Power Generation and Supply Monthly Roundup, November 2020

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

November 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

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

New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan

Status: Effective

Organization: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

Summary: On October 28, 2020, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities adopted and issued the New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan originally filed on September 9, 2020. This document is a plan for reaching 7.500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy by 2035. Also, it makes suggestions on establishing an offshore wind industry that delivers net economic benefits while also preserving the environment, commercial and recreational fishing interests, and decreasing the impacts of climate change. In the meantime, the state Department of Environmental Protection is tasked with prioritizing the research and monitoring the industry with ongoing habitat surveys and fish and wildlife studies. Ramboll U.S. Corp. developed the strategic plan with extensive public stakeholder input.

Click here for more information.

 

Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia Announce Agreement to Spur Offshore Wind Development

Status: Effective

Organization: States of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia

Summary: On October 29, 2020, the governors of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia declared a three-state collaboration to improve offshore wind projects in the region and support the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States as the core of offshore wind energy and industry. The states agreed to form a SMART-POWER Leadership Team with representatives from each signatory jurisdiction that will work to develop regional offshore wind resources. The main goal of this partnership is to enhance regulatory certainty, support the manufacturing of component parts, lessen project costs through supply chain development, share information and best practices, and promote synergy between industry and the signatory jurisdictions. According to the United States Department of Energy, the Atlantic Coast offshore wind project pipeline is estimated to create up to 86,000 jobs, $57 billion in investments, and provide up to $25 billion in economic output by 2030.

Click here for more information.

 

Arizona Regulators Pass Rule for 100% Clean Energy by 2050

Status: Proposed

Organization: Arizona Corporation Commission

Summary: On November 13, 2020, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved amendments to its own energy rules, challenging the state's investor-owned utilities to phase out fossil fuels from the grid by 2050. Also, energy storage systems will need to make up 5% of those utilities' total grid range by 2035, and that 40% of that total be customer-owned or leased. The order for investor-owned utilities in the state is still subject to public comment and a final vote in early 2021 before it becomes effective.

Click here for more information.

 

Bill Repealing Electricity Tax Exemption for New Wind Projects Advanced by Committee

Status: Proposed

Organization: Wyoming State Legislature

Summary: On November 11, 2020, Wyoming lawmakers passed a bill that would require wind energy producers to pay more in taxes in the first three years of new projects. The bill would remove a tax exemption on electricity generation that applies to new wind energy projects in their first three years of existence. Under current law, wind energy producers are taxed $1 per megawatt hour of wind energy produced upon expiration of the exemption. The lawmakers saw this exemption as an opportunity to bring additional revenue to the state, as it is facing a budget deficit of roughly $225 million for the 2021-2022 biennium.

Click here for more information.

 

Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Use of Wind Energy Worldwide Introduced

Status: Proposed

Organization: House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Summary: On November 19, 2020, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee introduced a law to reduce barriers to wind energy deployment to foreign partners. The legislation will use retired American turbine technology to help the development of renewable energy programs in developing countries, further improving the global renewable energy portfolio, diminishing unnecessary waste, and relieving taxpayers from the cost of new turbines. Under this legislation, cost barriers for developing nations to access clean energy will be reduced while enabling American wind companies to be generous global partners at the same time.

Click here for more information.

 

Prince William County Passes Climate Resolution Committing to 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

Status: Proposed

Organization: Prince William County Board of Supervisors

Summary: On November 18, 2020, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors passed the county’s first climate resolution, which orders that government operations source 100% of their energy by 2030, with the entire county sourcing 100% of their energy from renewable sources by 2035. The resolution also commits to reaching 100% carbon neutrality by 2050 across all industries.

Click here for more information.

 

Notable Projects

Depositphotos_36074477_xl-2015

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

$550 Million 36-inch Mid-Michigan Pipeline

Type: Natural Gas Pipeline                                           

Status: Effective

Organization: Consumers Energy Company

Summary: On November 19, 2020, the Michigan Public Service Commission adopted Consumers Energy Co.’s application to construct the Mid-Michigan Pipeline, a 36-inch natural gas pipeline, replacing the existing Line 100A between Ovid and Chelsea. The 36-inch pipeline is substituting the 20-inch existing pipeline, which will improve Consumers’ system resilience and eliminate a gas-supply bottleneck in the smaller pipeline. Construction of the new 56-mile pipeline is expected to happen in 2023 to 2024.  The Commission’s order determined that the replacement pipeline will address corrosion issues and seam weld, and other irregularities on the pipeline, remove the bottleneck, and provide a more resilient and flexible natural gas system, therefore serving the public convenience and necessity. The estimated cost for this project is $550 million.

