Lordstown, OH Power Plant Investor Tries to Block 2nd Plant

Be careful who you sell your energy projects to. That’s the lesson we take away from a spat that’s developed in Trumbull County, OH over a proposed second Utica gas-fired electric plant in Lordstown. Clean Energy Future (CEF) is currently building the Lordstown Energy Center, and has been since June 2016 (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). CEF then proposed, and got the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to approve, plans to build a second Utica-fired plant next door to the first (see Ohio Approves 2 Utica-Fired Power Plants in Guernsey, Trumbull Counties). As is typically the case, CEF (the builder) sold most of the first project to investors. In this case the new majority owner for the first power plant is Macquarie, an international equity firm. CEF sued Macquarie in September saying the company is preventing CEF from building the second plant. Macquarie says if a second plant gets built in the same location, the first plant (now owned by Macquarie) will take a $6.7 million hit on earnings each year. Macquarie wants CEF to pay them that amount annually when/if the second plant gets built. To which CEF says, “They’re looking for an extortion payment.” CEF is threatening to sue Macquarie for $100 million for delaying construction. A judge will now decide if construction can proceed and whether or not CEF will need to make annual payments to Macquarie…
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Michigan Anti Fossil Fuelers Oppose DTE Gas-Fired Plant Proposal

(PRNewsfoto/DTE Energy)

Last June DTE Energy filed paperwork in Michigan to build a new “state-of-the-art” natural gas-fired power plant in St. Clair County (see DTE Energy Files to Build New Natgas-Fired Elec Plant in Michigan). The gas-fired plant will produce 1,100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 850,000 homes. If all goes according to plan, the new $1 billion plant will go online in 2022, helping to offset three coal-fired plants set to be retired by 2023. The process is long to approve and then build such a project, with many hoops to jump through. The first major hurdle, perhaps THE major hurdle, is an approval by Michigan utility regulators. The deadline for that approval is almost here–April 27. With the deadline looming, Big Green, with its ongoing, irrational hatred of all fossil fuels, has ramped up opposition to the project. An approval by regulators is being complicated by the fact that DTE filed two months after new energy laws went into effect, but before the Public Service Commission finalized its guidelines under those new laws, in December. Apparently there’s an issue with the application as it relates to the December guidelines–an issue that would potentially delay the project another year or more…
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Marcellus Electric Plant Proposed for Meadowlands to Power NYC

The red line shows the border of the proposed power plant in North Bergen. The yellow line is a transmission cable to ConEd’s substation on West 49th St. in New York City. Click for larger version.

A subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi wants to build a huge, new $1.5 billion natural gas-fired electric generating plant in the Meadowlands (New Jersey), just outside of New York City. The North Bergen Liberty Generating Project, at 1,200 megawatts, will help replace the electricity lost when the Indian Point Nuclear plant closes down in 2021. Indian Point provides roughly 25% of NYC’s electricity. Something has to replace that big hole in the power grid. You can’t build solar panels and windmills fast enough (not to mention the sun doesn’t always shine nor does the wind always blow). Natural gas will save the day in NYC–and the North Bergen plant will go a long way toward helping. Of course the plant is being opposed by radicals in the nutty Sierra Club and other Big Green groups who despise all fossil fuels and demand that you and I end our use of fossil fuels because they irrationally hate them. Meanwhile, the adults in the room continue to advance plans to replace Indian Point with projects like this one and the CPV Valley Energy Project in Orange County. No, Marcellus gas is not specifically mentioned as powering North Bergen Project, but since the plant will be hooked up to the mighty Williams Transco Pipeline, a pipeline which flows mostly Marcellus molecules these days, at least in the northeast, it’s a safe bet the plant will be powered almost exclusively by PA fracked Marcellus gas…
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Big Green Begs NY DEC to Revoke Orange Co. Power Plant Permits

As the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) $900 million Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY gets ready to begin service THIS MONTH, antis, including Big Green group Riverkeeper, are desperate to stop it from entering service. Since they couldn’t win any lawsuits to stop it, and since they couldn’t convince the federal government (FERC) to stop it, Riverkeeper and some politicians in Riverkeeper’s back pocket (via campaign contributions) have turned their attention to the Andrew Cuomo-corrupted Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), hoping they can convince the corrupt DEC to revoke the permits issued for the plant. On what basis does Riverkeeper and their colluding politicians claim the permits should be revoked? On the basis that a CPV lobbyist paid money to Cuomo’s closest confidante and aide as a bribe to get the project approved. There’s no evidence that the project got approved because of the bribe, but the stench is certainly there, and hey, if corrupt bribes got it approved, maybe corrupt politicians colluding with Big Green can get it unapproved, right?…
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Tenaska Gas-Fired SWPA Elec Plant Fully Staffed, Online in Dec

Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station

In August 2016, energy giant Tenaska (headquartered in Omaha, NE) broke ground to build a 925-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant in Westmoreland County, PA (see Groundbreaking for Tenaska Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in SWPA). The Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station is costing $780 million to build. It has taken some 600 people to build the plant, which is on track to be completed and online by December of this year. When the plant fires up, it will provide power for 925,000 homes. An update on this important project: All of the permanent jobs to operate the completed plant are now hired. Some 75% of the new hires are local to the Westmoreland County area…
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Duke Energy SC Gas-Fired Plant Starts Up – Marcellus Connection?

