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Power Generation and Supply Monthly Roundup, September 2020

By FirmoGraphs Staff

September 2020's Power Generation & Supply Roundup is snapshot of the insights our data is able to provide to our Power Industry clients. We share upcoming project alerts, drivers, recent mergers and acquisitions, and updates on upcoming meetings and conferences.

Industry Drivers and Alerts

Drivers Power Generation Roundup-min

Driver: 2020 Steam Electric Reconsideration Rule - Steam Electric Power Generating Effluent Guidelines

Status: Proposed

Organization: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Summary: On August 31, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule to revise the regulations for its 2015 Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELG) rule. The agency’s final Steam Electric Reconsideration rule revises requirements for two waste streams from steam electric power plants: flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater and bottom ash (BA) transport water. Key revisions include:

  1. Changing the technology-basis for treatment of FGD wastewater and BA transport water;
  2. Establishing new compliance dates;
  3. Revising the voluntary incentives program for FGD wastewater;
  4. Adding subcategories for high-flow units, low-utilization units, and those that will cease the combustion of coal by 2028 and finalizing requirements that are tailored to facilities in these subcategories.

Out of 914 coal-fired power plants in the country, EPA estimated that 75 incur compliance costs under 2020 or only those that discharge bottom ash transport water or FGD wastewater. EPA published a final rule in 2015, setting the federal limits on the levels of toxic material in wastewater that can be discharged from power plants. This final rule is effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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Driver: Environmental Quality Board Approves Proposed Climate Change Regulation

Status: Effective

Organization: Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board

Summary: On September 15, 2020, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) voted to pass a rule to restrain carbon pollution from power plants. The Office of the Attorney General will evaluate the proposed rule, and a public comment and participation period will be stated later. The vote in the EQB was 13-6. Under the proposed rule, electric power plants that release carbon dioxide will be obligated to obtain credits compatible with other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Modeling from DEP shows that participating in RGGI will reduce climate change-causing carbon dioxide pollution, generate new jobs, and reduce air pollution-related illnesses.

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Driver: California to Phase Out Gasoline-Powered Cars & Drastically Reduce Demand for Fossil Fuel in California’s Fight Against Climate Change

Status: Effective

Organization: California State Legislature

Summary: On September 23, 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order instructing the state to require all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Over 50% of California's Greenhouse Gas Emissions come from transportation. The order also leads California to take more action to undertake the dirtiest oil extraction and support workers and job retention and creation as we make a just transition away from fossil fuels.

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Driver: Building a Carbon-Neutral Michigan

Status: Effective

Organization: Michigan State Legislature

Summary: On September 23, 2020, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order committing her state to go carbon-neutral by 2050. The order calls for economy-wide emissions reductions by mid-century while reaching a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2025.

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Driver: Clean Economy, Jobs and Innovation Act

Status: Proposed

Organization: U.S. House

Summary: On September 24, the House of Representatives enacted the Clean Energy Jobs and Innovation Act. The Bill establishes a goal for the country to reach net-zero pollution by 2050 while also making environmental justice a priority and requiring every federal government agency to add environmental justice to its mission.  The legislation also renews the government’s energy research programs to concentrate on bringing down the barriers to offshore wind, advancing solar manufacturing processes, and developing technologies and tools to integrate large quantities of wind and solar on the grid.  The legislation now moves to the Senate.

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Driver: PTC Elimination Act

Status: Proposed 

Organization: U.S. Senate

Summary: On September 24, 2020, the U.S. Senator Cramer and Hoeven introduced the PTC Elimination Act, which will entirely phase out the federal production tax credit (PTC) for renewables. The legislation defines that, to qualify for the credit, all new projects would need to begin construction by the end of this year. This affirms that the extension for 2020 is the last extension the credit will receive.

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Alert: Columbia Gas of Ohio Gets Approval For Its $28 Million Pipeline Project

Type: Pipeline project                                            

Status: Effective

Organization: Columbia Gas of Ohio

Scale: 190 pounds per square inch (psi)

Summary: On August 27, 2020, the Ohio Power Siting Board decided on issuing a certificate to Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc. to construct, operate, and maintain a 4.78-mile natural gas pipeline near Marysville, Union County, Ohio. Columbia Gas filed a letter of notification application on December 20, 2019, asking Boards approval for the proposed Marysville Connector Pipeline Project.  The proposed project will be approximately 4.78 miles in length, with a maximum allowable operating pressure of 190 psi gauge. It will provide natural gas service to new industries, commercial and residential development along the route. Columbia intends to begin construction late 2021 and anticipates to place the line in service by late 2022.

