SNL Energy reports generation projects by NERC region, fuel type Jan '13

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More than 1,000 MW announced, 761 MW of generation projects completed in January

The first month of 2013 saw a total of 1,066 MW of capacity projects announced and 761 MW of capacity projects completed.

The bulk of announced project capacity was gas-fueled, due to one combined-cycle project that accounted for 75% of the total capacity of projects announced during the month. Renewables took the largest share of capacity among projects completed in January, making up 578 MW, or 76%, of the total, predominantly from the completion of wind and biomass projects.

By region

In terms of announced generation projects, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. saw the largest amount of new capacity in January, with 800 MW, or 75% of the total, all from one combined-cycle natural gas project in the region. Second was Southwest Power Pool Inc., with 161 MW, about 93% of which is from an announced wind power plant in Harper County, Kan., with the remaining 11 MW contributed by two announced solar projects in the region. The Florida Reliability Coordinating Council was home to the third-largest amount of capacity of announced projects, with 70 MW, all from solar.

In terms of completed generation projects, SERC Reliability Corp. saw the most capacity added in January, with 524 MW, or 69% of the total. Three projects were completed in the region in January and all three were renewables. Following SERC is Alaskan System Coordination Council, where 208 MW of power plant generating capacity was completed, contributed by two power plants, one of which is a combined-cycle facility; the other is a wind turbine.

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By fuel type

Among projects announced in January, gas-fueled capacity made up the lion’s share, with 800 MW, all from one combined-cycle project. Wind was second, with 150 MW of capacity from one wind project. Solar was third, with 116 MW of capacity from 13 projects; a single 70-MW project accounted for the majority of this.

For projects completed in January, wind contributed the largest amount of capacity, with 495 MW, followed by natural gas with 144 MW of capacity completed in the month. Biomass was third in completed capacity.

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Announced projects

Of the 15 generation units announced in January, 13 were solar units with an aggregate capacity of 116 MW, the largest of which — and third overall — was the 70-MW Hamilton County solar project. Owned by HERO and located in Hamilton County, Fla., the power plant is still in the planning phase. The other 12 solar units contributed 46 MW of capacity; 10 of those 12 units are expected to come online by 2013.

Leading the list of January’s announced projects by capacity was the Tenaska Brownsville generating station owned by Brownsville Public Utilities Board andTenaska Inc. The power plant is in the planning phase and is expected to be in commercial operation by 2016. The plant has a capacity of 800 MW and is estimated to cost $880 million.

The second-largest announced project in January was the Ninnescah wind farm owned by BP Wind Energy North America Inc. The 150-MW wind turbine power plant is in the planned development stage and is expected to cost $330 million.

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Completed projects

A total of 20 generation projects were completed in January 2013, with an aggregate capacity of 761 MW. Eleven of these projects were biomass, three were gas, two were solar, two were wind, one was hydro and one was in the “other nonrenewable” category.

The largest project completed in January was the 470.4-MW Flat Ridge 2 wind project in Harper County, Kan. The plant has 294 GE 1.6-100 turbines installed and had an estimated construction cost of $800 million. The plant has three active power purchase agreements in place, the largest one being with Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. for 310 MW.

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Second was the Piedmont Green power plant in Lamar County, Ga., owned by Piedmont Green Power LLC. The plant has a capacity of 53.5 MW and had an estimated project cost of $208 million. The power plant has an active power purchase agreement for 20 years with Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power Co. for the entire capacity.

The Southcentral Power project in Anchorage County, Alaska — jointly owned by Chugach Electric Association Inc. and Anchorage Municipal — came online in January, with three of the four units at the plant each contributing 48 MW and all tying as the third-largest power project completed in January.

All three units are running the GE Energy LM6000 PF-25 turbine. The plant has a power purchase agreement with Chugach and Anchorage Municipal Light and Power for the entire output of the power plant.

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