December 2021's Power Generation & Supply Market Recap is a snapshot of the data and information we curate. We share industry drivers, notable projects, recent mergers and acquisitions, interesting reads, and updates on upcoming meetings and conferences.
Our data team tracks new and updated industry drivers. Here are some recent drivers we have been following this month:
EPA Proposes Comprehensive Set of Biofuels Program Updates and Improvements
Organization: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Summary: On December 7, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed retroactively lowering the amount of biofuel that refiners were required to blend with gasoline and diesel in 2020 and 2021, while raising the amount they must use in 2022. The volume of 17.13 billion gallons for 2020 was down from a volume of 20.09 billion gallons for the year that was set before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It and the volume of 18.52 billion gallons for 2021 were lower than the volume of 19.92 billion gallons for 2019, while the 2022 volume of 20.77 billion gallons will be higher. The reductions are meant to bring relief to the refining industry, which suffered from the reduction in driving brought on by the pandemic, but the oil industry said they aren’t enough. The biofuels sector, meanwhile, said the reductions will hurt it.
H.R. 6168 - A Bill to Amend Clean Air Act
Organization: U.S. House of Representatives
Summary: On December 7, 2021, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-Calif., reintroduced the Future Generations Protection Act of 2021.. The legislation would ban greenhouse gas emissions from all new power plants, stop hydraulic fracking, and ban crude oil and natural gas exports. It would also prohibit the Federal Energy Resources Commission from approving new liquified natural gas terminal siting or construction, unless doing so would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation has 22 co-sponsors and was referred to the House Energy and Commerce; Natural Resources; and Foreign Affairs committees.
Order Instituting Rulemaking to Revisit Net Energy Metering Tariffs
Organization: California Public Utilities Commission
Summary: The California Public Utilities Commission on December 13, 2021, issued a proposed decision that would overhaul how it regulates rooftop solar generation. The decision would revise the net energy metering tariff and subtariffs so that owners of rooftop solar units would no longer get paid retail electric rates for power they feed into the grid. Instead, their payments would be based on the avoided cost values that behind-the-meter resources provide, and import rates to encourage electrification and solar-plus-storage. Some of California’s investor-owned utilities called the proposal a step in the right direction, but solar-industry advocates said it could make rooftop solar too expensive for millions of Californians. The commission is scheduled to vote on the proposed decision in January 2022.
FERC Orders Utilities to Fine-Tune Line Ratings to Boost Transmission Efficiency
Organization: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Summary: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on December 16, 2021, approved a final rule that requires all providers of electric transmission service to use ambient-adjusted ratings to determine how much power their transmission lines can handle in the near term. Ambient-adjusted ratings take into account near-term changes in temperature and solar-heating values and therefore on average allow for more power to be moved over transmission lines than static ratings, which are based on conservative assumptions about the worst-case, long-term air temperature and other weather conditions. The rule doesn’t require transmission providers to use dynamic line ratings, which account for other factors like wind speed, but does require that organized power market operators establish and maintain the systems and procedures that would allow transmission owners that want to use dynamic line ratings the ability to do so. Once the rule becomes effective, transmission providers will have 120 days to submit compliance filings and three years to implement the rule’s provision.
The Fission for the Future Act (S. 3428)
Organization: U.S. Senate
Summary: On December 16, 2021, U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Committee, introduced the Fission for the Future Act. The legislation would support deploying advanced nuclear reactors for power generation in communities affected by the closure of coal and other fossil generating facilities. Specifically, it would:
- Require the Secretary of Energy to establish a program to support the deployment of advanced nuclear reactors and associated infrastructure.
- Enable the Department of Energy to assist States, Indian Tribes, local governments, utilities, and private entities to support commercial planning, licensing, and development of advanced nuclear reactors.
- Prioritize communities with retiring or retired fossil fuel generation facilities to help replace lost electricity generation with advanced nuclear reactors and support nonelectric applications — such as heating, hydrogen production, or industrial processes.
New York City Bans Fossil Fuel Usage in New Buildings
Organization: New York City Office of the Mayor
Summary: On Dec. 22, 2021, then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill phasing out the combustion of fossil fuels in new buildings and accelerating the construction of all-electric buildings. The law restricts fossil-fuel usage in newly constructed residential and commercial buildings by phasing in strict emissions limits beginning in 2023. It also requires buildings of all sizes to be constructed fully electric by 2027 but contains limited exemptions for certain uses, such as commercial kitchens and emergency or standby power. It also requires the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability to conduct studies on heat pump technology and electrical grid readiness.
