Saturday, November 18, 2017

Company Briefs

Dominion Begins Eliminating Chesterfield Coal Ash Ponds

Dominion Energy on Tuesday began an 18-month project to eliminate the ponds that store water contaminated with coal ash at its Chesterfield Power Station in Chester, Va., which provides electricity for 12% of the company’s customers.

In addition to cleaning up the ponds, which hold about 15 million cubic yards of coal ash and 200 million gallons of water, the project will entail changing how Dominion moves and disposes of residue from the power station’s four coal-fired units.

Dominion has closed or is in the process of closing its remaining coal ash ponds: five at the Possum Point Power Station in Prince William County; three at the Bremo Power Station in Fluvanna County; and one at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Hampton Roads.

More: The Progress-Index

SCANA Plans to Reduce Customers’ Share of Nuke Costs

SCANA said Thursday it will reverse two rate hikes it was granted to pay for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project, cutting its average residential customer’s bill by about $5/month.

The company also said it will pay off the remaining $2.2 billion in debt on the project and buy a $180 million, 540-MW natural gas plant with money from its shareholders, rather than its ratepayers.

The South Carolina Public Service Commission must approve SCANA’s plan, which the state’s governor and many legislators consider inadequate. SCANA’s average residential customer is paying $27/month in costs related to the plant.

More: The State

DOE Approves Presidential Permit for Northern Pass

Eversource Energy announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Energy has approved a presidential permit for the 192-mile Northern Pass transmission project. The approval will allow Eversource’s Northern Pass Transmission subsidiary to construct transmission facilities at the Canadian border in Pittsburg, N.H.

The Northern Pass transmission line will run from the Canadian border in Pittsburg to Deerfield, N.H., where it will connect to the New England grid, bringing 1,090 MW of hydroelectric power to the region.

Eversource said construction on the project is on schedule to begin by the middle of next year.

More: Eversource

Williams Seeks FERC Approval for $84.6M Gas Pipeline Expansion

Williams Partners on Wednesday filed an application with FERC seeking authorization for an $84.6 million project that would boost production on its Transco natural gas pipeline system, which stretches from South Texas to New York.

The Gateway Expansion Project is designed to transport an additional 65,000 dekatherms of natural gas daily to northeastern markets by adding electric horsepower at a compressor station in New Jersey and upgrading two meter stations.

The project, which is scheduled to be completed by November 2020, would help meet growing demand for natural gas in New Jersey and New York, according to the company. It is designed to serve PSEG Power and UGI Energy Services.

More: The Oklahoman

AEP Transmission Establishing Roanoke, Va., Office

American Electric Power will invest $12.7 million to establish an office in Roanoke, Va., for its AEP Transmission subsidiary.

AEP Transmission will occupy nearly 47,000 square feet on two floors of sister company Appalachian Power’s renovated facility. It will hire 102 people and transfer 93 current employees to work at the site.

AEP Transmission is modernizing, rebuilding and expanding its transmission network, which spans 200,000 miles in 11 states.

More: Augusta Free Press

Fort Martin Cooling Tower Getting $7M Life Extension

Repairs costing $7 million are being performed on the Unit 1 cooling tower at FirstEnergy’s Fort Martin Power Station in Maidsville, W.Va.

The 1,500 repairs should add about 20 years to the life of the tower, which was built in 1964 and went online in 1967.

The repairs are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

More: The Dominion Post

Recurrent Secures Debt Financing for 20-MW Solar Project

| Recurrent Energy

Recurrent Energy has closed on a combined construction loan and construction letter of credit facility for the 20-MW Gaskell West 1 project, which will deliver solar energy to Southern California Edison under a long-term power purchase agreement.

KeyBank N.A. provided the construction loan and construction letter of credit facility, while KeyBanc Capital Markets served as the lead arranger for the deal.

Construction began in fall 2017 on the project, which is expected to start commercial operation next spring.

More: PVTech

PPL Subsidiary Closing 2 Kentucky Coal-Fired Units

LG&E and KU Energy said Tuesday it will close two coal-fired units at the Kentucky Utilities E.W. Brown Generating Station near Harrodsburg, Ky., in February 2019.

The PPL subsidiary will continue operating a newer, larger coal-burning unit, solar farm and hydroelectric plant at the complex.

