Thousands of MWs of new gas-fired capacity made forward progress in September of this year, according to reporting during the month by Generation Hub.
Here are some highlights from the month:
- In a Sept. 28 decision, the Alberta Utilities Commission approved three applications from ATCO Power Canada Ltd. for a 96-MW cogeneration plant, a 240-kV substation and an industrial system designation (ISD). The Strathcona Cogeneration Plant would be located northeast of Fort Saskatchewan to support the operation of Williams Canada Propylene ULC’s Alberta propane dehydrogenation facility and a polypropylene facility. ATCO Power said the cogen would consist of two 48-MW natural gas turbine generators each equipped with a heat recovery steam generator, with a total generating capability of 96 MW.
- DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) announced Sept. 29 that it will build new gas-fired generation as part of its commitment to ensure long-term reliability and produce cleaner energy for customers at its regulated DTE Electric subsidiary in Michigan. The new energy generated will replace a portion of the capacity from coal-fired plants DTE intends to retire by 2023. DTE has plans to build state-of-the-art natural gas turbine plants to provide approximately 1,000 MW. The company will invest between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in these new generating assets, expected to be completed between 2021 and 2023. Based on preliminary site analysis, one project is expected to be located on existing DTE property adjacent to the Belle River power plant in China Township, Mich.
- SaskPower has awarded a contract to Burns & McDonnell for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the new Chinook power plant, a 350-MW natural gas-fired facility to be located in Southwestern Saskatchewan. Burns & McDonnell made the announcement Sept. 28. Financial terms of the EPC agreement were not disclosed. The plant will be built on a greenfield site in a rural area near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Pending environmental approval, construction is expected to begin as early as late 2016, with the plant being commissioned and in service in late 2019.
- The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Sept. 26 approved an October 2015 application from the Northern States Power subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) for a site permit for the Black Dog Unit 6 project. This is a 215-MW simple-cycle natural-gas-fired combustion turbine unit and associated facilities to be built at the existing Black Dog Generating Station in Burnsville, Minn. The project is expected to be operational by March 2018, and is estimated to cost approximately $100 million. The existing infrastructure at the generating station, which includes the powerhouse building and the 115-kV substation and transmission system infrastructure, will be used to the extent possible. Unit 6 will be fueled entirely by natural gas.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said Sept. 24 that it is soliciting comments on a proposed Air Quality Plan Approval for Archbald Energy Partners LLC to construct and operate a natural-gas-fired combined-cycle (NGCC) plant to produce approximately 485 MW. This facility is to be located in Archbald Borough, Lackawanna County. This combined-cycle plant would consist of a combustion gas turbine (CT) and a steam turbine (ST) with duct burners in the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), one diesel-fired emergency generator, one diesel-fired fire water pump, an air-cooled condenser, and one aqueous ammonia storage tank.
- Robinson Power Co. LLC has proposed a natural gas-fired generating facility located in Robinson Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania, said a September 2016 study on the project from PJM Interconnection. The installed facilities, located near Pittsburgh, will have a total capability of 1,025 MW with 950 MW of this output being recognized by PJM as capacity. The proposed in-service date for this project is July 1, 2019. This study does not imply a Monongahela Power (the interconnecting transmission owner) commitment to this in-service date. This is to be a 2×1 combined-cycle natural gas facility, consisting of two 292.6-MW combustion turbines and one 462.7-MW steam turbine.
- South Field Energy LLC on Sept. 23 scored its third major Ohio regulatory approval in two days, with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that day issuing a final air permit-to-install for the construction of the South Field Energy facility, a nominal 1,150-MW combined cycle gas turbine facility to be located in Wellsville, Ohio. The Ohio Power Siting Board on Sept. 22 had issued two certificates, one for the power project itself and the other for the interconnecting transmission line. South Field Energy proposes to commence construction in January 2017 and begin commercial operation of the facility by January 2020. This is to be a dual-fuel combined-cycle facility designed in a 2×2 configuration. It will primarily fire natural gas, with the capability to fire ultra-low sulphur distillate (ULSD) as a back-up. It will utilize two integrated General Electric (GE) 7HA.02 combustion turbine generators, each with a dedicated supplementary-fired heat recovery steam generator; two steam generators and two mechanical draft wet cooling towers. The facility will have a nominal net output of 1,105 MW (full duct burner operation with inlet air cooling at 59 degrees Fahrenheit ambient temperature). South Field Energy is an affiliate of Advanced Power NA.
- The Alberta Utilities Commission on Sept. 22 approved a May 25 application from Apache Canada Ltd. to construct and operate a 66-MW plant within the Wapiti Sour Gas Plant. The Wapiti Sour Gas Plant is located approximately 40 kilometers southwest of Grande Prairie. Apache said this plant would consist of two 33-MW Siemens SGT-700 gas turbine generators for a total on-site generating capability of 66 MW. Apache stated the power plant would also contain a third 33-MW Siemens SGT-700 gas turbine generator as a backup unit, and two 1.1-MW Caterpillar 3512A natural gas generators as emergency generating units. Apache stated the electric energy would be used solely by Apache and would not be connected to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System.
- A Sept. 22 celebration signaled the start of construction on Alliant Energy‘s (NYSE: LNT) Riverside Energy Center expansion, near Beloit, Wisconsin. This is a 700-MW natural gas-fueled facility with an integrated 2-MW solar field. The approximately $700 million project will create more than 1,000 construction jobs and result in an estimated $250 million economic impact during construction, said Alliant. Once completed by early 2020, the Riverside expansion will complement growing investments in renewable energy. In addition, the solar field will enhance the sustainability of the generating station and increase Alliant Energy’s renewable energy portfolio.