N.Y. Gov. Hochul Announces Plan to Boost Distributed Solar in state to at least 10 GW 2030
Organizations: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York State Department of Public Service
Summary: On Dec. 17, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a plan to expand the NY-Sun initiative to increase the amount of distributed solar generation in New York state to at least 10 GW by 2030. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York State Department of Public Service have submitted the plan to the New York Public Service Commission for public comment and approval. The 10 GW would include at least 1.6 GW to benefit disadvantaged communities and low-to-moderate income New Yorkers; at least 450 MW in the Consolidated Edison service area; and at least 560 MW to be advanced through the Long Island Power Authority. The plan would require that workers associated with the construction of NY-Sun supported projects larger than 1 MW be paid the applicable prevailing wage. Hochul’s office said it expects the plan would increase the bills of the state’s residential power consumers by 71 cents per month, or less than 1%.
We track notable projects from the proposal stage to becoming effective. Here are some of the recent notable projects we have been tracking.
$2.4 Billion Rio Bravo Pipeline Project
Type: Pipeline - Gas
Organization: Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC
Summary: Two environmental groups and an organization representing shrimpers and fishermen have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to review the permit that the Army Corps of Engineers issued in September 2021 to the developers of the proposed Rio Bravo Pipeline Project and the proposed Rio Grande LNG export facility. The Sierra Club, Save RGV from LNG, and Shrimpers and Fishermen of the RGV, allege that the permit violated the Clean Water Act by falling “short of legal requirements to avoid and compensate for wetlands.” The Rio Bravo Pipeline project would consist of two pipelines that would transport up to 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Agua Dulce supply area to the Rio Grande LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas. Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC is developing the pipelines and Rio Grande LNG, LLC is developing the LNG export facility, which would liquefy the gas transported by the pipelines for export. Enbridge bought Rio Bravo Pipeline Company from NextDecade, which owns Rio Grande LNG, in 2020. In the deal, Enbridge agreed to pay not more than $25 million in cash, with $15 million due at closing and the remainder due if NextDecade reached a positive final investment decision on the LNG export facility. In November 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order authorizing the siting, construction, and operation of the pipeline project and LNG export facility. In August 2021, a panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that FERC violated the National Environmental Policy Act by issuing the order and must further evaluate the impact of the projects on climate change and low-income communities in Cameron County, Texas. The court did not vacate FERC’s order, however. Enbrdige estimated in 2020 that the Rio Bravo Pipeline Project would cost $2.44 billion to build. In January 2020, the Energy Information Administration estimated that the project would come online in 2023.
$1 Billion Desert Marble Solar Project
Type: Generation - Solar
Organization: Desert Marble Solar LLC
Summary: On November 4, 2021, Desert Marble Solar LLC filed a Notice with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada that it is filing an application with the Bureau of Land Management l for authorization to construct the a 500 MW solar generating facility, a 500 MW battery energy storage system, a 345 kVgeneration-tie line, and associated facilities on 6,980 acres of land near the Valmy Substation in Humboldt County, Nevada. The company said it anticipates construction on the Desert Marble Solar Project will commence in January 2023 and continue for 13 months and thatthe project’s commercial operation date is December 2024. FirmoGraphs estimates the project, including the energy storage system, will cost $1 billion to build.
$950 Million Regional Energy Access Expansion Project
Type: Pipeline - Gas
Organization: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC
Summary: On March 26, 2021, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity authorizing it to construct, install, modify, operate and maintain its Regional Energy Access Expansion project and to abandon and replace certain existing and less energy efficient compression facilities. The project project would be an incremental expansion of Transco’s existing pipeline system that would enable the subsidiary of The Williams Companies, Inc. to provide an additional 829,400 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service from northeastern Pennsylvania to multiple delivery points along Transco’s Leidy Line in Pennsylvania, its mainline at the Station 210 Zone 6 Pooling Point in Mercer County, New Jersey, and multiple delivery points in its Zone 6 in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. That expansion would allow Transco to serve incremental natural gas supply needs beginning with the 2023/2024 winter heating season. The project would include a new electric motor-driven compressor facility (Station 201) in Gloucester County, New Jersey; a 22.3 mile, 30-inch pipe lateral in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania; a 13.8 mile, 42-inch pipe loop in Monroe County, Pennsylvania; and modifications to existing compressor facilities and meter stations. Transco asked FERC to grant it the authorizations it asked for by January 1, 2022, so it could meet a target in-service date of December 1, 2023 for the project. In addition to requiring FERC’s approval, the project requires at least five permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Transco estimates the project would cost $950.05 million.