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Alert: AEP Ohio Transmission Company Notice of Withdrawal of Application Without Prejudice for the Cole – Amlin 138kV Transmission Line Relocation Project

Type: Transmission Line                                           

Status: Withdrawn

Organization: AEP Transmission Company, Inc.

Summary: On August 28, 2020, AEP Ohio Transmission Company, Inc. withdrew without prejudice its Application for the Cole – Amlin 138kV Transmission Line Relocation Project, and requested for the case to be closed. The Company originally filed its Letter of Notification Application on May 20, 2020.

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Alert: City of Chicago Announces $200 Million RFP For Renewable Energy Supplier for All City-Owned Buildings

Type: Renewable energy                                           

Status: Effective

Organization: City of Chicago

Summary: On September 2, 2020, the City of Chicago, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Assets, Information, and Services (AIS), announced a $200 million Request for Proposals (RFP) for a contract to secure renewable energy for all city-owned buildings. The contract will supply all City-owned buildings, streetlights, and other facilities with reliable, renewable power supply for at least five years starting in 2022. Annually, the cost of powering City-owned buildings with energy is about $40 million, resulting in an evaluated renewable electricity supply contract of $200 million. Also, the contract will lead to creating new renewable generation facilities in the region, leading to job creation and air quality benefits, and providing the City with at least 50% of its electricity supply by 2025.  Applications are due by November 6, 2020, and the City plans to declare the chosen vendor for this contract in January 2021.

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Alert: Request to Amend GVEC Cibolo-McQueeney Tap to Santa Clara 138 kV Transmission Line Project

Type: Transmission Line                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Scale: 138 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On September 9, 2020, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. (GVEC) filed a request with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, requesting to be granted a docket number. The purpose of the GVEC application is to amend its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for a Proposed 138-kV Transmission Line in Guadalupe County, Texas.

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Alert: $700.7 Million gridSMART Phase 3 Project

Type: Grid Modernization                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: Ohio Power Company

Summary: On September 9, 2020, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued its Opinion and Order in the Matter of Ohio Power Company (AEP Ohio) to initiate its gridSMART Phase 3 Project. In its application, AEP Ohio proposed expanding the technologies authorized in gridSMART Phase 2, i.e., advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation circuit reconfiguration (DACR), and volt/VAR optimization (VVO). This includes completing the deployment of AMI for the remaining approximately 475,000, mostly rural customers, the deployment of DACR on an additional 80 schemes impacting 416 distribution circuits, and the deployment of VVO on an additional 190 substation buses affecting 492 distribution circuits. The Company also proposed distribution of supervisory control and data acquisition (D-SCADA) on 160 circuits that are not candidates for DACR, and 3,100 intelligent line sensors deployed for various focused purposes. The Company proposes limited enhancements to the electronic data interchange (EDI) to provide competitive retail electric service (CRES) marketers with access to interval data for the tiny number of customers on CRES time-of-use products. In terms of the Phase 3 implementation period, the Company intends to install DACR, VVO, and fiber over 10 years; D-SCADA and intelligent line sensors over a 5-year period; AMI over 5 years; and Incremental VVO and AMI data via EDI over a 12 to 18-month period. The estimated capital costs are $700.7 million, and the project's operations and maintenance expenses are $263.6 million. The Company originally filed it's application for the initiation of its gridSMART Phase 3 project on July 26, 2019.

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Alert: 75-MW Solar Facility in Wilkes County, North Carolina

Type: Solar Facility                                           

Status: Effective

Organization: North Carolina Utilities Commission

Scale: 75 megawatts (AC)

Summary: On September 10, 2020, North Carolina Utilities Commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Wilkes Solar, LLC, for the construction of a 75-MWAC solar photovoltaic electric generating facility located at 502 Robin Hill Road, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina.

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Alert: Indiana Michigan Power Co. to Withdraw Its Integrated Resource Plan, Refile New Version In 2021

Type: IRP Withdrawal                                           

Status: Effective

Organization: Indiana Michigan Power Co.

Summary: On September 10, 2020, the Indiana Michigan Power Co. (I&M) got approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission to withdraw its integrated resource plan (IRP). I&M initially I&M filed its IRP in August 2019 to meet the demands of the state’s 2016 energy law update requiring all rate-regulated utilities to submit for MPSC review and approval their plans for providing reliable, cost-effective electric service to customers while addressing risks and uncertainties inherent in the electric utility industry. Also, under this approval, I&M will file a new IRP by or on December 15, 2021.

