EPA Rejects Connecticut Request to Shut Down Pa. Power Plant

Brunner Island Power Plant

Brunner Island Power Plant is located in York County, PA, straddling Lancaster County. It is a huge, 1,490 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant, and has been the target of environmentalists for years. In February 2017, MDN told you that the new owner of the plant, Talen Energy, invested $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can, at least part of the time, burn Marcellus Shale gas (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). Talen said it “plans to burn little or no coal until 2019 as part of a ‘site evaluation.’” Meaning almost all (perhaps all) of the fuel powering the plant at this point is Marcellus Shale gas. Which is why we’re interested in the plant and what happens to it. However, it appears they still burn at least some coal from time to time. In February Talen signed an agreement to settle a lawsuit brought by the odious Sierra Club (see York, PA Electric Plant to Drop Coal, Burn Only Marcellus Gas). The terms of the settlement say Talen will burn only Marcellus gas at Burnner Island during “peak ozone season”–from May 1 through Sept. 30–starting in 2023. Talen will phase out coal completely by 2028. But all of that isn’t good enough for the state of Connecticut, which asked the federal EPA to shut down Brunner Island, permanently, claiming “computer models” show the plant is causing smog in CT. The EPA told CT to stuff it…
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Oil Pipeline Near Philly to be Converted to Flow Fracked NatGas

Exciting! We have a brand new pipeline project to tell you about–located in the Greater Philadelphia area. Although the project is new, the pipeline is old–already in the ground. Talen Energy, birthed in June 2015 from a combination between PPL Energy Supply and certain assets of Riverstone Holdings, is one of the largest competitive energy and power generation companies in North America. Talen’s core business is building and operating electric generating power plants. One of the assets Talen inherited in the merger is an 84-mile pipeline called the Interstate Energy Company which runs from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook. Talen announced yesterday they’ve sold the Interstate Energy Company (the pipeline) to Adelphia Gateway, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, for $189 million. The northern 34 miles of the pipeline was converted to flow natural gas back in 1996. The southern 50 miles currently flows oil, but Adelphia (NJ Resources) announced yesterday they will convert the oil portion of the pipeline to instead flow natural gas. The bottom line is that a wide swath of Greater Philly is about to get a new source of clean-burning, abundant fracked PA natural gas…
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PA-Based Talen Energy (Elec Generator) Sells NatGas Trading Biz

Talen Energy was birthed in June 2015–a combination of PPL Energy Supply and certain assets of Riverstone Holdings. The company, headquartered in Allentown, PA, is one of the largest competitive energy and power generation companies in North America. Talen owns or controls 16,000 megawatts of generating capacity in wholesale power markets, primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southwest regions of the U.S. Talen has gotten into converting and building natural gas-fired electric plants, stories we’ve covered over the past few years (see our Talen Energy stories here). At one time Talen employed around 500 people in Allentown at its HQ. In summer 2016 the company announced layoffs for 131 people. In May of this year, the trend continued (see Allentown-Based Talen Energy (Elec Generator) Laying Off Workers). Now comes word that the company is selling off its natural gas trading business for $54 million, transferring another 11 Talen employees from its Allentown HQ to the company buying the business. Talen considers buying and selling natgas on the commodities markets as “noncore” to its power generation business…
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York, PA Elec Plant Dropping Coal for Now, Burning Marcellus Gas

Brunner Island Power Plant

The Brunner Island Power Plant is located in York County, PA, but straddles Lancaster County. It is a huge 1,490 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant, and has been the target of environmentalists for years. In February, MDN told you that the new owners of the plant are investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can, at least part of the time, burn Marcellus Shale gas (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). The plant was issued a draft permit by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in April allowing the plant to discharge pollutants (into the atmosphere) and heated water into the Susquehanna River. The DEP is holding a public hearing on the draft permit, on July 24 in Manchester, PA. All of which sounds rather mundane. However, in coverage of the upcoming hearing, we read that Talen Energy (the new owner) “plans to burn little or no coal until 2019 as part of a ‘site evaluation.'” Now that is interesting. If true, that means either right now, or very soon, almost all (perhaps all) of the fuel powering the plant is Marcellus Shale gas…
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Allentown-Based Talen Energy (Elec Generator) Laying Off Workers

Talen Energy was birthed in June 2015–a combination of PPL Energy Supply and certain assets of Riverstone Holdings. The company, headquartered in Allentown, PA, is one of the largest competitive energy and power generation companies in North America. Talen owns or controls 16,000 megawatts of generating capacity in wholesale power markets, primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southwest regions of the U.S. Talen has gotten into converting and building natural gas-fired electric plants, stories we’ve covered over the past few years (see our Talen Energy stories here). At one time Talen employed around 500 people in Allentown at its HQ. Last summer the company announced layoffs for 131 people. Unfortunately, the trend continues. Talen plans to layoff more people–although an exact number has not yet been released…Continue reading

