Another New Gas-Fired Elec Plant Being Planned in New Jersey

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Details so far are sketchy, but it appears that plans are taking shape to build a 660-megawatt gas-fired electric plant in Holland Township (Hunterdon County), NJ. Phoenix Energy Center wants to build the plant along the shore of the Musconetcong River, classified as a Category One (C1) trout stream. Sierra Club nutters are in full panic mode, attempting to prevent such a horrible injustice from happening. God forbid more New Jerseyites get cheaper electricity from a cleaner source! The Holland plant, if it were to get built, would likely get its natural gas from Elizabethtown Gas, which in turn is due to get additional gas supplies from the still-unbuilt PennEast Pipeline. Holland Township officials stress talks are preliminary, and nobody has signed nor agreed to anything. Phoenix isn’t saying anything–and no wonder, because anytime Big Green (the Sierra Club) catches wind of a project like this one, they rush in to try and abort the baby before it’s even born. Here’s the few, scant details known about the Phoenix Energy Center project in Holland Township…
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Nicetown Claims “Environmental Racism” re Gas-Fired Plant

Bet you didn’t know that the environment has become racist. That’s the outrageous claim being made about Nicetown, PA (near Philadelphia). Big Green supporters in Nicetown are opposed to SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) plans to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant that would provide electricity to SEPTA’s northern Regional Rail lines and a bus garage (see Antis Plan to Shut Down Philly Transit Meeting re NatGas Powergen). The stated reason for their opposition is because the plant will burn an evil, nasty, vile “fossil fuel.” Yep, fossil fuel hatred syndrome. When the antis weren’t looking, Philadelphia Air Management Services (AMS) went ahead and issued the permit that allows SEPTA to move forward with the proposed natgas power plant, which will get built in Nicetown (see Antis “Shocked” Philly Approved Marcellus Power Plant for SEPTA). Nice. The AMS vote “came as a surprise” to the antis. It was their “last hope” to stop the plant. But they haven’t given up hope. Not yet. Antis are not only litigating to stop the plant, now they’re making wild accusations of “environmental racism.” Because the majority of residents are black, the accusation is that SEPTA is sticking the plant there, where it doesn’t matter if black people get polluted. Which is all nonsense. The reason SEPTA wants the plant in Nicetown is because that’s where they own a large bus garage/facility–the same facility they want to power with electricity from the plant! But “environmental racism” has such a great ring, and looks so good in a headline, it’s just irresistible for sycophantic media…
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Looks Like WNY Coal-Fired Plant Will Never Convert to Gas/Reopen

In 2013, a coal-fired electric generating plant near Buffalo, NY (in Dunkirk) was slated to be converted to burn natural gas–a win/win for everyone (see Dunkirk, NY Electric Plant Saved – Converting from Coal to NatGas). Radical environmentalists like the Sierra Club opposed it, but that’s to be expected. Everything seemed to be fine until a competitor hauled NRG, the plant’s owner, into court to dispute the change from coal to natgas. They objected to ratepayers kicking in $150 million for the project. NRG said fighting the case in court will take years, so they just closed down the plant instead (see Dunkirk, NY Coal-Fired Electric Plant Closing in January 2016). It was an economic nuclear bomb for that community. The Town of Dunkirk gets 40% of its tax revenue from that single plant! New York State “generously” shucked out $5.5 million so Dunkirk wouldn’t collapse economically. But doing that year after year will get old quick. Other communities can rightly demand state help too. But then the competitor who had objected to converting the old coal plant to natgas (with ratepayer assistance) dropped their objection, and NRG restarted the project in December 2016 (see Coal-to-Gas Plant Conversion in Western NY Back from the Dead). Once again, environmental lunatics would rather bankrupt Dunkirk than let the plant restart as a gas-fired plant. They lobbied the state Public Service Commission to block the deal. That didn’t happen, but what has happened is that because of the delays caused by NY and NRG’s competitor, NRG has to “restart” the project and along with that comes connection costs–the cost to reconnect the plant to the electricity grid. Estimated reconnect costs go as high as $115 million! The cost of “transmission upgrades” according to the NY grid operator. The cost to reconnect would be almost as much as the project cost itself, meaning there’s no way in Hades NRG will build it. So although antis couldn’t get NY to regulate the project out of existence, electric grid bureaucratic claptrap will keep it out of existence. Same result…
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Construction Begins for 14-Mile Pipe to Feed Berks Gas-Fired Plant

