Work Progresses on Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant in Ohio

Work at the Guernsey Power Station site (credit: ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com)

Last September construction was set to begin 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 (see Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Beginning Construction in OH). We have a progress report on the latest construction activity at the site.
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OH Nuclear Bailout Corruption: Gas Sacrificed for Nuke Investors

FirstEnergy, now calling itself Energy Harbor, somehow got into the pockets (via campaign donations) of enough Ohio politicians (many of them Republican) to convince them to pass a horrible law last year–House Bill (HB) 6. HB 6 grants the company $1 billion in corporate welfare over seven years in a deal to prop up its two “unprofitable” nuclear power plants. Now that the first $150 million is about to flow, how will Energy Harbor use it? To pay its so-called high operating costs? No. Energy Harbor will funnel the money right into the pockets of big investors. It was all a scam.
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PA Gov. Wolf’s Own DEP Doesn’t Want RGGI Carbon Tax

Big time opposition continues to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to force the state to participate in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a tax on carbon aimed at coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants, with an eye to driving them out of business (see our RGGI stories here). Even Wolf’s own state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), an executive agency under his thumb, doesn’t want the state to join RGGI.
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PA Trade Unions Break with Democrats Over Power Plant Carbon Tax

It becomes more obvious every day that the rank and file (even the leaders) of trade unions are breaking with their Democrat Party bosses over issues like insane taxes on natural gas. The divide is particularly acute in blue states like Pennsylvania, which voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and likely will again in 2020 because the Dems keep shooting themselves in the head with stupid taxes and regulations that kill jobs. The PA AFL-CIO issued a statement yesterday thanking the PA Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, part of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, for listening to the union’s concerns about Gov. Wolf’s proposed carbon tax at a recent hearing.
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58 PA House Members – Repubs & Dems – Ask Wolf to Stop Carbon Tax

We previously told you about Gov. Wolf’s executive order (EO) to force Pennsylvania to join with northeastern states in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional alliance to slap a carbon tax on coal and natural gas-fired electric plants in order to force them out of business (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). Eighteen PA State Senators sent a letter to Wolf on April 21 asking him to withdraw his EO (see 18 PA Republican Senators Ask Gov. Wolf to Cancel Carbon Tax Plan). On Tuesday a group of 58 House members, including 10 Democrats, sent a similar letter to Wolf requesting the same thing.
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Phase II of Hillabee Expansion Goes Live, M-U Gas to Florida

Last week MDN told you that the second phase of Sabal Trail, a $3.2 billion, 515-mile interstate natural gas pipeline in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama to deliver (in part) Marcellus gas to the southeast was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and is coming online now (see FERC OKs Extra Compression on Sabal Trail Pipe, M-U Gas to FL). Sabal Trail connects to Williams’ Hillabee Expansion Project, which is a pipeline spur built off the huge Transco pipeline system.
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PA Gas-Fired Power Plant Hedges NatGas Prices with Ethane Use

CPV Fairview Energy Center

Competitive Power Ventures’ (CPV) Fairview Energy Center, a 1,050-megawatt natural gas AND ethane-fueled combined-cycle electric generating plant in Cambria County, PA, went online ahead of schedule back in December using Marcellus methane (see CPV Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in Cambria Goes Online Early). However, the plant is designed to mix ethane in with methane and burn the mix. The new plant completed tests and began blending in Marcellus ethane in March (see ‘First of Its Kind’ Methane/Ethane PA Power Plant Now Online). Why blend? To keep costs down.
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DTE Energy Restarts Construction at Michigan Gas-Fired Plant May 4

click for larger version

In August 2018 DTE Energy broke ground on a new state-of-the-art natural gas-fired power plant in St. Clair County, Michigan (see DTE Energy’s Michigan Gas-Fired Plant Breaks Ground Today). The gas-fired Blue Water Energy Center will produce 1,150 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 850,000 homes, helping to offset three coal-fired plants set to retire by 2023. Construction on the project, due to go online in spring 2022, was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Construction is set to resume on May 4.
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Bechtel Completes Gas-Fired Cricket Valley Energy Center in NY

The Cricket Valley Energy Center team celebrates project completion while complying with COVID-19 social distancing requirements

Even while maintaining social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bechtel has managed to complete a 1,100-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant in Dover (Dutchess County), New York. The new Cricket Valley Energy Center will generate enough electricity to power one million New York homes.
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Antis Worried Pandemic Means They Can’t Stop Va. Pipeline Project

Virginia Natural Gas (VNG), a company that serves customers in northeastern Virginia, wants to build new natural gas infrastructure in Prince William and Fauquier counties. VNG is seeking state approval to build 24 miles of new pipeline and two new compressor stations (expanding a third compressor), connecting to the mighty Transco pipeline system to flow Marcellus/Utica gas to the region. The Header Improvement Project, as it’s called, will help service VNG’s 300,000 natural gas customers and is needed to deliver natural gas to two proposed new gas-fired power plants.
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Natural Gas Clear Winner in Electric Generation 2010-2019 – EIA

The number crunchers at our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), have analyzed recent additions to the national electric grid–the new power generating plants that have been added. As you know, electricity can be generated by coal, natural gas, water (hydro), nuclear and yes, so-called renewables. At first blush, the report issued by EIA yesterday looks to be a win for renewables. In 2019 onshore wind added 9,100 megawatts of new electricity and solar added 5,300 MW of new electricity (combined total of 14,400). In 2019 natural gas added 8,300 MW of new electricity to the grid. Yet when you look at the bigger picture, how much electricity is generated by any given single source, natgas produces far more electricity than any other source.
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Another 200 Workers Returning to Work at Shell Cracker Site

As cases of COVID-19 coronavirus began to climb in relatively rural Beaver County, PA, local politicians pressured Shell to stop work on the mighty ethane cracker plant facility they are building in Monaca. Shell quickly complied, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). The company kept about 300 workers active at the site “to disinfect common areas and perform emergency repairs.”
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Report: Dramatic Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Energy Industry

Economists at consulting powerhouse The Brattle Group have released an assessment/report on the impacts through early April 2020 of COVID-19 on the electric and natural gas industries. The report (full copy below) summarizes recent developments in energy commodity spot and forward pricing, electricity demand, and financial markets, and speculates on what will happen if the pandemic persists. One of the surprising findings (for us) is that weather is having far more effect on keeping natgas prices low than COVID-19. There’s plenty of charts and analysis–really good stuff to ponder. Battle Group has a lot of smart people thinking about this stuff.
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WV Gas-Fired Elec Plant Gets Approved, Parent Files for Bankruptcy

Longview Energy Center concept (click for larger version)

Last September Longview Power filed an application with the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) to build and operate a Marcellus gas-fired electric generating facility in Monongalia County, WV, near Morgantown (see 1200 MW Gas-Fired Power Plant Files to Build in Mon County, WV). The Longview Power Clean Energy Center will include a 1,200 megawatt combined cycle power plant AND a 70 megawatt solar farm–both built next to Longview’s existing state-of-the-art 710 megawatt coal-fired power plant. The PSC approved and issued permits for the project in early April. A week later Longview (the parent, not the gas-fired plant subsidiary project) filed for a “prepackaged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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