Click here for more information.

 

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Humboldt Bay-Humboldt No.1 60kV Reconductoring Project

Type: Transmission Line

Status: Proposed

Organization: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Scale: 60 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On October 6, 2020, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California for a permit to construct, so that it can rewire 7.8 miles of the 60 kV transmission line between its Humboldt Bay and Humboldt substations located in Eureka, California, replace 120 wood poles and light duty steel poles, and co-locate 0.6 miles of the HB-H Line with 60 kV transmission line that is adjacent to the Humboldt Bay and Eureka substations. The resolution on this application is targeted for November 2020.

Click here for more information.

 

$27.3 Million Mont Belvieu Reliability Upgrades

Type: Transmission Line

Status: Proposed

Organization: CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC

Scale: 138 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On October 9, 2020, the CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC's Mont Belvieu Reliability Upgrades Project got accepted by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) as one of the three Tier 3 transmission projects. This project is the most cost-effective solution to eliminate potentially significant load loss concerns (300 MW or greater) due to maintenance outage scenarios in the Mont Belvieu area. This project also provides capacity for future area load growth, including a configuration that meets CenterPoint Energy Transmission System Design Criteria that minimizes the number of two-line, loop breakered substations between the major substations, and minimizes Iandowner impact. The estimated cost, including all the transmission upgrades as discussed in this report, is a bit over $27.2 million. The project is expected to be completed by December 2022.

Click here for more information.

 

$119 Million Southline Transmission Project Amendment Application

Type: Transmission Line

Status: Proposed

Organization: Tucson Electric Power Company

Scale: 345 kilovolts (kV) and 115 kV

Summary: On October 23, 2020, Tucson Electric Power Company submitted a Supplement to their Joint Application to Amend Decision in connection with proceedings before the Arizona Power Plant and Line Siting Committee. The Southline Project involves the construction of around 370 miles of new and upgraded transmission lines and associated facilities in New Mexico and Arizona consisting of two sections. The Southline's CEC application only sought a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) for the non-WAPA owned portions of the Southline Project located in Arizona and excluded the Upgrade Section because the Upgrade Section was to be wholly owned and operated by WAPA. As aresult, the WAPA-owned Upgrade Section was not covered by CEC 173, and is still subjected to a rigorous federal permitting process that required an Environmental Impact Statement (ElS) that gained final approval under Record of Decisions (RODS) issued by the Bureau of Land Management and by WAPA.

Click here for more information.

 

125MW Wheatsborough Solar Project

Type: Solar Powered Electric Generation Facility

Status: Proposed

Organization: Wheatsborough Solar, LLC

Scale: up to 125 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On October 27, 2020, Wheatsborough Solar, LLC filed a pre-application notification letter with the Ohio Power Siting Board in the matter of the construction notice for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public regarding its proposed solar powered electric generation facility. The proposed facility, the Wheatsborough Solar Project, is a solar-powered electric generation facility located in Groton Township, Erie County, Ohio. The facility will be sited on around 1,515 acres and have a maximum total generating capacity of up to 125MW. The purpose of the facility is to maximize energy production from solar resources in order to deliver clean, renewable electricity to the Ohio bulk power transmission system to serve the needs of electric utilities and their customers. The Applicant anticipates filing its application with the Board within 90 days of the public information meetings. Construction is expected to begin as early as second quarter 2022, with an in-service date in second quarter 2023. On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Applicant will host a virtual public information meeting presenting proposed facility and approval process.

Click here for more information.

 

Bethel-Sawmill 138kV Pole Installation Project

Type: Pole Installation

Status: Proposed

Organization: AEP Ohio Transmission Company, Inc.

Scale: 138 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On October 30, 2020, AEP Ohio Transmission Company, Inc. filed a pre-application notification letter with the Ohio Power Siting Board in the matter of the construction notice for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Bethel-Sawmill 138kV Pole Installation Project. AEP Ohio Transco proposes to install one structure and shift two previously approved structures along the approved Bethel-Sawmill 138 kV Transmission Line Project. AEP Ohio Transco expects that construction of the Project will begin in December 2020. The anticipated in-service date for the Project is around May 2021.