Birdsboro pipeline route – click for larger version

Ladies and gentlemen–start your bulldozers! It’s time to begin building a 14-mile natural gas pipeline from the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) mainline in Rockland Township, to a natural gas-fired power plant under construction in Birdsboro (Berks County, near Philadelphia). EmberClear Corp. is a Canadian-based company that builds and operates natural gas-fired electric generation plants in North America. In 2015, EmberClear filed an application to build a new 488-megawatt natural gas-fired electric plant in Birdsboro, in Berks County, near Philadelphia (see New NatGas-Fired Electric Plant Coming Near Philadelphia). In April 2017, two different Japanese companies, Sojitz Corporation and Tokyo Gas, each purchased a one-third share ownership of the Birdsboro Power project (see Japanese Now Own 2/3 of Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant in SEPA). We call the Birdsboro Power a “Japanese-owned” project, which it is, but in reality EmberClear is still the company building and operating it. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued permits for the Birdsboro project in March of this year, and the project is now under construction (see PA DEP Issues Permits for Japanese Gas-Fired Elec Plant in SEPA). In order to operate, the plant will need gas. It will get its gas from the Tetco pipeline 14 miles away, via a dedicated pipeline. Construction has begun on the pipeline. Or rather, preliminary construction–clearing trees, etc. It will only take a few months to complete the pipeline project…
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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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Trump Makes Rare Wrong Move – Protects Coal & Nuke Plants

We admire President Trump and the job he’s doing–and aren’t afraid to say so publicly. However, we don’t always agree with his decisions and policies. This is one of those times. In fact, we strongly disagree with a new Trump policy. President Trump has decided that the nation’s electricity grid, in order to be “secure” and not vulnerable to outages, needs to have a diversity of sources producing electricity. Even if those sources (coal and nuclear) are no longer economic. Natural gas, and to a far less degree, renewables like wind and solar, are replacing both coal and nuclear power plants. The gas is abundant, it’s cheap, it burns clean and just makes sense. Yet powerful lobbying interests for coal and nuclear have convinced Trump that without their higher-priced electricity in the mix, the country is somehow threatened. That’s bunkum. Last Friday, President Trump ordered Dept. of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to “prepare immediate steps” to stop the coal and nuke plants from retiring. That is unfortunate. Obama picked energy winners and losers. Fossil fuels like coal were targeted for extinction by Obama. Now, Trump is doing the same thing but in reverse. By propping up coal and nuclear, he will make electricity far more expensive for everyone. The right answer here, as it always has been, is to let the free market work…
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Dutchess County, NY NatGas Power Plant Begins Construction

Artist’s rendering of Cricket Valley Energy Center project – click for larger version

We who live in New York State live under a dictatorship. Our governor, Andrew Cuomo, has been co-opted by radical environmentalists. He recently stated he would autocratically block any/all new natural gas pipelines AND any/all new gas-fired electric plants (see NY Gov. Cuomo Says He’ll Block All New Gas-Fired Elec Plants). He made the preposterous claim he hasn’t issued any permits for new gas-fired plants during his time in office. Not true. The Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Orange County, NY was permitted under Cuomo and will begin service this month (see Orange County, NY Electric Plant to Start Up in June). Valley Energy Center, which will get its gas from the Millennium Pipeline (Marcellus gas), will generate 680 megawatts of electricity–enough to power 650,000 homes. Little did we know, but there is a *second* gas-fired power plant project also permitted under Cuomo that’s just begun construction–in neighboring Dutchess County. Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is a fully-permitted, approximately 1,100 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant now under construction on an industrially-zoned site off Route 22 in Dover. It will generate enough electricity to power 1 million homes! Similar to CPV’s Valley Energy Center, environmental extremists have launched a barrage of attacks against Cricket Valley. However, Cricket Valley is already under construction and due to go online in 2020. There’s no stopping it now…
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Antis Plan to Pack Philly Gas Plant Hearing on June 12