The units to be shuttered date to 1957 and 1963 and don’t have the latest air pollution controls.

More: The Courier-Journal

Dynegy Finds Buyer for Decommissioned Plant

Dynegy has selected a buyer for the decommissioned Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Mass.

The company wouldn’t name the buyer, but state Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D) said it is a St. Louis company “that is very experienced … in buying old, heavily industrialized sites, cleaning them up and getting them ready for future redevelopment.”

Dynegy said a contract on the property should be signed soon.

More: The Herald News

Enel Starts Building Wind Farm, Turns on Another

Enel Green Power North America said it has started construction of the Rattlesnake Creek wind farm, which will provide 100% of the energy for Facebook’s new data center in Papillion, Neb.

The wind farm, Enel’s first in Nebraska, will have an installed capacity of 320 MW when finished.

The company has also announced the start of operations of its 300-MW Rock Creek Wind Farm, which is the largest operational wind farm in Missouri.

More: North American Windpower

Dominion to File North Anna License Renewal

Dominion Energy said Monday it has notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its intent to file in 2020 an application for a 20-year renewal of its license to operate its North Anna nuclear power plant in Louisa County, Va.

The company expects to file in 2019 a similar application for its license to operate the Surry Power Station.

The four reactors at the two plants provide about 41% of the power consumed by Dominion’s Virginia customers.

More: Richmond Times-Dispatch

National Grid Overall Earnings down, US Business Profitable


Despite a decrease in earnings compared to last year, National Grid reported its U.S. business’ earnings increased 19%, from 441 pounds to 526 pounds.

The U.K.-based company, which reported on the six-month period ending Sept. 30, said its U.S. business provided 57% of its gross revenue for the period. It said it expects its U.S. assets to grow 7% annually over the medium term.

“Our improved performance in the U.S. is encouraging, with this part of the business now representing an increasingly important part of our investment proposition,” CEO John Pettigrew said in a statement.

More: National Grid

Maine Power Express Clears ISO-NE Hurdle

Consolidated Edison announced ISO-NE has approved its Maine Power Express transmission project’s application to connect with the grid in Boston.

The line would carry 1,040 MW of renewable energy underground and undersea from Northern Maine to Boston. It’s competing for a 20-year power purchase agreement in Massachusetts’ request for clean energy proposals.

Out of eight proposed transmission projects, Maine Power Express is one of four that have had their applications under Section I.3.9 of the ISO-NE Tariff — which requires projects to not have an adverse effect on reliability — approved by the RTO, the company said.

More: Consolidated Edison

OG&E Dedicates 462-MW Natural Gas Power Plant

Oklahoma Gas & Electric dedicated a 462-MW, $390 million natural gas power plant Friday at an Oklahoma City site the company has renamed the Mustang Energy Center.

The power plant has seven quick-starting, simple cycle gas turbines and is the second in the country with its design and capability. It replaces a combined cycle plant OG&E opened in 1940.

The Mustang Energy Center also is home to a 2.5-MW solar farm.

More: The Oklahoman

Madison Gas and Electric Gets Approval to Build Iowa Wind Farm

Madison Gas and Electric on Thursday received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to build, own and operate a 66-MW wind farm near Saratoga, Iowa.

The wind farm, which will be MGE’s largest, will cost approximately $107 million to build.

MGE anticipates starting construction next spring and completing it by the end of next year.

More: Madison Gas and Electric

Lincoln Clean Energy’s 250-MW Texas Wind Farm Begins Operations

Lincoln Clean Energy said its Willow Springs wind farm in Haskell County, Texas, has begun commercial operation.

Between the 250-MW wind farm and its Amazon Wind Farm Texas, Lincoln has brought 503 MW of wind energy online this year.

More: Lincoln Clean Energy

NRG Seeking $350M to Build 3 Solar Projects

NRG Energy is seeking to borrow about $350 million to build three solar projects in Hawaii that it bought from SunEdison last year, people familiar with the deal told Bloomberg.

Hawaiian Electric had canceled agreements with SunEdison to buy power from the projects, but NRG later arranged contracts with the utility.

NRG’s effort to fund the projects comes as it’s seeking buyers for its renewables development unit and its renewables portfolio.

