ural Pennsylvania has an ocean of natural gas below ground and will soon have electricity produced at the surface.
Inexpensive, available fuel begets power plants. The exploitation of gas a mile below the surface in the Marcellus Shale rock formation has attracted power generation companies proposing natural gas-fired power plants, each at a cost of hundreds of million of dollars.
Moxie Liberty LLC plans a 900-megawatt power plant in Asylum Twp. and another in Lycoming County, to be called Moxie Patriot. Future Power PA Inc. has a 300-megawatt plant planned for Schuylkill County and a sister company has plans for second in the same area. They are among the nine plants statewide that have applied to the state Department of the Environmental Protection. The Northeast, long at the end of the pipeline, is now on top of a huge natural gas reserve.
"Look at the change in the projected flow of natural gas into the Northeast," said Steven Schork, Villanova-based publisher of the online newsletter the Schork Report, which reports energy and shipping markets. "It had been coming from Canada, the Rockies, from LNG (liquefied natural gas). Now, we don't need it because we have our own and we are pushing it in the other direction."
Moxie Liberty is one of the first to be approved, a project expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, scheduled to break ground in Asylum Twp. in March with turbines spinning by 2015. The Moxie Patriot plant in Clinton will follow.
Unlike a similar project for the same site a decade ago that drew opposition, this time around there hasn't been much controversy, said township supervisor Lee Allyn.
He thinks that is because the Moxie project will not draw water from the Susquehanna River nor discharge water into the river. The plant would use Towanda Municipal Authority's water and sewer system.
Last year, a group of officials from the Endless Mountains area visited a similar generating facility in the southern Pennsylvania. Such plants make so little noise that the arriving visitors were disappointed -thinking it was shut down, Mr. Allyn said.
Permanent jobs are a somewhat minor impact of the new power plants. Once operating, each will require between 30 and 35 full-time employees. Anthony Ventello, executive director of the Progress Authority, a regional economic development agency, said the power plant will have a significant economic impact much like a manufacturing facility, which supports spin-off jobs. In a region where the economy has become so dependent upon natural gas exploration and development, the power plants can help mitigate the peaks and valleys of the natural gas market.
"It is no secret that drilling activity has slowed," Mr. Ventello said. "If we can create a permanent market for natural gas and add value to it by turning it into electricity or using it make some other product, we can stabilize the economy."
While the majority of project costs is for the equipment, which is not subject to property tax, the building and land represent sizable additions to the tax base, Mr. Ventello said. It is not known what the Moxie plant will be assessed at. But the total assessed value of all property in Asylum Twp. is a bit more than $18 million, Mr. Allyn said.
The heart of the southern anthracite coal fields will be burning natural gas and generating electricity.
Future Power PA, based in Moosic, set out to build a coal gasification facility which would turn coal and waste culm into combustible gas which would be burned to boil water and create steam to generate electricity.
It was a dramatic turnabout for the coal gasification plant, said Future Power president James Palumbo. The coal plant's permit was already approved by the DEP. Declining natural gas price and the ability to do something that had always been impossible - signing a long-term contract to purchase natural gas - prompted the switch. So rather than turning coal into a liquid fuel and burning it to generate electricity, the plant will now just burn natural gas.
"We can build half the plant we had before," Mr. Palumbo said. "What we have now releases a lot of less of certain pollutants."
Such a project would not have been possible before Marcellus Shale and the availability of nearby natural gas sources. Sourced from the Rocky Mountains and gulf coast, gas had to be transported long distances to get to the east, adding to the cost. The price of gas was also volatile, dependent upon demand and subject to disruption from weather. Long-term contracts would be very risky.
With the Marcellus Shale tapped, gas is looking for a market and a customer like Future Power can sign a five- or ten-year contract and take the contract to the bank to get financing for the project.
"We knew where the coal was coming from: it was on site or nearby and the cost of mining, it was known," he said. "The advent of long-term gas contracts is a game changer."
A lot of power consumed in the east is produced in Western Pennsylvania or Ohio. Transporting it to the east causes congestion in power lines. Being both near the Marcellus region and near East Coast electricity consumption is a sweet spot for Future Power. That project is so promising that Future Power's parent company, Canadian energy company EmberClear is planning a second plant nearby.
"Here, we are near the Marcellus and closer to the load center in the East Coast," Mr. Palumbo said.
As aging nuclear and coal power plants are mothballed, the industry is doubling down on natural gas generation. The table is set for the spike in the use - and eventually the price - of natural gas.
"Enjoy the Golden Age of natural gas while it lasts," Mr. Schork said. "It looks like it will last for maybe 10 years, but it is poised for the biggest rally we've ever seen."
Sa has a great piece on bakken oil todaynot going to try and post to many links
Lots of talk about how terible things are at gmxr right now but they don't seem to look ahead very far. That stock that was sold the other day 10,000,000 and alot of the stock sold in the last 2 months are being held not traded not to much longer before things change for the better.
My own thoughts do your own d/d.
Consumers Energy plans to build a $750 million natural gas-fired power plant in Genesee County, the Jackson-based utility said Friday.