Click here for more information.

 

414 MW Wind Energy Conversion System and 345 kV Transmission Line

Type: Wind Farm

Status: Effective

Organization: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

Scale: 414 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On October 30, 2020, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued a site permit to Plum Creek Wind Farm, LLC to construct and operate the Plum Creek Wind Farm, an up to 414MW nameplate capacity Large Wind Energy Conversion System (LWECS) and associated facilities in Cottonwood, Murray, and Redwood counties. The LWECS will consist of either 74 Vestas V162 5.6 MW turbines or 67 Siemens Gamesa SG170 6.2 MW turbines. The project also includes up to six alternate turbine locations for the Vestas model and 11 alternate turbine locations for the Siemens Gamesa model that can be used should any of the primary turbine locations be determined not adequate for construction or operation. The project area includes around 73,000 acres of land. The Permittee currently holds easements and participation agreements on up to 53,223 acres of land within the project area. Upon completion of project construction and restoration, the project site will include close to 113 acres of land converted to wind turbines and associated facilities approved by this site permit.

Click here for more information.

 

$86.1 Million Red Rock Solar Project

Type: Solar Project

Status: Proposed

Organization: Red Rock Solar, LLC

Scale: 60 megawatts (MW)

Summary: In November, 2020, the Red Rock Solar, LLC, subsidiary of Apex Clean Energy Holdings, LLC, submitted a Site Permit Application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Red Rock Solar proposed to build a solar energy conversion facility with up to 60 MW alternating current nameplate capacity, in Midway Township, Cottonwood County, Minnesota. The solar facility will generate enough energy to provide electricity for roughly 12000 homes annually. Expected in-service date is by the end of 2022. The estimated cost for this project is a bit over $86.1 million.

Click here for more information.

 

Utility Transmission and Distribution Investment Working Group Report

Type: Transmission

Status: Proposed

Organization: Utility Transmission and Distribution Investment Working Group

Summary: On November 2, 2020, Utility Transmission and Distribution Investment Working Group filed a report regarding the State of New York Public Service Commission's Motion to Implement Transmission Planning Under the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. On May 14, 2020, the New York Public Service Commission issued the initiating order in this proceeding in response to environmental policy objectives and related requirements outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (AREGCB Act). The CLCPA establishes aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, renewable and emissions-free electric generation, and offshore wind development. The AREGCB Act directs the Commission to take actions to ensure that New York's electric grid will support the State's climate mandates. These actions include, among other things, initiating a proceeding to establish a planning process to guide future investments in local transmission and distribution and establishing an LT&D capital plan for each utility. The report contains the Utilities proposals and recommendations on these matters to fulfill the May Order requirements. The AREGCB Act and the May Order distinguish between distribution, local transmission, and bulk transmission assets. There are nine projects in total (3 in Phase 1 and 6 in Phase 2), with a total worth of $402 million for Phase 1 and $1.28 billion for Phase 2.

Click here for more information.

 

Alamito Creek to Alpine 69 kV Line Rebuild Transmission Project

Type: Transmission line

Status: Proposed

Organization: American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEPSC)

Scale: 69 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On November 2, 2020, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) issued its Notice of Acceptance of three Tier 3 transmission projects, among which American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEPSC) Alamito Creek to Alpine 69 kV Line Rebuild Transmission Project drew attention. The Project involves the rebuilding of the existing Alamito Creek to Del Nolte to Alpine 69-kV transmission line along the existing easement and route. AEPSC, on behalf of AEP Texas, is proposing to rebuild the existing 22.45-mile Alamito Creek to Alpine 69 kV line to improve its reliability. The majority of the Alamito Creek to Alpine line was constructed in 1946 with wood pole construction, and most of the structures are from the original install date. This Project is being submitted as a Tier 3 project. There will be some encroachment issues to address, but the Project is not expected to require a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN). The recommended Project has an estimated completion date of December 2023. The total project cost is expected to be $37 million.

Click here for more information.