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Alert: MPSC Approves Settlement Agreement Reducing Consumers Energy Rate Increase by 40%

Type: Rate Increase                                           

Status: Effective

Organization: Consumers Energy Company

Summary: On September 10, 2020, Consumers Energy Company got approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission to increase rates by 40%. Consumers Energy Company initially filed a request for authority to raise rates in December 2019, anticipating revenue deficiency of $245 million from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021. Under the settlement agreement, Consumers Energy is approved to raise rates by $144 million, or around 60% of its initial request. New rates will take effect on October 1, 2020. Commencing October 1, 2020, a residential customer using 100 cubic feet of gas a month will see a $6.72 or 9.1% increase in their monthly bill.

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Alert: Camden Solar, LLC 20MW Solar Facility, North Carolina

Type: Solar Facility                                           

Status: Effective

Organization: Camden Solar, LLC

Scale: 20 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On September 14, 2020, the North Carolina Utilities Commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to Camden Solar, LLC to construct a 20MWAC solar PV electric generating facility. Facility will be located in Camden County, North Carolina and operated as a merchant generating facility. The Applicant originally filed a request for CPCN in April, 2020.

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Alert: 120 MW Ross County Solar, LLC Solar Powered Electric Generating Facility, Ohio

Type: Solar Facility                                             

Status: Proposed

Organization: Ross County Solar, LLC

Scale: 120 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On September 14, 2020, Ross County Solar, LLC, filed a pre-application notification letter with the Ohio Power Siting Board. The proposed Ross County Solar Project will be located on roughly 1,400 acres of land near Lower Twin Road and Rapid Forge Road. The purpose of the Ross County Solar Project will be to maximize energy production from solar resources to deliver clean, renewable electricity to the regional transmission system to serve electric utilities and their customers' needs. Construction of the facility is scheduled to commence as early as the fourth quarter of 2021. The Ross County Solar Project is expected to be in service by the end of 2022. On September 30, 2020, from 6:00 p.m., Ross County Solar, LLC will conduct a web-based virtual public information meeting regarding the Ross County Solar Project.

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Alert: $15 Million NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a/ Eversource Energy 115 kV Overhead Transmission Line, Massachusetts

Type: Transmission Line                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a/ Eversource Energy

Scale: 115 kilovolts (kV)

Summary: On September 14, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities granted an Eversource Energy application to construct a transmission line. On March 22, 2019, NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy filed a petition seeking approval to build a 5.1 mile, 115 kV overhead transmission line along an existing Eversource right-of-way between the Cross Road Substation and Fisher Road Substation, both located in the Town of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The Company’s conceptual grade cost estimate (-25%/+25%) for the Project is around $15 million.

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Alert: Fresh Air Energy XXXVII, LLC 19.99 MW Solar Facility, North Carolina

Type: Solar Facility                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: Fresh Energy XXXVII, LLC

Scale: 19 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On September 15, 2020, the State of North Carolina Utilities Commission issued an order to Fresh Energy XXXVII, LLC to publish notice of the application and file an affidavit of publication with the Commission. The Applicant must also mail them to the electric utility to which it intends to sell and distribute the electricity and file a signed and verified certificate of service that the application and notice were presented to the utility. On January 26, 2015, the Commission issued an Order granting Fresh Air Energy XXXVII, LLC (Applicant), a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to construct a 19.99MW solar generating facility to be located on two meeting parcels located off of N.C. Highway 48, with both parcels abutting N.C. Highway 48 to the north, about 1 mile west of Pleasant Hill, Northampton County, North Carolina. On August 21, 2020, the Applicant filed an amendment to its application, stating that it is making changes in the site plan based on site design optimization. Also, the Applicant filed a revised site plan map showing the proposed changes. The Commission cannot take any action until after the Applicant has filed both the affidavit of publication and the service certificate. 

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Alert: 144 MW Clearview Solar I, LLC Project, Ohio

Type: Solar Facility                                            

Status: Proposed

Organization: Clearview Solar I, LLC

Scale: 144 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On September 17, 2020, Clearview Solar I, LLC, filed an pre-application notification letter with the Ohio Power Siting Board for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to Construct a Solar Powered Electric Generation Facility in Champaign County, Ohio. The proposed facility, the Clearview Solar Project, is a solar-powered electric generation facility located in Champaign County, Ohio. The facility will be situated on approximately 1,060 acres and have a maximum total generating capacity of up to 144 MW. . The facility's purpose is to generate on-peak electricity to deliver to the Dayton Power & Light transmission system in Ohio. Construction is expected to begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2022, resulting in commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2023. On October 6, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Clearview Solar will conduct a public information meeting that will be virtual and will consist of a presentation about the proposed facility and approval process.

