Caithness Cuts Ribbon on Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre

In September 2018, the 1,050-megawatt Moxie Freedom Marcellus-fired power plant located near Wilkes-Barre, PA (Luzerne County) went online, feeding the electricity it produces into the local power grid (see Moxie Freedom Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre Online). And yet Caithness Energy, owner of the plant, held the official ribbon-cutting ceremony…yesterday. More than a year after going online. Why?
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Caithness Energy Sues PSEG for Blocking Long Island Gas-Fired Plant

Caithness Energy, a privately held company that specializes in buying or building (and operating) renewable energy and natural gas-fired power plants, owns a 350 megawatt natgas-fired power plant in Yaphank, NY–on Long Island. For more than four years Caithness has had a plan to build a second natgas-fired plant next to their first plant. The original plan was for a 750 MW plant, later scaled back to 600 MW. Local leaders in Brookhaven Town in which the existing and proposed power plant projects sit have been against the plan for a new power plant, passing restrictions in 2015 that tied the hands of Caithness, making the project impossible to build. But in July, the board reversed course and voted to repeal the 2015 restriction that limits the type of equipment Caithness can use in building the plant, clearing the way for the project (see Long Island Town Votes to Allow New Gas-Fired Elec Plant). However, the path is still not cleared. Newark, NJ-based PSEG (Public Service Enterprise Group), which provides electricity to Long Island, told the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) that the Caithness plant is not needed. It’s a case of one competitor unfairly trying to block another–according to Caithness, which has just filed a lawsuit against PSEG saying it has suffered “hundreds of millions of dollars of harm” because of PSEG’s actions to block the project. Looks like this one is going to get NY nasty…
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FirstEnergy Spends $1M/Week on Ads Claiming Chinese Grid Takeover

Ohio’s major newspapers continue to push back against phony commercials being run by FirstEnergy in a desperate attempt to block a referendum to overturn House Bill (HB) 6 (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). HB 6, a corporate welfare bill, was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants, soaking ratepayers in order to feed the FirstEnergy beast (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants).
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Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Beginning Construction in OH

Artist rendering of Guernsey Power Plant (click for larger version)

Construction on what we believe to be the country’s largest natural gas-fired electric plant, the Guernsey Power Station (being built in Guernsey County, Ohio), is set to begin “immediately” according to the company hired to do the engineering, procurement and construction activities (EPC). Last week Caithness Energy, the project developer, announced it has closed on $1.6 billion worth of financing for the project and has given the green light to Gemma Power Systems to begin construction of the plant.
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WV’s First Gas-Powered Elec Plant Begins Construction This Summer

Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC), based in Buffalo, NY, will begin construction on West Virginia’s very first Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant sometime “this summer.” The exact date has not yet been set, but should be announced soon. However, in a bit of a surprise (for us), the state’s first natgas-fired plant to get built will not be (as we thought) in Brooke County. Instead, it will be in Harrison County.
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Wilkes-Barre Moxie Freedom NatGas Plant Taxes $752K per Year

As of September, the 1,000-megawatt Moxie Freedom Marcellus-fired power plant located near Wilkes-Barre, PA (Luzerne County) is up and running and feeding electricity it produces into the local power grid (see Moxie Freedom Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre Online). That means it’s now time to pay the piper–meaning it’s time to begin paying property taxes. How does a county value such a facility–the first of its kind in the county? They hire a private firm to do it, at a cost of $50,000! (Yikes, we’re in the wrong business.) The valuation is now done, and the private firm reckons Moxie Freedom is worth $42.2 million. Which means the facility will pay $752,000 per year in property taxes to various governmental entities.
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WV Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gas-Fired Power Plant

ESC Brooke County power plant concept drawing

Last Thursday the West Virginia Supreme Court effectively ended opposition against building natural gas-fired power plants in the Mountain State. We’ve brought you a number of articles detailing how the coal lobby has tried its best, via numerous lawsuits, to block three Marcellus-fired power plants from getting built (see Murray Energy Continues to Block Gas-Fired Plants in WV). The final attempt to stop these projects is to challenge air permits issued by the WV Public Service Commission. Isn’t that rich? Coal objecting to air permits for natural gas electric plants, which pollute far less than coal. The WV Supreme Court took up a challenge by Big Coal (i.e. coal baron Robert Murray) against one of the projects located in Brooke County. Last week the Supremes ruled in favor of the gas-fired plant. Victory! So when will construction begin?
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Massive OH NatGas Power Plant Delays Groundbreaking to March ’19

In June, Apex Power Group said that their planned Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for Guernsey County, OH–would break ground this year (see Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Breaking Ground in OH Oct-Nov). Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. However, reliable sources say construction is now set to begin on this massive, 1,650 megawatt station, in March 2019.
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Moxie Freedom Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre Online

Moxie Freedom

The 1,000-megawatt Moxie Freedom Marcellus-fired power plant located near Wilkes-Barre, PA is now “transitioning to commercial operation.” The plant is up and running and soon will be feeding the electricity it produces into the local power grid. In June 2014, MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). In November 2015, Moxie selected Gemma Power to build the plant, and construction began a month later (see Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA). In June 2017, Caithness Energy (the owner) issued an update to say the plant will go online in May of this year (see NEPA Moxie Freedom Power Plant on Track for May 2018 Launch). That didn’t happen. However, we spotted a local newspaper article that quotes plant officials as saying they are right now in the process of transitioning to commercial operation…
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Long Island Town Votes to Allow New Gas-Fired Elec Plant

Artist’s rendering of the proposed Caithness II gas-fired power plant. Photo Credit: TRC Environmental Corp. Click for larger version.

