, and other management services to and for the benefit of Empire Gen Holdings, Empire Holdco and Empire Generating.

The parties also applied Oct. 18 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval of this transaction.

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.