M-U Uses More NatGas for Electric Generation than Any Other Area

PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization (RTO) operating the electric grid in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, including PA, OH and WV. It is the largest competitive wholesale electricity market in the U.S. (second largest in the world), with more than 1,000 companies (1,376 generation sources) as members, serving 65 million customers with 177 gigawatts of generating capacity. It’s yuge! EIA published numbers yesterday quantifying natural gas-fired generation in PJM. The upshot: natural gas has eclipsed coal in electric generation in PJM, and PJM uses more natgas plants in both raw numbers and as a percentage of electricity generated, than any other power grid.
Continue reading

Peoples Gas Installs First Residential NatGas Fuel Cell in U.S.

WATT Imperium Fuel Cell System Installed in a Residential Home (click for larger version)

In early September MDN told you about a cool new experiment coming from Peoples Natural Gas in the Pittsburgh area–installing a natural gas fuel cell in homes to help generate electricity (see Pittsburgh Utility Experiments with NatGas Fuel Cells in Homes). The fuel cells would not replace a connection to the electric grid, but would augment or supplement electric generation during heavy load times. And get this, it generates the electricity using natural gas with “little to zero emissions.” The new news: The first such installation happened in a home in Westmoreland County on Friday, September 28, 2018. The very first in the country.
Continue reading

Vectren Defends Indiana Gas-Fired Power Plant Proposal

In June we told you about a plan by MidWest utility company Vectren to build a 900-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant (and a 50-acre solar farm) to replace a retiring coal plant, in Warrick County, Indiana (see Indiana Utility Files Request to Build New Gas-Fired Electric Plant). Building the gas plant and solar farm would cost Vectren (meaning ratepayers) $940 million. The cost is passed on to ratepayers because Vectren is regulated, which has set up a fierce battle to get it approved. We suspect Marcellus/Utica gas will feed the plant, which is why we’re interested.
Continue reading

Lordstown (OH) Energy Center Now Online, Generating 940 MW

Lordstown Energy Center

It’s time for Bill Siderewicz, president of Clean Energy Future, to stand up and take a bow. In June 2016, Siderewicz’s Lordstown Energy Center broke ground (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). The 940-megawatt, Utica gas-fired power plant has officially flipped the switch and is now generating enough electricity for 850,000 homes. Lordstown Energy is one of 10 such large gas-fired power plant projects announced or built in Ohio (see today’s companion story). It is the largest gas-fired plant, so far, to go online in the Buckeye State. In addition to going online, Lordstown Energy announced the appointment of a former nuclear sub guy to become the plant manager.
Continue reading

List of 29 Marcellus/Utica Gas-Fired Elec Plants Planned or Built

Each large (over 475 megawatts) gas-fired electric power plant is an economic bonanza. The plants cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build–over a billion dollars for the largest plants. They provide hundreds of jobs during construction, jobs that last several years. They provide millions in tax revenue to local municipalities and schools. And best of all, each one of these plants uses an enormous amount of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas. There are 29 of these incredible projects already built or in various stages of planning and construction in PA, OH and WV. We have the list below.
Continue reading

Massive OH NatGas Power Plant Delays Groundbreaking to March ’19

In June, Apex Power Group said that their planned Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for Guernsey County, OH–would break ground this year (see Country’s Biggest NatGas Power Plant Breaking Ground in OH Oct-Nov). Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. However, reliable sources say construction is now set to begin on this massive, 1,650 megawatt station, in March 2019.
Continue reading

CPV Marcellus-Fired Elec Plant in Orange County Now Online!

Finally! Competitive Power Ventures’ 680-megawatt CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda (Orange County), NY is fully up and running and producing enough electricity to power 600,000 liberal NY homes. New York Gov. Cuomo tried his best to block the recently-completed (costing $900 million) Marcellus gas-fed plant from going online by instructing the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to deny renewing a permit they previously issued, but a judge saw right through that one and overruled the DEC.
Continue reading

Robert Murray Exposed as Funding Opposition to WV NatGas Plants

Robert Murray of Murray Energy – the man behind the OVJA curtain

In July MDN brought you an article that exposes the Ohio Valley Jobs Alliance (OVJA) as a front group for Murray Energy–coal people trying to block new natural gas-fired electric plants from getting built in West Virginia (see OVJA Exposed as Front for Murray Energy Blocking Gas-Fired Plants). A new article appearing the the Charleston Gazette-Mail goes deeper, ripping the mask off to reveal Robert Murray (CEO of Murray Energy) as the puppet master pulling the strings of OVJA.
Continue reading