W.S. Lee combined cycle gas-fired plant – click for larger version

We spotted news from Duke Energy that the company has begun operations at a brand new natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Anderson County, South Carolina. The W.S. Lee Station is a 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant that began serving customers on April 5. Duke began construction of the $700 million plant in 2015. It sits on the same site as two former coal plants that were shuttered in 2014. A third coal plant at the site was previously converted to burn natgas. Why do we care about a new electric plant launching in SC? Because it’s fed by natural gas, and we believe at least some of (perhaps most of) the gas feeding it comes from the Marcellus/Utica region. According to Duke’s press release, “The unit receives natural gas through a new dedicated pipeline that branches off the transcontinental mainline.” We’re pretty sure they’re referring to the Williams-owned Tranco (Transcontinental) Pipeline that crosses through Anderson County. Transco is the pipeline feeding the new power plant. Transco is bidirectional and increasingly carries Marcellus molecules south–some molecules all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Is Marcellus/Utica Gas Getting Exported from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass?). It stands to reason that it is Marcellus gas feeding, at least in part, this new plant located in Dixie…
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Marcellus-Fired Panda Hummel Electric Plant Roars to Life in PA

It takes a long time to build a natural gas-fired electric power plant–especially a big one. We began writing about one of the largest coal-to-gas conversion projects in the country, happening in the heart of PA Marcellus country, back in February 2014 (see Panda Power Building 3rd Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in PA). Panda Power Funds, a private equity firm located in Dallas, TX announced a partnership with Sunbury Generation to build a whopping 1,124-megawatt Marcellus gas-fired electric plant on the site of a retired coal-fired plant near Shamokin Dam in Snyder County, PA. Final testing is now underway at the facility, which was supposed to go online in February but is now scheduled to begin operations in May. Here’s an inside look at the complicated process of bringing a new power plant online…
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Lansing, MI Approves Borrowing $500M for Gas-Fired Electric Plant

In December MDN brought you the news that the Lansing, Michigan Board of Water & Light (BWL) wants to build a brand new $500 million natural gas-fired power plant (see Lansing, MI to Build New 250 MW Gas-Fired Electric Plant). The new plant will generate 250 megawatts of electricity, create 1,200 construction jobs, and go online in 2021. It will replacing (and retire) a BWL coal-fired plant at. Out with old, in with the new. We’re interested in the project because it is a potential new demand source for Marcellus/Utica Shale gas. On Tuesday, BWL voted, unanimously, to approve borrowing up to $500 million to construct the project. They did so over the objections of a group of fossil fuel haters who apparently would rather sit in the dark rather than build a plant that uses a dreaded fossil fuel. BWL board members had to put up with the usual fossil fuel speechifying, and then proceeded to move forward like the adults they are, over the objections of the petulant children present…
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Antis Mad at DEP re Yellow Smoke at Gas-Fired Plant Near Scranton

Antis in the Scranton suburb of Jessup just won’t leave it alone. They’re mad they can’t stop what will be the state’s largest natural gas-fired electric plant (fed by Marcellus gas) from coming online–and they’ve turned their anger on the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). As we reported two weeks ago, a puff of yellow “smoke” (more like vapor) was seen coming from the plant for a brief period of time and it sent antis into an apoplectic shock (see Gas-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Nears Startup; Yellow Smoke and More on Yellow Smoke Coming from Gas-Fired Plant Near Scranton). According to Invenergy, the builder of the 1,480-megawatt Lackawanna Energy Center in Jessup, there were “no chemicals” involved in the yellow smoke. The only people reporting ill health affects from the yellow smoke were antis. Nobody else seems to have been affected by it. Maybe Invenergy secretly put something in the smoke that only affects antis? Inquiring minds want to know. Apparently the DEP isn’t inquiring fast enough nor deep enough for Jessup antis, who have their knickers in a twist…
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Antis Use Corruption Trial Verdict to Challenge NY Gas Power Plant

In September 2016, MDN brought you the sad news that the former head of external affairs and government relations for Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), Peter Kelly, was indicted for bribing New York Gov. Cuomo’s long-time top aide Joseph Percoco to get state approvals for CPV’s $900 million Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY (see NY NatGas-Fired Electric Plant an Inside Job for Corrupt Cuomo Aide). Both Kelly and Percoco, along with a third person, Todd Howe (lobbyist who used to work for Cuomo) were indicted. The trial was recently held and a few weeks ago the verdicts came in: Both Percoco and Howe, the people close to Cuomo, were convicted. The jury could not decide on CPV’s Kelly–so Kelly skated. While the entire sordid affair is interesting for those of us who smell the foul stench of corruption that surrounds Andrew Cuomo, and while the trial and its result is interesting to MDN because of the gas-fired CPV project in Orange County, the reason we’re bringing it to your attention is because antis are using the Percoco/Howe convictions in the case to try and shut down the now-completed CPV Valley Energy Center project, claiming the plant would have never been approved without bribes and corruption…
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Court Rejects NY DEC Attempt to Stop Short Power Plant Pipeline

