Southern completes buy of Calpine’s to-be-expanded Mankato plant

Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Southern Power announced Oct. 27 that it has completed the acquisition of the Mankato Energy Center from Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN).

Located in Mankato, Minnesota, the facility includes or will include two natural gas-fired units – the existing 375-MW Mankato Energy Center I and the in-development, 345-MW Mankato Energy Center II expansion.

“The Mankato Energy Center is an excellent fit for Southern Power’s business model and will be a strong addition to our generation portfolio,” said Southern Power President and CEO Buzz Miller. “We look forward to serving this region and expanding our partnerships in the Midwest.”

With the addition of the Mankato Energy Center, Southern Power owns 10 combined-cycle and combustion-turbine, natural gas-fired power plants across five states, representing 9,300 MW of generating capacity operating or under construction.

Mankato Energy Center I is a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility contracted with Xcel Energy-Minnesota through 2026. The Mankato Energy Center II expansion is expected to be operational by June 2019 to serve an additional 20-year power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy-Minnesota. When complete, the Mankato Energy Center will represent 720 MW of generating capacity.

In other recent news for the expansion project, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was out for comment until Aug. 31 on a draft air permit covering the new capacity. Mankato Energy Center II LLC proposes to install a new combustion turbine/heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) train converting the existing facility to a 2×1 combined cycle unit. It will generate an additional 345 MW at peak load at winter ambient conditions. The CT will be fired by natural gas only and exhaust to a separate HRSG having a supplementary duct firing capacity of 824 mmBtu/hr. The duct burners will be fired with natural gas. Steam generated by the new HRSG will exhaust to the existing steam turbine.

The Mankato Energy Center fits Southern Power’s business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts. The facility represents Southern Power’s first generating asset within the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) region.

Southern Power and its subsidiaries own or have the rights to 41 facilities operating or under construction in 11 states with more than 11,700 MW of generating capacity in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

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.