Marcellus/Utica Gas Heads South to the Sunshine State

Marcellus/Utica gas is powering natural gas-fired plants in Southeast Florida?! Yep. How? Through a series of pipelines. First the gas goes south from our region by hitching a ride through the mighty Williams Transcontinental Gas Pipeline (Transco)–all the way to Alabama. Then, the Sabal Trail Pipeline, a 1.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) pipeline, runs more than 500 miles from an interconnect with Transco in west-central Alabama to the Orlando, FL-area gas hub. Finally, a pipeline related to Sabal Trail called the Florida Southeast Connection delivers gas from the Orlando hub into South Florida. It’s a beautiful thing to behold. Our gas going all the way to the Sunshine State. The experts at RBN Energy do a deep dive to connect the dots and identify the gas-fired plants using our gas…
Continue reading

Out with the Old (Coal), in with the New (Natgas) @ Shamokin Dam

The former coal-fired power generation plant at left along the Susquehanna River in Shamokin Dam. At right is the new Panda gas-fired Hummel Station. (Credit: Sunbury Generation)

In July, MDN told you that Panda Power’s Marcellus gas-fired Hummel Station Power Plant, located at the Shamokin Dam along the Susquehanna River, is now “complete” and online (see Marcellus-Fired Panda Hummel PA Power Plant Now “Complete”). Hummel Station is a whopping 1,124-megawatt gas-fired electric plant built on the site of a retired coal-fired plant. The old coal plant is still there, sitting next door to the new gas-fired plant, closed down in 2014. The coal plant is set to be demolished–a process that will take up to two years due to asbestos throughout the plant. In a story about the old coal plant’s demolition, we were struck by the comparison between the coal plant and the gas plant. The old coal plant produced 400 megawatts of electricity, the new gas plant 1,124 MW. The new gas plant produces more than twice the power, but uses 97% less water than the coal plant. The new gas plant produces 90% less sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions than the old coal plant. On and on. The differences are striking! No wonder gas is replacing coal…
Continue reading

Proposed Rhode Island Gas-Fired Plant on Life Support

MDN previously told you about a new natural gas-fired plant planned for the socialist paradise of Rhode Island, home to old money and people who oppose change of any kind (see New NatGas Powered Electric Plant Coming to…Rhode Island?!). The plant would lower RI residents’ electric bills by a collective $280 million and replace aging coal and oil power plants–cleaning the air in the process. With the jobs created, the investment in the facility, and lower electric rates, it’s calculated this single plant will have a $1.3 billion impact on the economy of RI. And yet so-called environmentalists still oppose it. The plan was to begin construction in summer 2016 and have the plant up and running by 2019. What’s happened since the initial announcement? A lot of bureaucratic bull. The project has been under review and a final decision by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission was slated for January 2019. But that’s all now in doubt. Because of delays in building the plant, the Independent System Operator (ISO) New England filed an application last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to cancel the plant’s capacity supply obligation, or CSO. CSO’s are contracts awarded years in advance to supply electricity. ISO says there’s no way this plant will be producing electricity on time, and so they want out of the contract, to find someone else to produce the electricity. Yesterday RI state regulators put their review of the project on hold until FERC makes a decision about canceling the CSO contract. At this point we’d have to say the project is on life support, and RI is reaching their withered, old hand over to the outlet to pull the plug…
Continue reading

Proposed Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in Trouble

Manneken Pis – famous statue in Brussels, Belgium

MDN reported in April that 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 (see Marcellus Electric Plant Proposed for Meadowlands to Power NYC). The North Bergen Liberty Generating Project, at 1,200 megawatts, will help replace some of the electricity lost when the Indian Point Nuclear plant located in New York along the Hudson River closes down in 2021. We suspect that since the mighty Transco pipeline, which flows mostly Marcellus molecules in the northeast, will feed the Meadowlands project, this plant will become an important new market for PA Marcellus production. The town where the plant will be located, North Bergen, is jazzed about the plant (see NJ Town Ready to Approve Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Power Plant). And wonder of wonders, liberal Democrat NJ Gov. Phil Murphy approved the first in a series of required permits in July (see Surprise! NJ Issues Permits for Meadowlands Marcellus-Fired Plant). Yes, it did seem like things were going too well. The Sierra Club has been lobbying nonstop to defeat the project, and their efforts at spreading doom and gloom are, unfortunately, bearing fruit. Somehow the Clubbers have convinced the New York ISO (the electricity authority for NY, where the electricity from this plant will be sold) to claim it doesn’t really need the electricity after all. Even though 25% of its electricity will soon disappear from the grid when Indian Point closes. NY’s claim now means the project will be delayed and that the builders will need to produce a report proving NY really does need the electricity. An electric peeing match. The Clubbers have also spread rumors to neighboring towns, telling them the plant will poison their air, so some neighboring towns are now opposed to the project…
Continue reading