 

Birch Solar 300-MW Project

Type: Solar Generation

Status: Proposed

Organization: Birch Solar, LLC

Scale: 300 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On November 3, 2020, Birch Solar, LLC, a Lightsource bp subsidiary, filed Preapplication Notification Letter with the Ohio Power Siting Board about its proposed solar-powered electric generation facility. The proposed facility, the Birch Solar Project, is a solar-powered electric generation facility located in Shawnee Township, Allen County, Ohio, and Duchouquet and Logan Townships, Auglaize County, Ohio. The facility will be sited on roughly 2,600 acres and have a maximum total generating capacity of up to 300 MW. The purpose of the facility is to create electricity to PJM. The Applicant anticipates filing its application with the Board within 90 days of the public information meetings. Construction is expected to launch as early as the fourth quarter of 2021, resulting in commercial operations in the second quarter of 2023.

Click here for more information.

 

$172.3 Million LNG Tank Upgrade

Type: Tank Upgrade

Status: Proposed

Organization: Boston Gas Company

Summary: On November 13, 2020, Boston Gas Company, doing business as National Grid LNG, described its reliability projects for CY 2021 through 2026. One of the projects stands out. The South Yarmouth LNG Plant essential equipment and infrastructure are in urgent need of an upgrade. The LNG tank is a pre-stressed concrete outer with stainless steel inner tank and suspended deck. The Tank is at risk of failure due to its age. This project will evaluate plants' LNG tank and balance to determine whether to upgrade or replace the facility systems. The systems include LNG Storage Tank, Vaporization System, Control Room Building, Truck Station, Pumps, Piping, and Security System. The estimated cost for this project is $172.3 million.

Click here for more information.

 

$22.5 Million Tall City - Telephone Road 138-kV Line Rebuild Project

Type: Transmission Line

Status: Proposed

Organization: Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC

Scale: 138 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On November 21, 2020, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC’s Tall City - Telephone Road 138-kV Line Rebuild Project got accepted by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) as one of the three Tier 3 transmission projects. This project includes the rebuild of the existing 11.9-mile Tall City - Telephone Road 138-kV Line, using double-circuit capable structures with a single circuit in place, and the upgrade of the terminal equipment at Tall City Switch and Telephone Road Switch. This is a $23.5 million worth project in Midland County and is recommended for construction to meet a fall 2021 in-service date.

Click here for more information.

 

Notable M&A

Mergers and Acquisitions February 2019-min

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

  • November 2, 2020, KKR and NextEra Energy’s subsidiaries announced a $1.4 billion worth deal for acquisition of certain renewable energy assets.
    Click here for more information.
  • November 10, 2020, BlackRock acquired the remaining stake in Distributed Solar Development from GE Renewable Energy.
    Click here for more information.
  • November 20, 2020, Boralex agreed to acquire the remaining 49% in three wind farms in Quebec for $121.5 million.
    Click here for more information.
  • November 23, 2020, Boralex agreed to acquire controlling interests in seven solar power plants in the United States for $216.5 million.
    Click here for more information.
  • November 24, 2020, Entergy Louisiana purchased Washington Parish Energy Center, a 361 MW facility.
    Click here for more information.

 

What We Are Reading

Depositphotos_73146765_l-2015

 

Meeting Planner

Meeting Planner Water Roundup

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

Meetings in December 2020 and January 2021

Call for Papers Deadlines

  • Event: 2021 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry
    URL: https://tinyurl.com/y48wlu9g
    Dates: July 13 to July 15, 2021
    Date Call for Paper: Jan. 8, 2020

Early Bird Registration Deadlines

  • Event: (APPA) Joint Action Virtual Conference
    URL: https://tinyurl.com/yy3ndffz
    Dates: Feb. 04 to Feb. 05, 2021
    Early Registration Expires: Jan. 1, 2021
  • Event: AESP 31st Annual Conference - Charging Forward in 2021
    URL: https://tinyurl.com/y3hj987p
    Dates: Jan. 25 to Jan 28, 2021
    Early Registration Expires: Jan. 7, 2021
  • Event: PowerGen International - 2021
    URL: https://tinyurl.com/yxpe5f3q
    Dates: Mar. 30 to Apr. 01, 2021
    Early Registration Expires: 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 Expires: Jan. 22, 2021

 

 

 

Tags: us power, us power plants, us power generation, us power production, us power grid upgrade, us power prices, us power grid, us power bid, us power distribution, power transmission and distribution, power generation