California commission issues staff review of 844-MW AES Huntington Beach project

Issued Oct. 17 by the California Energy Commission was a Final Staff Assessment (FSA) Part 1 for the Huntington Beach Energy Project (HBEP) Petition to Amend (PTA), covering changes to a project the commission had previously approved.

Part 2 of the FSA will be provided following staff review and incorporation of updated conditions based on the Final Determination of Compliance (FDOC) when it is received from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. FSA Part 2 will include staff’s final evaluation of Air Quality and Public Health impacts of the Amended HBEP.

FSA Part 1 contains staff’s final, independent, objective evaluation of the engineering, environmental, and safety aspects of the project, and a determination of whether the project conforms to all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards (LORS) for all sections but for Air Quality and Public Health.

In September 2015, AES Huntington Beach Energy LLC, a unit of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES), submitted this petition. The requested changes to the project are the result of the selection by Southern California Edison (SCE) of the revised AES project in the 2013 Local Capacity Requirements Request For Offers. The PTA revises the nominal capacity of the facility and uses different generation technologies than that permitted in the already-approved project.

The HBEP footprint is located within the operating Huntington Beach Generating Station (HBGS), located in Huntington Beach, California. The site containing boiler units 1-4 is privately owned land and is relatively flat with an approximate elevation of 10 to 14 feet above mean sea level. The project borders a manufactured home/recreational vehicle park on the west, a tank farm on the north, the Magnolia Marsh wetlands on the north and east, and the Pacific Ocean and Huntington Beach State Park on the south and southwest.

The PTA proposes to modify the previously approved 939-MW plant to a new configuration that would total 844 MW. Construction would commence in two phases with the first phase consisting of a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, air-cooled, 644-MW facility. After the first phase is operational, phase two construction would begin to add two 100-MW simple-cycle gas turbines (SCGT). The second phase – two LMS-100 PB combustion turbine generators – are currently not under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SCE.

If the Amended HBEP is approved by the commission, construction and demolition activities at the project site are anticipated to take approximately nine years, lasting through the fourth quarter of 2025. The PTA indicates a construction schedule for the various phases of activities with the combined-cycle, gas turbine (CCGT) phase I, power block 1, anticipated beginning in the second quarter of 2017 with commercial operation of power block 1 during the second quarter of 2020. The demolition of existing units 3 & 4 is estimated to begin during the 2nd quarter of 2020 and continue to the 2nd quarter of 2022. Construction of the SCGT phase 2, power block 2, is anticipated to begin during the first quarter of 2022 with commercial operation occurring the first quarter of 2024. Existing HBGS units 1 and 2 would then be demolished to their steam turbine decks.

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.