Last November a group of environmental Nazis pledged to “swarm” and shut down a SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) meeting where a vote would be taken to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant that would provide electricity to SEPTA’s northern Regional Rail lines–a win/win for all Pennsylvanians (see Antis Plan to Shut Down Philly Transit Meeting re NatGas Powergen). The reason they wanted to shut down the meeting was to stop the vote because the clean-burning plant being proposed would burn a “fossil fuel.” When the antis weren’t looking, Philadelphia Air Management Services (AMS) went ahead and issued the permit that allows SEPTA to move forward with the proposed natgas power plant, which will get built in a place called Nicetown (see Antis “Shocked” Philly Approved Marcellus Power Plant for SEPTA). Nice. The AMS vote “came as a surprise” to the antis. It was their “last hope” to stop the plant. So what happens now? Seems they haven’t lost hope. They’re litigating and demanding SEPTA’s approval be overturned by other regulatory bodies. On June 12, members of 350 Philadelphia, Neighbors Against the Gas Plants, and The Centre for Returning Citizens in Philly (TCRC) will attend the City of Philadelphia’s Licenses and Inspection Review Board hearing. They will demand the Board overturn SEPTA’s approval. The groups are hoping to kill the project permanently by packing the meeting, with children…
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Big Green Sues to Stop DTE Energy’s MI Gas-Fired Electric Plant

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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 hurdle, perhaps THE major hurdle, is an approval by Michigan utility regulators. That happened in April. Right on cue the far-left Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Earthjustice, all of which seem to have unending sources of cash to file lawsuits, have together filed an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals to reverse the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) decision to approve the project…
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Two More $1M NatGas Pipeline Grants Coming Courtesy PA Taxpayers

PA Gov. Tom Wolf

It’s Christmas in Pennsylvania. Last week PA Gov. Tom Wolf and his Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced the award of nine grants “to promote energy efficiency and spur economic development.” Among those nine grants are two grants for new natural gas pipelines. Two $1 million grants were awarded from the PA Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE), one to flow gas to a wax manufacturer in McKean County that wants to switch from using coal to natgas, and the other to serve over 500 new residential and business gas customers in Wayne County. Other grants in the list of nine include $965,000 for a 2000 kW CHP (combined heat and power) system for the Villanova University campus, and $1.2 million for a 2,000 kW CHP system for the Bayer Healthcare facility in Myerstown. In general we’re not in favor of corporate welfare, which is what this is (let’s just be honest). However, this is a pretty mild case of it. We can think of worse ways to blow taxpayer’s money. Essentially these relatively small investments keep more PA gas in PA by running pipelines to residents and businesses that will use it, and by helping fund power plants that will use it. Think of the grants as seed money to encourage more PA gas staying in PA, generating jobs at the same time…
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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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New Yorkers Pay 44% More for Electric than Neighboring States

On average, New York residents pay 44% more for electricity than neighboring states, like Pennsylvania. In January of this year, New Yorkers (and NY utility companies) were briefly forced to pay a record high of $140.25 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) for natural gas, as opposed to what everyone else was paying (an average of $3.08/Mcf)–which is 46 times as much! Both stats are rooted in the same issue: NY pays WAY MORE for energy than it has to, because Andrew Cuomo is blocking natural gas pipelines into the state from PA. So says a new report titled “Pipelines and their Benefits to New York” (full copy below). The report, published by the Consumer Energy Alliance, examines the benefits of pipelines to New York, highlighting the need for affordable energy supplies to keep the daily lives of families and businesses across New York moving. Without those pipelines, we’re toast. You can’t build windmills and solar farms fast enough to meet the growing demand for electricity–and natgas. Cuomo’s dysfunctional energy policies are blocking all New Yorkers, upstate and downstate, from living even moderately prosperous lives…
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NY Gov. Cuomo Says He’ll Block All New Gas-Fired Elec Plants