Valley Lateral Pipeline map – click for larger version

The Andrew Cuomo-corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now out of options in its quest to block a tiny, 7.8-mile pipeline that would connect the Millennium Pipeline to a gas-fired electric generating plant under construction in Orange County, NY. Yesterday the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition by the DEC asking the court to vacate two orders by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allowing the pipeline to continue construction. Which means construction on the pipeline has restarted and will almost certainly be completed within a month. The plant the pipeline will feed, Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center, is wrapping up construction. Recently antis had a cow when they saw steam coming from the plant, part of the commissioning process (see Antis Apoplectic at Sight of Steam Coming from NY Power Plant). Before the new plant can go online, it needs fuel, which is why the Millennium project is so important. Now that the 2nd Circuit has rejected its petition, the DEC says it is still “reviewing its options” with respect to “next steps.” Frankly, there are no options and no next steps. The Cuomo-corrupted DEC has lost…
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Pittsburgh Airport Plans NatGas Microgrid to Attract New Business

Seems like we increasingly see the word “microgrid” popping up. What, exactly, is a microgrid? Microgrids are small electric generating plants, most often powered by natural gas. They usually produce a few megawatts of electricity and are often used for “peaking”–which means they are used during times of high electricity demand. During times of high demand these small microgrids kick on and produce electricity to help meet the demand (see One of Nation’s Largest NatGas Microgrids Coming to Philly Navy Yard). Sometimes microgrids outright replace reliance on the local electric utility. Such is what is being proposed for the Pittsburgh International Airport. You may recall that CONSOL Energy (now CNX Resources) drilled a bunch of wells on Airport property and produces a boatload of natgas every day. The plan is to use some of that gas to power a microgrid to lower the cost of electricity at the airport complex–a complex where officials are attempting to attract businesses to locate. Having super cheap electricity generated by your own natgas helps…
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More on Yellow Smoke Coming from Gas-Fired Plant Near Scranton

We spoke too soon. In a story MDN published yesterday, we said that Big Green propagandist mouthpiece PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania was the only “news” outlet reporting on “yellow smoke” released as part of the commissioning process for the Lackawanna Energy Center, a Marcellus gas-fired electric plant being built near Scranton (see Gas-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Nears Startup; Yellow Smoke). We said yesterday that not even the Democrat-controlled Scranton Times-Tribune found the “yellow smoke” report newsworthy. A day later, the Times-Tribune was shamed into releasing a story about it. Once again, the only people quoted as experiencing ill health effects following the “yellow smoke” are long-time local activists, people who oppose the project…
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Gas-Fired Power Plant Near Scranton Nears Startup; Yellow Smoke

Invenergy is currently building the Lackawanna Energy Center, a 1,480 megawatt plant in Jessup, PA (near Scranton) that will cost “well over $1 billion” according to an exclusive MDN source working on the project. When the plant is completed (first phase now done), and when it goes online (to be determined), it will be Pennsylvania’s largest natural gas-fired electric generating plant. As with all fossil fuel-related projects, there is a dedicated (small) group of antis attempting to stop the project. They frequently conduct smear campaigns, making all sorts of wild claims, in their futile attempt to stop the project. Here’s the latest example. The plant is, this week, going through a “short” commissioning stage–a time when they test the machinery in preparation to begin operations. As part of the commissioning, there is a “visible vapor plume and audible noise”–but NO chemicals are involved. Yet a local, well-known anti, upon seeing a waft of “yellow smoke” coming from the plant, immediately claimed she felt “burning [in] my nose, throat, sinuses and chest”–even though no chemicals were used during testing. What does that tell you about the veracity of the antis opposed to the plant?…
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York, PA Gas-Fired Electric Plant Fined $25K for 2-Day Shut Down

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) is 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 recently signed an agreement with the state to burn only Marcellus gas during “peak ozone season”–from May 1 through Sept. 30–starting in 2023 (see York, PA Electric Plant to Drop Coal, Burn Only Marcellus Gas). Talen will phase out coal completely by 2028. Until 2023, the plant burns Marcellus gas at various times–hence our interest. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just levied a $25,000 fine against the plant for shutting down for two days in the dead in the winter. Why is that a problem? Don’t these plants sometimes need to shut down?…
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PA DEP Issues Permits for Japanese Gas-Fired Elec Plant in SEPA

Birdsboro Power concept

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced last Friday it has issued all of the necessary state permits to the Birdsboro Power Marcellus gas-fired electric plant project (in Berks County, PA) for the project to begin construction. Last October the DEP held a hearing on the proposed 488-megawatt natgas-fired electric plant slated for Birdsboro, near Philadelphia (see PA DEP Public Hearing on Japanese Gas-Fired Elec Plant in SEPA). Even though the project has the state permits it needs, it still lacks final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before they can begin construction of the new plant…
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