More: Bloomberg

NV Energy Asks PUC to Approve 3 PPAs Totaling 100 MW

NV Energy is asking the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to approve long-term power purchase agreements for three solar arrays that will be owned by Techren Solar.

The Turquoise Nevada solar project will be located in the Reno Technology Park in Washoe County. At 50 MW, it will be the largest solar array in the state.

The Techren Solar 3 will be located in southern Nevada and the Techren Solar 4 be located in northern Nevada. Both are 25 MW.

More: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Llende Joins AEP as Vice President


American Electric Power on Thursday announced James Llende has joined the company as vice president of tax, with responsibility for its federal, state and local tax compliance, tax audit, tax accounting and tax planning functions.

Llende, 49, had been senior tax director at NextEra Energy. He replaces Mark Pyle, who will retire from the company Jan. 28, 2018.

More: AEP

Companies Form Alliance to Finance, Build Microgrids, DERs

Dynamic Energy Networks, which owns and operates microgrids and distributed energy resources, has formed strategic alliances with Schneider Electric, which develops microgrid technology, and The Carlyle Group, an alternative asset manager.

Pullins | Microgrid Institute

Working together, the three will be able to finance, build, own and run microgrids and DERs that serve a wide range of customers, including campus operators, hospitals and the military.

Dynamic also has rounded out its executive team, adding Steve Pullins as vice president of development; John Westerman as vice president of technical solutions; and Scott Rosebrook as vice president of corporate development and finance.

More: Dynamic Energy Networks

Organic Valley Agrees to Buy Power to Fund Solar Projects in 3 States

Farming cooperative Organic Valley has agreed to buy power from a group of municipal utilities in order to fund more than 12 MW of solar projects in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

OneEnergy Renewables will build and own the solar projects and sell their power to the Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group, which will sell it to Organic Valley.

Construction on the projects will begin next spring and is expected to be completed by 2019.

More: Wisconsin Public Radio

Toshiba, NRG Deploy Battery Storage near Wind Farm in ERCOT

Toshiba and NRG Energy have collaborated to deploy the Elbow Creek Energy Storage Project on ERCOT’s grid near NRG Yield’s Elbow Creek Wind Farm in Howard County, Texas.

The project is a lithium-ion-based Toshiba battery system capable of storing and delivering up to 2 MW of power. It’s expected to help correct short-term grid imbalances by providing high-speed frequency regulation services. It also can store power when wind generation is high and deliver it when load support is needed.

More: NRG

Manitoba Hydro, WPS Tx Project Could Be Delayed

The beginning of construction on the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project, which would bring hydroelectricity generated by Manitoba Hydro to Wisconsin Public Service, could be delayed by a recommendation from Canada’s National Energy Board.

The board has recommended using a “certificate” approval process for the project, which could take more time than the simpler “permit” process favored by Manitoba Hydro.

The project would be the final link in a chain of transmission lines to bring hydroelectricity from northern Manitoba through the Bipole III transmission line and across the U.S. border as part of a 308-MW deal between Manitoba Hydro and WPS.

More: CBC News

National Grid Installing Tesla Battery on Nantucket

National Grid will install a 48-MWh battery energy storage system made by Tesla and a new diesel generator on Nantucket to provide the island off the coast of Massachusetts with power should one of the two submarine cables between it and Cape Cod fail.

The system and new generator will replace two diesel generators that are nearing the end of their life spans. They also will enable National Grid to put off constructing a third submarine cable that it had predicted would be needed in 12 years for 15 to 20 years beyond that.

More: National Grid

Central Maine Power Replaces 1,400+ Poles After Storm

Central Maine Power has replaced 1,416 utility poles broken in an Oct. 30 wind storm that cut off power to more than half a million people.

The company hasn’t had to replace that many poles after a storm since it had to replace 2,600 after a historic ice storm in 1998.

More: Portland Press Herald

Siemens Cutting Jobs in Power & Gas, Renewables Divisions

In response to a steep drop in orders for power-plant turbines, Siemens plans to make significant job cuts at its power & gas division as well as at its renewable energy unit.

Talks between management and unions are expected to lead to a mid-November announcement on the elimination of a yet-to-be-determined number of mostly German positions, according to an executive familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the discussions are ongoing.

Siemens said Monday its Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy subsidiary would eliminate about 6,000 positions that comprise about a quarter of its staff.

More: Bloomberg


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