Power Generation and Supply Monthly Round Up, December 2020

By FirmoGraphs Staff
Power Round Up December 2020 Power Lines Solar Power Panels

December 2020's Power Generation & Supply Roundup is a snapshot for our Power Industry clients. We share industry drivers, notable projects, recent mergers and acquisitions, interesting reads, and updates on upcoming meetings and conferences.

Industry Drivers

Drivers Power Generation Roundup

Our data team tracks new and updated industry drivers. Here are some recent drivers we have been following this month:

Energy Department Accelerates Energy Efficiency and Operational Resilience Advancements at Federal Facilities via Performance Contracts

Status: Effective

Organization: Department of Energy (DOE)

Summary: On December 4, 2020, DOE announced it would include microgrids as part of a program to spur $440 million in energy improvements for 16 federal projects. The intention is to bring energy efficiency and resilience to various facilities, from ports to military bases. The DOE will contribute $11 million to leverage an expected $439 million in performance contracting for the projects.

Click here for more information.


Wildfire Resilient Power Grid Act of 2020

Status: Proposed

Organization: U.S. Senate

Summary: On December 1, 2020, two US senators introduced a new bill, called  Wildfire Resilient Power Grid Act of 2020, to ensure that power companies will take precautions to decrease wildfires' risk through power system upgrades such as underground power lines, fire safety equipment installation, and proper vegetation management. Among other things, the bill sets a $1 billion-per-year grant program for power companies through the Department of Energy to lessen the risk of power lines and grid infrastructure, causing wildfires.

Click here for more information.


EPA Proposes to Approve Partial Coal Ash Permit Program for the State of Texas

Status: Proposed

Organization: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Summary: On December 3, 2020,  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  proposed to adopt the Texas partial permit program for the management of coal combustion residuals (CCR) in landfills and surface impoundments. If adopted, Texas would become the third state in the nation to get approval to run a coal ash permit program. EPA has preliminarily concluded that the partial Texas permit program application meets the standard for consent.

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EPA Seeks Information on Beneficial Use and Piles of Coal Ash

Status: Proposed

Organization: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Summary: On December 9, 2020, the EPA released a notice asking for information and data about the beneficial use and piles of coal combustion residuals (CCR). The EPA will use the new knowledge to help understand the reconsideration of the beneficial use definition and provisions for piles of coal ash in its 2019 rule proposal to address two 2015 coal ash rule requirements.  There will be a 60-day comment period following Federal Register publication.   

Click here for more information. 

Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Legacy CCR Surface Impoundments; Extension of Comment Period


Organization: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Summary: On December 14, 2020, EPA announced in the Federal Register that it would be extending the commenting period on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking for legacy coal combustion residuals (CCR) surface impoundments. Previously scheduled to end on December 14, the public comment period is extended by February 12, 2021. 

Click here for more information.


Department of Energy Releases Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap

Status: Effective

Organization: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Summary: On December 21, 2020, DOE published the Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap, the Department’s comprehensive energy storage strategy that seeks to create and sustain American energy storage leadership. The Roadmap also involves developing and manufacturing energy storage technologies that can meet all national market demands by 2030. 

Click here for more information.


Notable Projects

Power Engineers Meeting

We track notable projects from proposal stage to becoming effective. Here are some of the recent notable projects we have been tracking.

$73.8 Million Brackettville to Escondido 138-kV Transmission Line

Type: Transmission Line                                            

Status: Proposed 

Organization: AEP Texas, Inc

Scale: 138 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On November 30, 2020, the Texas States Office of Administrative Hearings received the AEP Texas, Inc. application to amend its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for Brackettville to Escondido 138 kV transmission line. The Project is a new 138-kV transmission line that will connect two existing substations in south Texas. AEP filed an Application Amendment to make minor changes to three routing links in response to new information about an engineering constraint that could not be spanned. The new line will begin at the existing AEP Texas Brackettville Substation located northeast of the City of Brackettville on Farm to Market Road 334 in Kinney County. The line will extend South to the AEP Texas Escondido Substation located in northeast Eagle Pass in Maverick County. The estimated cost of this Project is  $73.8 million.

For more information, click here.


300 MW Yellow Wood Solar Project

Type: Solar Facility                                          

Status: Proposed 

Organization: Yellow Wood Solar Energy Center

Scale: 300 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On November 25, 2020, Yellow Wood Solar Energy, LLC filed a Pre Application Notification Letter with the Ohio Power Siting Board concerning its proposed solar-powered electric generation facility. The proposed facility is a solar-powered electric generation facility located in Clark, and Jefferson Townships, Clinton County, Ohio. The facility will be placed on about 2,700 acres and have a maximum total generating capacity of up to 300MW. The purpose of the facility is to generate electricity to inject into the local transmission grid. Construction is forecasted to begin as early as the second quarter of 2021, resulting in commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2023. The Yellow Wood Solar Energy, LLC expects to file its application with the Board within 90 days of the federal information meeting. Yellow Wood Solar will host a public information meeting on December 17, 2020.

Click here for more information. 


$50.5 Million Hoot Lake Solar Project

Type: Solar Project                                            

Status: Proposed

Organization: Otter Tail Power Company

Scale: 49.9 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On November 25, 2020, the Otter Tail Power Company submitted a Petition for Approval of the Hoot Lake Solar Project with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The Hoot Lake Solar Project is a 49.9 MW solar generating facility that will be located at the site of Otter Tail’s existing Hoot Lake Coal Plant in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The Project will consist of roughly 150,000 solar panels with a total capacity of 49.9 MW, and will be located on about 450 acres of OTP-owned property near Hoot and Wright lakes in Fergus Falls. The Hoot Lake Solar Project’s annual energy output is expected to be around 105,000-megawatt-hours (MWh), at a projected net capacity factor of around 24%. Otter Tail has also requested the Commission to authorize 100% of the output of the project to be allocated for use by Minnesota Customers and 100% of Otter Tail’s investment in the project eligible for future cost recovery from Minnesota customers through Otter Tail’s Renewable Resource Cost Recovery (RRCR) rider. 