We’re simply at a loss for words. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not a dictator, or is he? Cuomo said on a recent campaign stop that he will unilaterally, illegally, block all new “fossil fuel” powered electric plants in the state, including clean-burning natural gas-fired plants. The man is delusional. He doesn’t have that power–unless the sheeple that live in NY allow him to get away with it. We New Yorkers must rise up and stop this megalomaniac before he plunges NY into the ash heap of history. During a campaign event last Thursday, May 10, in Manhattan, Cuomo said with respect to new gas-fired electric plants: “I have not approved any new ones, and I won’t.” He also said that the state currently has gas-fired plants “all over the state” and that the “long-term plan is to close them.” Breathtaking arrogance! We’ve checked the state Constitution and we don’t find anything in it that vests the governor with the power to ban specific types of businesses in the state, whether for energy or otherwise. Where does he get off?…
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PJM to Study Electric Grid “Fuel Security” of Relying on NatGas

The trend is undeniable that coal powered electric generating plants are closing, and in their place, natural gas-fired plants are being built. In fact, natgas is also bumping off old nuclear plants, which presents a delicious dilemma for enviro freaks who have traditionally hated nukes for their waste that lasts a thousands years, yet because the electricity they produce is “carbon free” they now support nukes. Grid resiliency is the watchword. If the electric grid depends too much on a single source, can the entire grid become threatened should that source dramatically increase in price, or worse yet, dry up? What’s the likelihood of that happening? That’s what PJM, the largest regional transmission organization (RTO) in the U.S. (that oversees the electric grid in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest) will study in the coming months. In other words, if coal plants, and nuclear plants, continue to shut down as they have been, and we’re left with mainly natural gas-fired plants in their place (as well as renewables and other sources like hydro), is that a “threat” to the entire grid?…
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Gas-Fired Elec Plant Near Indianapolis Starts Up, Fueled by M-U?

IPL’s Eagle Valley Generating Station, located in Martinsville, Indiana (click for larger version)

Seems like a day doesn’t by that we don’t notice yet another natural gas-fired electric plant project has been announced, or in this case, has come online! Here’s a project not previously on our radar. Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) built and recently brought online a 671-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired electric plant about 30 miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis. The new plant can power up to 370,000 homes. Gas-fired plants are a huge market for Marcellus/Utica gas. “But Jim,” you say. “This plant is in Indiana! There’s no Marcellus/Utica gas in Indiana. In fact, Rover, NEXUS and other pipelines don’t go through Indiana, so why are you excited about this plant?” Good question. We’re excited because there ARE pipelines in the vicinity that flow our gas–including the mighty Rockies Express (REX), which was reversed in June 2014 and now flows our gas all the way to points in Missouri (see Rockies Express Pipeline Reverses Flow from Utica to Midwest). According to a statement issued by IPL, the new Eagle Valley gas-fired plant can access “low-cost fuel” from the Rockies Express Pipeline and Texas Gas interstate pipelines. That is, Marcellus/Utica gas…
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WV Coal Industry Continues to Fight NatGas Electric Plants

West Virginia has a long, proud history as a coal producer. And according to West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney, some 95% of the electricity produced and used in the Mountain State comes from coal-fired plants. However, natural gas burns cleaner than coal, and frankly, natgas is now cheaper than coal. Yet WV still has not permitted or allowed a single new gas-fired plant to be constructed. Why not? The obvious answer is because Big Coal is pushing back and pushing back hard. Last September WV’s Secretary of Commerce, Woody Thrasher, admitted publicly that his beloved state is unfriendly to new natgas-fired electric plant projects (see WV Sec Commerce Says State Unfriendly to Gas-Fired Power Plants). In a speech before state legislators, Thrasher said while Ohio has built 19 new gas-fired power plants, and Pennsylvania has built 22 new gas-fired power plants, WV has built NONE. Zero. Nada. Even though perhaps a dozen such projects have now been proposed. When will the situation change? If Big Coal has its way, it won’t…
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