‘First of Its Kind’ Methane/Ethane PA Power Plant Now Online

CPV Fairview Energy Center (click for larger version)

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 (see CPV Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in Cambria Goes Online Early). The plant went online using Marcellus gas (methane). However, the plant is designed to mix ethane in with methane and burn the mix. CPV announced yesterday tests for blending in ethane are now complete and the plant is operating at a 75/25 ratio of methane to ethane. According to CPV, Fairview Energy Center is “the first and only facility of its scale in the world to possess high content ethane blending with natural gas capabilities.”
Continue reading

OH Town Building Reservoir to Feed NatGas-Powered Electric Plant

Advanced Power Services is building a 1,100-megawatt natural gas-fired electric generation facility in Wellsville, Columbiana County. Dominion Energy is building 5 miles of new pipeline, called the West Loop Project, from western PA into Ohio to feed the Wellsville plant (see Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant). The new electric plant will need a lot of water. The Buckeye Water District in Wellsville voted last Thursday to move forward with bids to construct an 18-million gallon reservoir to supply water for the electric plant.
Continue reading

Uneconomic PA Nuke Plant Staying Open Thx to Illegal Wolf Plan

Electric power generator FirstEnergy (now called Energy Harbor Corp.) pulled off what we consider the biggest case of deception in the history of Ohio by pressuring Ohio legislators and a RINO governor to sign into law a bill to force Ohio residents to pay the company $1 billion so it can keep open two uneconomic/failing nuclear power plants (see Legal Effort to Overturn FirstEnergy $1B Ohio Nuke Bailout Dead). FirstEnergy/Energy Harbor also operates an economically failing nuke plant in Beaver County, PA. The company had planned to close it, but now says the power plant will remain open because PA Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to illegally force the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative–a group that slaps high carbon taxes on coal and gas-fired electric plants.

3/18/20 UPDATE: We’ve included a statement by the group Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts in response to FirstEnergy’s deception.
Continue reading

List of 10 Large Gas-Fired Power Plants Built or Coming in Ohio

One of our favorite Energy in Depth writers, Nicole Jacobs, has just published a great post that outlines the huge impact new natural gas-fired (mostly Utica Shale gas) power plants have had and will have in Ohio. She includes a list of 10 projects either already built and running, under construction, or on the books to get built. When you add up the total capacity for all 10 plants, they will generate an amazing 9,215 megawatts of electricity, enough to power upward of 9 million homes! The companies building those 10 plants are investing $15.9 billion. This is huge for Ohio’s economy.
Continue reading

Upstate NY NatGas Power Plant Makes Money with Bitcoin Mining

We’ll be right upfront and say this article is a hard one for us to wrap our brains around. In order to explain something in simple terms, you must first understand it. We don’t fully understand the concepts discussed below, but feel it’s important to pass along anyway. In September 2018 MDN brought you an article about a concept called blockchain, and to some degree, bitcoin (see Blockchain: Explaining a Complex New Tech + Impact on O&G). Put simply, blockchain is an ironclad “way of tracking things.” Those things can be money (like bitcoin, the earliest adopter of the technology), but also other things, like legal documents. We’ve come across an article about a natural gas-fired electric plant operating in Upstate New York that uses extra electricity it produces but can’t sell onto the local power grid to instead power something called a bitcoin mining operation. Stick with us.
Continue reading

NETL: U.S. Needs More NatGas Pipelines to Power Electric Plants

NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory), one of our country’s treasured national lab facilities, recently released a report and case study that shows if we as a country want reliability in our electric grid (no blackouts), we need to build more natural gas pipelines to feed natgas-fired power plants. “As the electric power system relies more heavily on natural gas power generation, the reliability and resiliency of the Nation’s electrical system will become increasingly linked to the performance and capabilities of the natural gas delivery system.” How much more in the way of new pipelines are needed? “Conservatively, an investment of $470 million to $1.1 billion over that already entrained in the long-haul natural gas transmission system is identified to avoid even worse outcomes.” Start the backhoes!
Continue reading

BP’s U.S. Boss Goes Political, Supports Wolf Carbon Tax in PA

Susan Dio, BP America boss

Remember the term “affluenza“? The term describes people ashamed of their wealth, their privilege, of who they are. It describes people ashamed that daddy or mommy made the money and they don’t *really* deserve it. So what is it called when a fossil fuel company like British Petroleum (BP) is ashamed of what they do (produce carbon)? Maybe C-O-2-enza? Carbenza? Whatever it’s called, BP has a serious case of it. What a shame that the company that produces and sells/resells (via natural gas trading) more CO2 energy than any other company on planet earth, believes they must atone for their carbon “sins” by lobbying in favor of a tax on the very thing they produce. It’s asinine, and it’s happening in Pennsylvania.
Continue reading

