Planned natural gas power plants making headway at many locations

With natural gas increasingly becoming the default fuel choice for new power plants, generators are developing new gas-fueled projects in North America.

Natural gas generation will be the subject of next week’s PennWell GenForum in Columbus, Ohio. Here is a look at some recent milestones covered by GenerationHub on the progress of new gas units of 200 MW or more:

* Duke Energy has started construction on the 750 MW Lee combined-cycle gas plant in Anderson, S.C. North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) is also a stakeholder in the project, which is expected to start commercial operation in late 2017.

* Duke Energy also said recently that the planned 1,640 MW Citrus County combined-cycle project, planned within the Crystal River generation complex in Florida, should be operating in 2018. The project has an estimated cost of $1.5 billion, including allowance for funds used during construction.

* Shawnee Energy Center could soon receive Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approval for a 900 MW natural gas peaking plant in Hill County, Texas.

* Entergy said Aug. 4 that it plans to soon file applications to self-build the 980 MW (nominal) St. Charles natural gas power plant in Louisiana. The combined-cycle gas plant would be built on land adjacent to the existing Little Gypsy power plant in Montz, La.

* Panda Power Funds officially kicked off construction Aug. 6 on the 778 MW Stonewall combined-cycle natural gas project in Loudoun County, Va. Bechtel Power is the lead contractor and Siemens Energy will provide the turbines and other key equipment for the project that is scheduled to begin commercial operation in the first half of 2017.

* Calpine recently filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a site permit on a 345 MW expansion of its existing Mankato Energy Center. Xcel Energy utility Northern States Power has won Minnesota approval to buy power from the expanded facility.

* Exelon has issued a limited notice to proceed to contractor Gemma Power Systems for the 200 MW West Medway II simple-cycle power plant in Massachusetts.

* Dominion said Aug. 5 that construction of the 1,400 MW Brunswick combined-cycle natural gas power plant in Virginia is 75 percent complete and there are roughly 1,400 workers on site. Commercial operation is expected in mid-2016.

*InterGen announced that the San Luis de la Paz power plant began commercial operations near the municipality of San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato, Mexico. The plant, located about 160 miles from Mexico City, is $217 million, 205 MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired project. The facility will sell most of its power to a mining company under a 20-year power delivery agreement.

* Invenergy plans for the 900 MW Clear River Energy plant in Rhode Island. Invenergy plans to invest more than $700m in the new facility. Once approved regulators, construction on the Clear River Energy Center is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016, with commercial operations expected by the summer of 2019.

* Invenergy also expects to receive Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approval soon for the 1,500 MW Lackawanna project in Jessup Borough, Lackawanna County, Pa.

* Portland General Electric said recently that construction of the 440 MW Carty natural gas-fired Carty baseload power plant near Boardman, Ore., is 60 percent complete. The plant is scheduled to be placed into service during the second quarter of 2016 at an estimated cost of $450 million, excluding allowance for funds used during construction.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 22 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants.

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