York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel

Brunner Island Power Plant – click for larger image

We first reported in August 2015 on plans for a mammoth coal-fired electric plant in York County, PA (straddling Lancaster County) would invest $100 million to begin using Marcellus Shale gas to help power the plant (see Lancaster Coal Burning Electric Plant Adding Marcellus NatGas). The Brunner Island facility, as it’s called, has been in environmentalists sights for years, with complaints about emissions from the plant. Brunner Island has a relatively new owner–Talen Energy (of Allentown, PA). Beginning to use natgas at the Brunner Island facility is an experiment for Talen–they intend to continue using coal as well (for now). Good news: Brunner Island has begun using natgas, ahead of schedule…
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Talen Puts Coal-to-Gas Powergen Conversion on Hold in Mountour, PA

on holdIn June Talen Energy announced that one of its coal-burning electric generating plants, located in Montour County, PA, will get an upgrade to burn natural gas in addition to burning coal (see Talen Energy Converting Moutour, PA Plant to Burn Coal AND NatGas). The Montour Power Plant went online in 1972/73 and generates 1,504 megawatts of electricity. The $70 million upgrade planned by Talen (requiring a 15-mile pipeline) will continue to produce the same amount of electricity, but will give the plant the option to power it with either natgas or coal, depending on which is cheaper. However, those plans are now on hold. Talen has just announced it will not, for now, move forward with the upgrade. Why? Talen says it wants to evaluate the results of a similar project already completed in York County, PA before moving forward with the project in Montour County…
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Explosion, Fire Shut Down PA NatGas Electric Power Plant

talen-energy-fire2There was an explosion, followed by a fire, at a natural gas-fired electric generating plant last night at Talen Energy’s Lower Mount Bethel power plant along Depues Ferry Road in Lower Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, PA (Lehigh Valley area). Near as anyone can tell, the explosion and fire had nothing to do with natural gas or the plant itself. The explosion and fire were in an electrical transformer on the outside of the building that houses the machinery producing electricity. The entire plant is currently shut down, not producing electricity, to fix the transformer and to understand what happened to prevent it from happening again. Nobody was injured. The entire thing is pretty much a non-event. We mention it because of the breathless way it’s being reported–with headlines trumpeting a fire at a natgas power plant. Every year (month? week?) transformers blow up around the country outside of other types of buildings, including nuclear plants (see this one from Sept. 4 in Florida, and this one from Aug. 30 in Tennessee). Because natural gas is connected to the story in Northampton County, it’s a major headline. Again, natgas had nothing to do with explosion and subsequent fire…Continue reading

Talen Energy Converting Moutour, PA Plant to Burn Coal AND NatGas

Talen EnergyIt was just two days ago MDN told you about a Pennsylvania-based electric power generating company–Talen Energy–getting bought out by an investment company (see Investment Firm Buying Talen Energy – PA Electric Generating Co). We have more Talen news. The company just announced that one of its coal-burning electric generating plants, located in Montour County, PA, will get an upgrade to burn natural gas in addition to burning coal. The Montour Power Plant went online in 1972/73 and generates 1,504 megawatts of electricity. The $70 million upgrade planned by Talen (requiring a 15-mile pipeline) will continue to produce the same amount of electricity, but will give the plant the option to power it with either natgas or coal, depending on which is cheaper. More yummy, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas on the way!…
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Investment Firm Buying Talen Energy – PA Electric Generating Co

bigger fish smaller fishLast July MDN told you that Talen Energy, an electric generation company based in Allentown, PA, had cut a deal to acquire MACH Gen, LLC, the owner of three natural gas-fired electric generating plants (see Talen Energy Picks Up Gas-Fired Electric Plants – Marcellus in View). A couple of the plants are likely to use Marcellus/Utica Shale gas. In all, Talen has 16,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in eight states across the country. Last week investment firm Riverstone Holdings made a $1.8 billion offer for Talen in a deal that would take the public Talen private. Riverstone already owns 35% of the company and the offer is for the other 65%…
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Talen Energy Picks Up Gas-Fired Electric Plants – Marcellus in View

An electric generation company based in Allentown, PA–Talen Energy–has just cut a deal to acquire MACH Gen, LLC, the owner of three natural gas-fired electric generating plants. One of those plants is located in upstate New York and is likely to begin using cheap, abundant, clean-burning natural gas from the gas fields of Susquehanna County, PA once the Constitution Pipeline is built. Another of the three MACH electric generating plants is located in Massachusetts and also likely (in our opinion) to burn Marcellus Shale gas. Below is the announcement from Talen followed by two articles that reference the NY and MA plants as likely candidates to use Marcellus Shale gas…
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