Unions & Businesses Form Coalition to Fight PA Carbon Tax

Big time opposition continues to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to force the state to participate in the 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. We’ve written plenty about Wolf’s naked power grab, to force the state into RGGI without the legislature’s consent (see our RGGI stories here). In January we told you about a huge number of trade union members lining up to oppose the plan (see 130,000 PA Union Members Join Fight Against Wolf’s Carbon Tax). Those unionists have joined forces with the companies they work for in a coalition called Power PA Jobs Alliance with a mission to defeat RGGI in PA.
Continue reading

New Fortress to Build Marcellus-Powered Elec Plant in Nicaragua

click for larger version

New Fortress Energy announced yesterday that it has signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with Distribuidora de Electricidad del Norte, S.A. and Distribuidora de Electricidad del Sur, S.A., Nicaragua’s electricity distribution companies. New Fortress will construct a 300-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant near Puerto Sandino to supply power to Nicaragua’s national electric grid. It is the first natural gas-fired electric plant to get built in the country. New Fortress will provide approximately 700,000 gallons (60,000 MMBtu) per day of LNG to power the plant. Guess where most, if not all, of the LNG will come from?
Continue reading

PA DEP Releases Proposed Plan to Join RGGI Carbon Tax Scheme

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a draft of its proposed rules for PA’s participation in what is called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). It’s a tax on carbon aimed at coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants, with an eye to driving them out of business. PA Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to force PA to participate in RGGI, a collection of blue northeastern states (New England, NY and NJ) in an attempt to bolster his credibility with environmentalist wackos–to ingratiate himself with the wackos so he is more appealing as a Vice Presidential candidate.
Continue reading

Explainer Video – The Case Against PA Joining Northeast RGGI

Our friend Mark Mathis from the Clear Energy Alliance has just hit another home run with his newest video explaining the battle in Pennsylvania to try and force the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). PA Gov. Tom Wolf, in a naked power-grab, intends to force PA to join RGGI, a group of northeastern states attempting to assassinate coal and gas-fired power generation by taxing it to death with an insane carbon tax (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). Mark explains it all in this short, 4-minute video…
Continue reading

“Kill NatGas Later” Plan Floated by WV Republican Congressman

While we’re sure he means well, Congressman David McKinley, a professional engineer (P.E.) from West Virginia (Republican) has thrown his support behind a “bipartisan” effort to create a new federal bureaucracy to oversee the decarbonization of the power generation sector. In other words, an effort that will end the use of natural gas to generate electricity–by 2050. We just can’t support something like that. It’s short-sighted, heavy-handed, and creating a new federal bureaucracy simply goes in the wrong direction. Period.
Continue reading

PA Rep. Daryl Metcalfe Shuts Down Antis During RGGI Hearing

Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, doesn’t put up with the juvenile antics from the Democrats on his committee–like Danielle Friel Otten and Greg Vitali–from those who violate decorum by pretending they want to ask a question when in fact they want to pontificate like the gasbags they are. Wednesday at a hearing on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Metcalfe shut down Otten and Vitali when they attempted to violate rules and bloviate instead of asking relevant questions.
Continue reading

Low Price Silver Lining: Power Generation Uses More Natural Gas

If there’s any silver lining to the ongoing low price for natural gas (NYMEX price closed at $1.86 yesterday), it is that gas-fired power generation kicks in with more demand, which will ultimately cause the price to rise–or at least not fall any further. Electric generation is a critically important market for natural gas. We spotted a couple of interesting articles. The first, from Platts, outlines the relationship of low gas prices to more switching from coal to gas. Platts says if gas stays under $2/Mcf, “power burn could see significant upside risk.” The other article, from Rigzone, says natgas will generate nearly 40% of all electricity in 2020–double what it generated just 10 years ago.
Continue reading

Legal Effort to Overturn FirstEnergy $1B Ohio Nuke Bailout Dead

The Ohio Supreme Court, on Christmas Eve, threw a lifeline to an effort to overturn an Ohio law that provides corporate welfare in the form of $1 billion of ratepayer (taxpayer) money to FirstEnergy, which recently changed its name to Energy Harbor (see OH Supreme Court Keeps Door Open to Reverse $1B Nuke Bailout). Last week the Supremes snatched the lifeline away and the current effort to block the $1 billion bailout is officially dead.
Continue reading