Dominion Sells 2 Gas-Fired Plants; Blue Racer Midstream For Sale

Dominion Energy has found a buyer for two of its natural gas-fired electric generating plants, one located in Pennsylvania, the other in Rhode Island. In July MDN told you that Dominion was shopping the two plants, hoping to raise $1+ billion (see Dominion Looking to Sell Gas-Fired Power Plants in PA, RI). One plant, the Fairless Power Station, is located in Bucks County, PA near Philadelphia. The other, Manchester Street Power Station, is located in the People’s Republic of Rhode Island. So why would Dominion, a company that really digs natgas, want to dump two of its natgas power generating plants situated in large, urban areas? In a word, regulation, or rather lack of it. Both of the plants Dominion wants to dump are “merchant plants”–meaning they sell electricity on the open market, at market rates. Regulated plants, on the other hand, have their prices determined by quasi-governmental agencies. Selling electric that’s regulated means the potential upside is limited, but it also means you are guaranteed a certain price and can count on receiving that price year in and year out. In the lingo of high finance, being regulated “derisks” a company–makes revenue streams predictable, which investors like. So Dominion is on a mission to (a) pay down debt by selling assets like these two merchant power plants, and (b) provide more revenue certainty for investors. And it looks like they achieved their goal, selling the two plants for $1.23 billion to Starwood Energy. In the same Dominion announcement about the Starwood sale, the company said they will continue to shop their 50% ownership stake in Blue Racer Midstream, which is the first we’ve heard that Dominion is looking to unload their share. Dominion says there is “strong interest” in buying it…
Continue reading

Murray Energy Continues to Block Gas-Fired Plants in WV

In July MDN said it’s time to reveal who is blocking new gas-fired electric plants in West Virginia (see OVJA Exposed as Front for Murray Energy Blocking Gas-Fired Plants). WV has a long, proud history as a coal producer. According to West Virginia Coal Association, 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. Last year then-WV Sec. of Commerce Woody Thrasher observed that Ohio has built 19 new gas-fired power plants, and Pennsylvania has built 22 new gas-fired power plants, while WV has built NONE. Why not? Because of Robert Murray, CEO and founder of Murray Energy, one of the largest independent coal mine operators in the U.S. Bob Murray is using a front organization called Ohio Valley Jobs Alliance (OVJA) to file a blizzard of frivolous lawsuits that have kept all new gas-fired plant projects from being built in WV. Three such plants have been on the books, planned, for years. The first plant may begin construction this year (see WV Close to Starting Construction on First Natgas-Fired Plant). That is, it will start construction if the project sponsors can beat back yet another challenge by the Murray-backed OVJA to the issuance of an air permit. The thing that frosts us is that Murray Energy continues to deny that it is the one funding/behind OVJA…
Continue reading

Radicals Still Fighting Philly Gas-Fired Plant 80% Finished

In 2016, Philadelphia’s SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) announced plans to build a Marcellus gas-powered electric plant to 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). Antis, making wild claims of “racism,” oppose the plant because it will burn an evil, nasty, vile “fossil fuel.” When antis weren’t looking, Philadelphia Air Management Services (AMS) went ahead and issued the necessary permit that allows SEPTA to move forward with the proposed project, a project that will get built in Nicetown (see Antis “Shocked” Philly Approved Marcellus Power Plant for SEPTA). Nice. The plant is now 80% complete and due to go online in January. And still wacky antis continue to cry and moan and bleat and blat, trying to agitate to the point they stop the project. Ain’t going to happen. One radical, from 350 Philadelphia, said his group would “take the issue to the EPA” to stop it. Earth to stupid 350 Philly anti: It’s now the Trump EPA. They won’t do anything to stop this project. Here’s what you don’t typically hear in all of the emotion and wild claims: There are 22 other such mini gas-fired plants around Philly! The Nicetown gas plant isn’t even the biggest–not by a long shot. So why isn’t 350 Philly protesting any of those other plants?…
Continue reading

Moxie Freedom Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre Online

Moxie Freedom

The 1,000-megawatt Moxie Freedom Marcellus-fired power plant located near Wilkes-Barre, PA is now “transitioning to commercial operation.” The plant is up and running and soon will be feeding the electricity it produces into the local power grid. In June 2014, MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). In November 2015, Moxie selected Gemma Power to build the plant, and construction began a month later (see Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA). In June 2017, Caithness Energy (the owner) issued an update to say the plant will go online in May of this year (see NEPA Moxie Freedom Power Plant on Track for May 2018 Launch). That didn’t happen. However, we spotted a local newspaper article that quotes plant officials as saying they are right now in the process of transitioning to commercial operation…
Continue reading