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Alert: Perendale Holdings, LLC 7 MW Solar Facility, North Carolina

Type: Solar Facility                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: Perendele Holdings, LLC

Scale: 7 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On September 21, 2020, the North Carolina Utilities Commission issued an order to the Perendale Holdings, LLC, to publish notice of the application and file an affidavit of publication with the Commission. The Applicant must also mail them to the electric utility to which it intends to sell and distribute the electricity and file a signed and verified certificate of service that the application and notice were presented to the utility.  On September 15, 2020, Perendale Holdings, LLC, filed an application seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity for constructing a 7-MW solar generating facility to be located one mile southwest of the intersection of Pudding Ridge Road and Farmington Road near Mocksville, Davie County, North Carolina. The Applicant plans to sell the electricity to EnergyUnited. The Commission cannot take any action until after the Applicant has filed both the affidavit of publication and the service certificate.

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Alert: 100 MWAC Oak Trail Solar, LLC Merchant Plant

Type: Solar Facility                                          

Status: Proposed

Organization: Oak Trail Solar, LLC

Scale: 100 megawatts AC (MWAC)

Construction Dates: Dec. 2021 - Nov. 2022

Summary: On September 17, 2020, Oak Trail Solar, LLC (Oak Trail) filed for an Application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for a Merchant Plant with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Oak Trail proposes constructing a solar photovoltaic (PV) with a capacity of up to 100 MWAC, to be located in Currituck County. The Facility's nameplate generating capacity will be 100 MWAC with an anticipated gross capacity of 245,000 MWh per year. The expected beginning date for construction is December 2021, and the expected commercial operation date is as early as November 2022. The expected life of the Facility is 30+ years. 

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Alert: PowerPath DC Governance Board Sponsors Call for Papers Proposing $21.55 Million Grid Modernization Pilot Projects

Type: Grid Modernization

Status: Proposed

Organization: PowerPath DC

Summary: On September 28, 2020, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia announced that the PowerPath DC Governance Board has started to accept the concept papers on potential pilot projects to improve the District's clean energy and grid modernization goals. The concept papers should be in alignment with the PowerPath DC Vision Statement and Guiding Principles and support aims identified by stakeholders throughout the PowerPath DC working group process. Concept papers may be used to inform Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for accepted pilot projects or studies. This $21.55 million Pilot Project is the result of the Pepco Holdings, Inc and Exelon Merger. Submissions are due by email to the Governance Board by October 28, 2020.

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Notable M&A

roundup

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

  • September 10, 2020, BP agreed to purchase 50% stakes in two U.S. wind assets from Equinor for $1.1 billion.

Click here for more information. 

  • September 16, 2020, OPC Energy signed a letter of intent to acquire CPV.

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Meeting Planner

Meeting Power Generation Roundup-min

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

Meetings in October & November, 2020


Early Bird Registration Deadline

  • Event:  The APPA Public Power Forward Summit - 2020 (Virtual Conference)
  • URL: http://ow.ly/6t3y50BFHP3
  • Dates:  Nov. 10, 2020
  • Date Early Registration:  Oct. 9, 2020

Call for Papers Deadlines

  • Event:  AWEA Cleanpower - 2021
  • URL: http://ow.ly/bdJ350BFI8j
  • Dates:  Jun. 7 to Jun. 10, 2021
  • Date Call for Paper:  Oct. 23, 2020
  • Event:  World of Coal Ash - 2021
  • URL: http://ow.ly/OB9b50BFIaL
  • Dates: May 17 to May 20, 2021
  • Date Call for Paper:  Nov. 6, 2020
  • Event:  International Biomass Conference & Expo - 2021
  • URL: http://ow.ly/7Lg150BFIeX
  • Dates:  Mar. 15 to Mar. 17, 2021
  • Date Call for Paper:  Nov. 13, 2020

 

None of the information we provide may be taken as legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you require a legal interpretation of this information. 

Any information contained on this website or within any attachments is offered without representation or warranty as to its accuracy or completeness and FirmoGraphs, LLC cannot be held responsible for loss or damage caused by errors, omission, misprints or your misinterpretation of such information. Seek competent professional advice prior to relying on or utilizing such information in any manner as any such use is at your own risk.

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