Caithness Energy is a privately held company that specializes in buying or building (and operating) renewable energy and natural gas-fired power plants. We’ve written about a number of gas-fired generating projects they own or are involved with, over the years (see our Caithness stories here). Caithness owns a 350 megawatt natgas-fired power plant in Yaphank, NY–on Long Island. For more than four years Caithness has had a plan to build a second natgas-fired plant next to the first. The original plan was for a 750 MW plant, later scaled back to 600 MW. Local leaders in Brookhaven Town in which the existing and proposed power plant projects sit has been against the plan for a new power plant. The town passed restrictions in 2015 that tied the hands of Caithness, making the project impossible to build. As recently as May of this year, members of the town board expressed their doubts about the new project. But then, all of a sudden, the board reversed course and last Thursday voted to repeal the 2015 restriction that limits the type of equipment Caithness can use in building the plant. No, it’s not a ringing endorsement and it’s not full approval of the plan (many more local and state hoops will have to be jumped through). But it certainly signals a change of heart by town leaders…
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Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Breaking Ground in OH Oct-Nov

In April 2016 MDN told you about the Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for Guernsey County, OH (see New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH). Apex Power Group at that time said they want to build a large 1,100 megawatt plant in Valley Township–producing enough electricity to power 1 million homes. Apex said construction is targeted to begin in 2018 and the plant will go online in 2020. At the end of December 2017, Apex and joint venture partner Caithness Energy filed a pre-application for the project–and the application showed they no longer want to build an 1,100 megawatt plant, but instead a whopping 1,650 megawatt plant (see Planned OH Utica-Powered Electric Plant Goes from 1,100 to 1,650 MW). That’s the biggest natgas-fired electric plant we’ve heard of so far–anywhere. A record-holder! We spotted an article in the local Daily Jeffersonian (Cambridge, OH) that says Apex is on track to break ground this coming October/November, which is fabulous news, although that time frame is delayed from a previously announced May start…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Apr 5, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Lauren Barr Katarski joins Bravo Group’s energy and environmental practice; natgas coming to homes and businesses in Tunkhannock, PA; Permian price differential widening on wave of new crude; CT residents curious about natgas pipeline expansion; US crude production grew 5% in 2017, heading for record in 2018; cyberattack affects at least four pipeline systems; fracking, BREXIT and an oil and gas shale bonanza; and more!
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jan 12, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye over the break that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Chemical leak at Derry gas well spreads odor for miles; seminar in Belmont County gives info on o&g royalties; Trumbull County hoping for CNG filling station; de Blasio’s bogus war on fossil fuels; Upstate NY shrinks as Andy cuts off pipeline lifelines; cold snap leads to biggest U.S. natgas draw ever; forecasters missed East Coast deep freeze; oil heading for $80?; Nova Scotia shale gas deposits “to large” to ignore; and more!
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List of 26 Shale Gas-Fired Electric Plant Projects in OH-PA-WV

Last week the The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia wrote an official letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) detailing their objection to a proposed plan by the Dept. of Energy (DOE) to give special treatment to electric power generating facilities powered by coal and nuclear plants. The DOE recently ordered FERC to devise new market rules favoring coal and nukes on the premise they contribute to “grid resiliency.” The IPPs writing the letter in opposition represent at least 26 shale gas-fired electric plant projects across the three states, which will contribute $21 billion to those state economies and generate 20,000+ jobs. Below we have the letter sent to FERC by the IPPs. That letter prompted our friends at Energy in Depth to produce a list of the projects the IPPs are building (or have built) in the tri-state area. It is an impressive list. We liked it and grabbed it to share with the MDN audience…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Sep 18, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: PTT Ohio cracker decision to come last quarter 2017; PA budget fight gets “personal” and regional; DRBC sitting on $30M in cash/investments; PA cracker will have big impact on Lawrence County; West Goshen still suing re Mariner East 2 pipeline; OH gas plants primed to seize King Coal’s crown; Belmont County cracker will benefit WV; NC regulators ask questions of Atlantic Coast Pipeline; Energy Dept. does quick turnaround, approves natgas export plant in record time; Trump may replace (not repeal) Clean Power Plan; and more!
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NEPA Moxie Freedom Power Plant on Track for May 2018 Launch

Artist’s rendering for Moxie Freedom project – click for larger version

In June 2014 MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). Indeed, our suspicions were borne out. In November 2015, Moxie selected Gemma Power to build the plant, and construction began a month later (see Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA). The 850-megawatt plant will use local Marcellus Shale gas to power it. Last September, Moxie contracted with EthosEnergy to run and maintain the plant (see Moxie Chooses EthosEnergy to Run NEPA NatGas Electric Plant). And since then, we haven’t heard anything. What’s the status of the plant? We spotted an update in a Wilkes-Barre newspaper from Caithness Energy (project builder) that says the project is on track to be “fully commercial next May, generating over 1,000 megawatts of electricity.” That’s interesting. Somewhere along the way the plant increased in size from 850 to 1,000+ megawatts. The update also states 23 of the 24 permanent positions are already hired and currently in training. Here’s the update…
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