Click here for more information.


$200 Million Installment of Additional Pumping Station Facilities

Type: Pump Station                                          

Status: Proposed

Organization: Dakota Access, LLC and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC

Summary: On October 14, 2020, Illinois Commerce Commission authorized a joint petition by Dakota Access, LLC and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC for authority to install additional pumping stations and pumping facilities on existing certificated pipelines. The Joint Petitioners requested an order authorizing them to construct:

  1. A new pump station on the Dakota Access pipeline in Hancock County, near the City of Carthage, with pumps installed totaling up to 30,000 horsepower (HP). The estimated cost of this pump station is $35 million to $40 million. 
  2. At the Patoka terminal, where the Dakota Access pipeline terminates and the ETCO pipeline begins, two new 6,000 HP pumps to replace two existing pumps, totaling up to 24,000 HP. The estimated cost of the new pumping facilities and additions and modifications to equipment and facilities is about $120 million. 
  3. A new pump station on the ETCO pipeline in Massac County, Illinois, near the Village of Joppa, with pumping capacity up to 18,000 HP. This pump station will be installed on land currently owned by an affiliate of Joint Petitioners, on which a natural gas compressor station is already located. ETCO will take the fee title to the property on which the new pump station will be located. The estimated cost of this pump station is $35 million to $40 million.

Click here for more information.


$105.4 Million Northern Columbus Loop Project – Phase VII

Type: Gas Generation                                           

Status: Proposed 

Organization: Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc

Summary: On November 12, 2020, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc filed an application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Construction of the Northern Columbus Loop – Phase VII. This Project is the final phase of the long-term plan and it completes the Northern Columbus Loop system. The Project will create a key supply point for the NCHP system from the Northern Columbus Loop high pressure system. The proposed Project will enable Columbia to meet projected natural gas commodity supply needs as well as provide operational flexibility to reliably serve customers in the Franklin, Delaware, Union, and Madison counties. Columbia proposes to construct around 12 miles of new 24-inch steel high pressure gas main with a Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) of 720 psig and about 4 miles of 16-inch diameter steel high pressure gas main with an MAOP of 190 psig. Estimated cost of this project is $105.4 million, with an estimated in-service date in 2022. 

Click here for more information.


$200 Million MS Solar Power 5 Solar Facility Project

Type: Solar Facility                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: MS Solar 5, LLC

Scale: 200 nominal power (MWac)

Summary: On December 11, 2020, the MS Solar 5, LLC filed a petition before the Mississippi Public Service Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity authorizing to construct and operate a solar electric generating and storage facility in Lowndes County. The Facility includes a 200 MWac electric generation facility. The Facility will also have a 50 MWac battery storage facility that will store electricity produced by the Facility for delivery during the day, which is not optional for solar electric generation. The estimated cost for this project is $200 million. 

For more information, click here


Notable M&A

Mergers and Acquisitions 2020

The following  M&A transactions in the Power Generation and Supply Industry stand out in the month of December:

  • December 2, 2020, Boralex completed acquisition of the remaining 49% stake in three wind farms in Quebec for $121.5 million. 

Click here for more information. 

  • December 4, 2020, Stem, Inc. agreed to merge with Star Peak Energy Transition Corp in a deal worth $1.35 billion. 

Click here for more information.

  • December 11, 2020, Brookfield Renewable agreed to acquire a distributed generation development platform from Exelon Generation Company for $810 million.

Click here for more information.

  • December 14, 2020, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. agreed to acquire a 51% stake in four onshore wind farms in Texas from RWE AG, a deal valued at $600 million.

Click here for more information.

  • December 23, 2020, TransAlta Renewables entered into definitive agreements for the acquisition of three assets from TransAlta Corporation totaling $439 million.

Click here for more information.


What We Are Reading

Reading News and Market Updates

Meeting Planner

Meeting Planner

Organizations have shifted their event strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are tracking these changing meeting plans.  

Meetings in January and February 2021

Call for Papers Deadlines

  • Event: 2021 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry - 2021

URL: https://tinyurl.com/ya34qwol 

Dates: July 13. - 15., 2021

Date Call for Paper: Jan. 8., 2021

Early Bird Registration Deadlines

  • Event: Joint Action Virtual Conference - 2021

           URL: https://tinyurl.com/y7494v6r 

           Dates: Feb. 4., 2021 - Feb. 5., 2021

           Date for Early Registration: Jan. 1., 2021

  • Event: AESP 31st Annual Conference - Charging Forward in 2021 - 2021

            URL: https://tinyurl.com/y7494v6r 

            Dates: Feb. 4. - Feb. 5., 2021

            Date for Early Registration: Jan. 7., 2021

  • Event: PowerGen International

            URL: https://tinyurl.com/y8vj42bd 

            Dates: Mar. 30 - Apr. 1., 2021

            Date for Early Registration: Jan. 22, 2021

  • Event: POWERGEN International & DistribuTECH International Are Being Held Side by Side in Orlando in 2021

            URL: https://tinyurl.com/zvfj5jc  

            Dates:  Mar. 30 to Apr. 01, 2021

            Early Registration Expiry:  Jan. 22, 2021

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