The 700-megawatt power plant, scheduled to begin service in 2017, will be located about 20 miles northeast of Flint in Thetford Township, the company said.
The project will create about 600 construction jobs and about 30 operations jobs when completed. Construction is expected to begin in 2015, pending various approvals.
"This proposed plant will use state-of-the-art technology to help meet the future needs of our 1.8 million electric customers in an environmentally responsible manner," John Russell, Consumers Energy president and CEO, said in a statement.
"Vast new supplies of natural gas have reduced prices and they are expected to stay low for the long term. We selected natural gas as the fuel source for this new power plant because we project it will be the most economical way to serve our customers in the future and continue to bring them value."
The utility owns the 272-acre site in Thetford Township, which has access to high-volume natural gas delivery and high-voltage power transmission lines.
Consumers must obtain financing, an air permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and a certificate of necessity from the Michigan Public Service Commission , the release said.
Jeff Holyfield, a company spokesman, said the proposed plant will not affect utility rates.
"What we have said is that our plan is …to keep our base rate increases at 2 percent or less," he said.
Russell said the utility previously announced it planned to invest $6.5 billion in utility operations through 2017. The proposed plant's $750 million price tag will be in addition to that earlier statement, Russell said.
Consumers Energy provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all Lower Peninsula counties.
Another day another 1000 megawatt coming online
Other key initiatives include the company’s development of the proposed 309 megawatt Garrison Energy Center, an energy-efficient natural gas based facility in Dover, Delaware.
Alliant energy is also eyeing to enhance its natural gas prospects. The company recently sought regulatory approval for the planned building of a 650 megawatt Marshalltown Generating Station (“MGS”) with the Iowa Utilities Board.
Sure looks like the number of gas plants is rising faster than ever before
Dec 25, 2012 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- TransCanada Corporation, a provider of natural gas transmission and power services, has signed a contract with the Ontario Power Authority, or OPA, to develop, own and operate a new 900MW natural gas-fired power plant. The facility will be located at Ontario Power Generation's Lennox generating station property in the town of Greater Napanee in eastern Ontario. "The contract signing will allow TransCanada to move forward with our plans to provide a reliable source of electricity to the people of Ontario," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO. "We will take the necessary steps to ensure this is an environmentally responsible project and will also focus on the safety of the community, our employees and being a good neighbour." Construction of this 900MW facility will mean an investment of millions of dollars in the local community that supports the creation of approximately 600 construction jobs and an expected 25 long-term jobs resulting in approximately $4 million in annual salaries and benefits. The power plant will contribute to the local tax base each year, providing officials with the ability to invest those dollars locally, the company said. The details of the contract are based on terms of the memoranda of understanding that were signed in late September 2012. The Napanee power plant will act as a replacement facility for one that was planned in the community of Oakville. It will operate under a 20-year power purchase arrangement with the OPA that will generate stable earnings and cash flow over the next two decades.
More to the switching
per genscape - Missouri River Power Basin’s Laramie River Station 1 coal-fired plant in Wheatland, WY tripped off-line Thursday.
If I am right that is 570MW
One more ELAND | State regulators on Wednesday approved a $700 million expansion of Tampa Electric's Polk Power Station south of Mulberry on State Road 37.
The expansion will add 460 megawatts, enough to power 100,000 homes and increase the utility's natural gas output by 70 percent.
Tampa Electric has 670,000 customers in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties. There are 77,000 customers in the south and eastern portion of Polk County. It also serves about 5,500 customers in Lakeland through its natural gas company.
Public Service commissioners voted 5-0 for the expansion.
The new plant will allow the utility to end many of its purchased-power agreements it currently has in place, said Cherie Jacobs, Tampa Electric spokeswoman.
"This conversion will provide more efficient and reliable energy generation for TECO's customers," Public Service Commission Chairman Ronald Brisé said. "The Polk 2-5 project will save fuel, lower emissions, and use treated wastewater for cooling — improvements that are good for customers and the environment."
Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of TECO Energy.
The utility will attempt to raise rates in 2017 once service begins at the new station. Any rate increase must be approved by the Public Service Commission, Jacobs said.
Tampa Electric must still obtain approval for the project from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Power Plant Siting Board, which is made up of the governor and his Cabinet.
That decision by the Cabinet should be made in late 2013. Construction should begin in early 2014
SHVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - Officials say Morrisstown could receive a major boost to its local economy.
Tenaska, a power producer, is considering a site in Morristown to construct a gas-fueled generating plant. The plant would help meet the growing need for clean electric power generation in the region.
The announcement was made during a Town Council meeting Wednesday night.
"We looked at several possible locations in Indiana, and Morristown has the right mix of access to electric transmission and natural gas, along with a welcoming community," Helen Manroe, director of development with Tenaska said. "Potential customers' need for electricity and the price we can offer to them will ultimately determine whether the plant can move forward, but we are confident we have a great site to market."
The plant could be capable of producing up to 900 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough capacity to power approximately 900,000 homes in the region, although the final size and configuration of the plant will be based on customer need, our partners at the Rushville Republican report.
Construction could begin as early as 2014 and operation could begin by 2017.
A final decision to move forward with the plant will be based on evaluation of costs, market need and power of customer interest.