$926 Million Northeast Supply Enhancement Project
Type: Pipeline - Gas
Organization: Transcontinental Gas PipeLine Company, LLC
Summary: On May 15, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) until May 2023 to complete its proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project. FERC had given The Williams Companies, Inc. subsidiary until May 2021 to complete the project when it granted Transco a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for it in May 2019. Transco needed the additional time because environmental regulators in New Jersey and New York denied water permits for the project, which would transport natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey, traveling underwater in the Raritan Bay and Lower New York Bay, to approximately three miles offshore of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Williams said it intended to refile water permit applications in both states before the end of 2021. The project would be an expansion of Transco’s interstate natural gas transmission system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and its offshore natural gas pipeline system in New Jersey and New York waters. It would include 23.5 miles of underwater pipeline, 17.4 miles of which would be in New York state waters; connect to the existing Rockaway Delivery Lateral in Queens; and provide 400,000 dekatherms per day of incremental capacity to National Grid to serve customers in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. Transco said the project is intended to support reliability and help displace the use of oil. Transco estimates it will cost approximately $926 million.
$850 Million Heritage Prairie Wind
Type: Generation - Wind
Organization: Pattern Energy and ConnectGen
Summary: The proposed Heritage Prairie Wind project is part of Heritage Prairie Renewable, a wind and solar project being jointly developed by Pattern Energy and ConnectGen, which plan for it to have a generation capacity of 500-600 MW and be located in western Kankakee County and north-eastern Livingston County, Illinois. Pattern Energy and ConnectGen plan to start construction on Heritage Prairie Wind in 2022 and bring it online in 2023 or 2024. FirmoGraphs estimates the project will cost $850 million to build.
$347.8 Million Country Acres Solar Project
Type: Generation - Solar
Organization: Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Summary: On November 19, 2021, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) prepared a Notice of Preparation (NOP) to inform agencies and community members that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for its proposed Country Acres Solar Project to satisfy the requirement of the California Environmental Quality Act. The purpose of an NOP is to provide sufficient information about the project and its potential environmental impacts to allow agencies and interested parties the opportunity to provide a meaningful response related to the scope and content of the EIR, including mitigation measures that should be considered and alternatives that should be addressed. By issuing the NOP, SMUD initiated a 30-day public comment period that ended December 21, 2021. The project would include construction and operation of a solar generation and battery storage facility and interconnection facilities, including a generation substation, switch station, and interconnection lines, that would provide new power production capacity of up to 344 MW delivered at the point of interconnection with the grid managed by SMUD. The project would be located on up to approximately 1,300 acres of land in southwestern Placer County just west of the City of Roseville, north of Baseline Road and east of South Brewer Road. SMUD said construction of the project would take approximately eighteen months to two years and is proposed to begin as early as winter of 2023 and conclude in 2024 or 2025. FirmoGraphs estimates the project will cost $347.8 million to build.
$303 Million Heritage Prairie Solar
Type: Generation - Solar
Organization: Pattern Energy and ConnectGen
Summary: The Proposed Heritage Prairie Solar project is part of Heritage Prairie Renewable, a wind and solar project being jointly developed by Pattern Energy and ConnectGen, which plan for it to have a generation capacity of 300 MW and be located east of the Village of Essex in Kankakee County, Illinois. Pattern Energy and ConnectGen plan to start construction on Heritage Prairie Solar in 2022 and bring it online in 2023 or 2024. FirmoGraphs estimates the project will cost $303 million to build.
$290 Million Silver State South Solar Battery Energy Storage Project
Type: Energy Storage
Organization: Silver State South Solar, LLC
Summary: On September 23, 2021, Silver State Solar ,LCC notified the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada that it has filed an SF-299 Application for Transportation and Utility Facilities on Federal Lands with the Bureau of Land Management. The application is for an amended right-of-way for the construction, operation and decommissioning of a battery energy storage system (BESS) with a capacity of up to 250 MW located at Silver State’s existing solar generating facility, an expansion of an existing 230-kV substation, and associated facilities, including a short 230-kV generation-tie line from the BESS to the existing substation, which is located on approximately 12 acres of BLM-administered land near Primm in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada. Silver State said it anticipates construction on the project will begin in late 2022 or 2023, but the schedule may change depending on the terms and circumstances surrounding final power purchase agreements for the BESS. The company expects construction will be completed in a single, eight-month phase. FirmoGraphs estimates the project will cost $290 million to build.