- Panda Stonewall LLC, which has a nearly-completed power project in Virginia, on Sept. 22 applied with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for various approvals, including acceptance of its Electric Tariff and authorization to make wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates. Panda Stonewall is developing, and will own and operate, a natural gas-fired facility located in Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia, within the PJM Interconnection balancing authority area (BAA). The Panda Stonewall Facility will have a summer rating capacity of 774 MW (778 MW nameplate) and is expected to achieve commercial operation on or around Dec. 2, 2016. The Panda Stonewall Facility will interconnect to the Dominion Virginia Power transmission system, which is under the operational control of PJM. Panda Stonewall is an Exempt Wholesale Generator.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said on Sept. 21 that it will hold a public information meeting on Oct. 5 to discuss all environmental approvals required for a natural gas-fired power plant proposed by Renovo Energy Center LLC in Renovo Borough. Representatives of Renovo Energy and its engineering firm were to make a presentation regarding the 950-MW plant.
- Wärtsilä said Sept. 21 that it has signed a contract to supply a 225-MW Smart Power Generation plant to Denton Municipal Electric, the utility for the City of Denton, Texas. The plant will provide balancing power to the community, which is moving towards a green, low-emissions power system, aiming to have 70% of its energy produced from renewables by early 2019 as part of its “Renewable Denton” plan. Wärtsilä’s scope of delivery is engineering and equipment (EEQ). The power plant will include twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50SG engines operating on natural gas.
- American Electric Power Service Corp., on behalf of its affiliate AEP Texas Central Co., filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 20 a fully executed ERCOT Standard Generation Interconnection Agreement with Port Comfort Power LLC for a 100-MW, gas-fired project. The project will include two 50-MW General Electric LM6000 gas turbines. Port Comfort Power’s Calhoun Substation will be located in Calhoun County about 4.5 miles south of Point Comfort, Texas. The substation will interconnect its plant facilities to AEP Texas Central’s adjacent Joslin Station. There is no firm commercial operations date for the project in the agreement, with that date coming a certain time after achieving a prior milestone.
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability published in the Sept. 21 Federal Register a notice saying that on Sept. 7, Indeck Niles LLC, as owner and operator of a new baseload power plant, submitted a coal capability self-certification under the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978 (FUA). This notice, incidentally, doesn’t mean the developer has any real plan to burn coal at the plant. The brief DOE notice said this a 1,000-MW plant to be located at the Niles City Industrial Park in Niles, Michigan, with an in-service date in May 2020. Indeck Niles LLC on Sept. 7 filed with FERC a notice of self-certification as an Exempt Wholesale Generator. Indeck Niles said that it will operate a 1,000-MW natural gas-fueled cogeneration facility under development in Niles, Michigan. The facility will interconnect with American Electric Power and will sell power into the PJM Interconnection market. The facility is expected to begin generating test energy in 2020. Indeck Niles is a subsidiary of Indeck Energy Services Inc., a developer and owner of generation in the United States.
- El Paso Electric (EPE) (NYSE: EE) said Sept. 15 that it has completed the 88-MW Unit 4 at its Montana Power Station, located in east El Paso County. This marks the completion of the 352-MW Montana natural gas power plant. Similarly to Units 1-3, Montana Unit 4 has an 88-MW turbine powered by natural gas and was completed on time and on budget, the utility said. Units 1 and 2 became operational in March of 2015, and Unit 3 became operational this spring.
- Wallingford Energy II LLC filed a Development and Management Plan, dated Sept. 2, with the Connecticut Siting Council for the installation and operation of two additional generating units of approximately 50 MW each at the existing generating facility owned and operated by an affiliate, Wallingford Energy LLC. This plan, with detailed construction drawings and blueprints, was developed in accordance with the council’s conditions of approval for the project. That approval was issued in November 2015. This extra capacity is being developed primarily to help satisfy capacity and fast-start operating reserve needs in Connecticut and New England. The two additional CTs, referred to as Units 6 and 7, will provide quick-start capacity in the Southwest Connecticut zone, a transmission-congested load pocket within the New England electrical system. The project schedule at this point calls for an earthwork construction start in March 2017, a mechanical construction start in June 2017 and a commercial operation start for the completed project on April 1, 2018.
- PJM Interconnection on Sept. 9 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission an executed Interconnection Service Agreement with Doswell II LLC and interconnecting transmission owner Virginia Electric and Power for Queue #AA1-145, which is a 340-MW addition to an existing power plant. The Doswell ISA facilitates the interconnection of the Doswell SC Units 2 and 3 to the PJM system. This is a simple cycle gas turbine generating facility to be located in Ashland, Hanover County, Virginia, with a Maximum Facility Output of 340 MW. It will be made up of two General Electric 7FA simple cycle gas turbines. On or before July 1, 2018, Doswell II under the ISA must demonstrate commercial operation of both generating units.
- The Environmental Appeals Board at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 1 rejected a Sierra Club petition for review of a Clean Air Act prevention of significant deterioration permit that the Maricopa County Air Quality Department issued to Arizona Public Service in March 2016. The permit authorizes Arizona Public Service to construct five new natural gas-fired combustion turbines at its Ocotillo Power Plant in Tempe, Arizona. In April 2014, Arizona Public Service filed an initial application with Maricopa County for permission to construct the “Ocotillo Power Plant Modernization Project” at its existing Ocotillo facility in Tempe, Arizona. Arizona Public Service plans to replace two 1960s-era steam electric units at Ocotillo with five new natural gas-fired simple-cycle combustion turbines, each generating a maximum of 100 MW.