$243.8 Million Clear Creek Expansion Project
Type: Generation - Gas
Organization: Spire Storage West LLC
Summary: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said November 2, 2021, that its staff has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Clear Creek Expansion Project proposed by Spire Storage West, LLC. FERC said its staff concluded that approving the project, with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIS, would not result in significant environmental impacts, with the exception of climate change impacts. FERC said its staff continues to be unable to determine significance with regards to climate change impacts. Anyone wishing to comment on the draft EIS has up until 5 p.m. on December 20, 2021, to do so. In an abbreviated application for amendment of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) submitted to FERC on October 9, 2020, Spire Storage West LLC sought authorization to expand its natural gas storage facilities at the Clear Creek Storage Field in Uinta County, Wyoming. Specifically, it requested an order authorizing the installation of four compressor units and related processing equipment at the Clear Creek central gas processing plant. The project would include 10.6 miles of new pipeline to transport gas from the Canyon Creek compressor station to Clear Creek's central gas processing plant and on to a new interconnection with the Kern River Gas Transmission Co. mainline. Spire asked FERC to grant it the necessary authorizations by September 1, 2021, with a goal of commencing construction in the fall of 2021. The company expected to complete construction by October 2023 and put the project into service by summer 2024. Spire valued the project at $243.8 million.
$202 Million Foundry Works Solar Facility
Type: Generation - Solar
Organization: Foundry Works Solar Energy LLC
Summary: Foundry Works Solar Energy, LLC has filed a petition asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to decline to exercise jurisdiction over it. The request is common for owners of renewable generation that don’t plan to sell power to retail electric customers. Foundry Works’ parent company, Invenergy LLC, filed testimony from one of its executives with the IURC on November 5, 2021. In it, the executive said the solar generation facility that Foundry Works is proposing to build would have 200 MW of generation capacity and be located on parts of 3,117 acres near the town of Hebron in Lake County, Indiana. The Foundry Works Solar project would interconnect to Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s transmission system via a line tap into the Schahfer – St. John 345 kV transmission line, within the footprint of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. Invenergy expects construction of the project to commence by 2024 and the project to achieve a Commercial Operation Date by December 31, 2024. Invenergy said the project would cost $200 million.
The following M&A transactions in the Power Generation and Supply Industry stand out in the month of October:
What We Are Reading
Here are some recent articles our team has been reading:
- Huge spending plan for N.J. wind energy and pandemic-related projects sails through despite GOP objections
- U.S. Department of Energy Announces Intent to Fund Decarbonization and Environmental Remediation Projects Through University Training and Research
- Options dwindle for Ameren: Shuttering Rush Island coal plant ever more logical, experts say
- Texas lowers electricity price cap to $5,000/MWh ahead of winter season
- Albany County tables decision on 32,000-acre Rock Creek wind farm
- DTE Energy adds 535 megawatts of new wind and solar in 2021, increasing clean energy generation capacity by 40%
- Amazon announces 18 new solar projects worldwide, with eight in U.S.
- Southern Co. plans to retire, repower fossil-fueled plants
- Biden order on emissions-free power, EVs sends market signals, experts say
- Michigan Public Service Commission approves new rate plan for DTE Energy
- Nuclear and carbon capture companies seek $20B as DOE revives loan program
- Ameren to Close 1.2-GW Coal Power Plant by March 2024, 15 Years Early
- ComEd proposes new power grid investments to accommodate Illinois clean energy law
- Kentucky’s largest solar project to be built on former coal mine
- Maryland approves offshore wind developers' plans to expand projects
- DOE Announces $100 Million to Support Cutting-Edge Clean Energy Technologies
- ENGIE, Hannon Armstrong Complete 2.3 GW U.S. Renewables Portfolio Capable of Powering 500,000 Homes
- Arizona regulators approve plan to accelerate EV investment, require utility transportation plans by June
- Massachusetts taps Vineyard Wind, Mayflower Wind to deliver an additional 1.6 GW
Organizations have shifted their event strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are tracking these changing meeting plans.
Meetings in January and February 2022
- APPA Joint Action Conference - Jan. 9 - Jan. 11, 2022
- ESNA Energy Storage North America and Intersolar North America Conference and Expo - Jan. 13 - Jan. 15, 2022
- PE PowerGen International - Jan. 26 - Jan. 28, 2022
- AESP Annual Conference & Expo - Feb. 7 - Feb. 10, 2022
- ACAA Winter Membership Meeting - Feb. 8 - Feb. 9, 2022
- CI American Hydrogen Forum - Feb. 17 - Feb. 18, 2022
- IEEE - PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference North America: Moving to a 3-D Energy Landscape - Feb. 21 - Feb. 24, 2022
- RFA National Ethanol Conference - Feb. 21 - Feb. 23, 2022
- SEPA Solar and Energy Storage Northeast - Feb. 23 - Feb. 24, 2022
- NESEA BuildingEnergy Boston - Feb. 28 - Mar. 1, 2022
Call for Papers Date
- Event: IDEA Annual Conference & Trade Show
Dates: Jun. 6 - Jun. 9, 2022
Deadline for Call for Papers: Jan. 21, 2022