Power Generation & Supply Market Recap, January 2021

By FirmoGraphs Staff
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January 2021's Power Generation & Supply Market Recap is a snapshot of insights in the power industry in the last month. 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-min

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

Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act and Grid Modernization Research and Development Act of 2020 Signed Into Law

Status: Effective

Organization: U.S. Senate

Summary: On December 31, 2020, the president signed into law two bipartisan bills to strengthen grid security and improve energy efficiency in Southwest Washington. The BEST Act was Introduced to the Senate in May 2019, and it addresses grid-scale energy storage systems requiring the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish within its Office of Electricity a research, development, and demonstration program. On December 13, 2019, the Grid Modernization Research and Development Act was presented to the Senate with the goal to improve and expand crucial research programs focused on modernizing the electric grid, as well as the development of programs that strengthen grid security.

Click here and here for more information.

 

Renewable Energy Tax Credits Extended Under Pandemic Stimulus Package

Status: Effective

Organization: U.S. House of Representatives

Summary: December 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives signed into law a $900 billion stimulus with a goal to stem the economic effects of the coronavirus. The law will extend critical tax credits by two years. New solar projects will get a 26% investment tax credit in 2021 and 2022. That credit will decline to 23% and then 10% in the following two years.

Click here for more information.

 

Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Extenders Bill)

Status: Effective

Organization: U.S. Senate

Summary: On December 27, 2020, President Trump enacted the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Extenders Bill), extending several renewable energy tax credits and introducing new ones. The Extenders Bill was signed into law as part of larger legislation providing coronavirus-related relief.

Click here for more information. 

 

Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021

Status: Proposed

Organization: California Legislature

Summary: On December 28, 2020, the Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021 was introduced. The Act aims to ensure California plans for continuous electricity during wildfire-driven power outages without relying on fossil fuel-powered backup generation. It authorizes a grant program partly administered by the California Energy Commission for interested local governments to plan for alternative energy such as solar power for facilities.

Click here for more information.

 

Senators Propose Changes to New Mexico's Energy Transition Act

Status: Proposed

Organization: New Mexico Legislature

Summary: On January 3, 2021, the state lawmakers proposed changes to the two-years-ago signed act. The Energy Transition Act requires the state's major electric utilities to get 100% of their power from carbon emission-free sources by 2045. Now, the lawmakers are proposing alterations to the law, including giving the state Public Regulation Commission full oversight over future coal plant closures and the permission to approve or deny any plant-closing costs that might pass onto consumers.

Click here for more information.

 

An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy

Status: Effective

Organization: Massachusetts Legislature

Summary: On January 4, 2021, an Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy was enacted. The act seeks to bring offshore wind energy acquisition to 5,600 MW, calls for emission cuts in the state's energy efficiency program, MassSave; and increases support for clean energy workforce development programs.

Click here for more information.

 

Washington State Agencies Adopt Rules to Implement Washington’s 100% Clean Electricity Law

Status: Effective

Organization: Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission

Summary: On January 6, 2020, the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission released the news that Washington state passed another milestone on the path to 100% clean electricity. The Washington State Department of Commerce and Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) adopted administrative rules for implementing the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA). The state law passed last year requiring an electricity supply free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

Click here for more information. 

 

EPA Releases Briefing Paper on Renewable Energy Waste Management

Status: Effective

Organization: The Environmental Protection Agency

Summary: On January 6, 2021, the EPA issued a paper called Renewable Energy Waste Streams: Preparing for the Future. The paper studies the waste produced once solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, and windmills approach the end of their life. The paper recognizes challenges America will face in the future as the use of renewable energy technologies increases and creates new materials that need to be recycled or properly disposed of.

Click here for more information.

 

Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service Release Final Rule on Section 45Q Credit Regulations

Status: Effective

Organization: Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Summary: On January 6, 2021, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published final regulations concerning the section 45Q credit for qualified carbon oxide sequestration using carbon capture equipment placed in service on or after the date of the enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Final regulations present procedures to define adequate security measures for the geological storage of qualified carbon oxide, exceptions to the general rule for determining to whom the credit is attributable, procedures for a taxpayer to make an election to allow third-party taxpayers to claim the credit, the definition of carbon capture equipment, and standards for measuring utilization of qualified carbon oxide.

Click here for more information.

 

Legislative Bill 409 - Proposed Bill Regarding the Building of Long Transmission Lines 

Status: Proposed

Organization: Nebraska State Legislature

Summary: On January 14, 2021, an Act that will temporarily end the construction of electric transmission lines and create the Electric Transmission Line Study Committee of the Legislature was introduced. If passed, the bill would prohibit a public power district, public irrigation district, or public power and irrigation district to start or continue the construction on transmission lines at least 200 miles long through Jan. 1, 2023.

Click here for more information. 

 

D.C. Circuit Vacates EPA's Repeal and Replacement of the Clean Power Plan

Status: Effective

Organization: U.S. Court of Appeals

Summary: On January 19, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the EPA's repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever limits for climate change pollution from existing power plants.

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.

 

$2.5 Billion Mayflower Wind 804 MW Project

Type: Wind Generation                                            

Status: Proposed

Organization: NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy, Massachusetts Electric Company, and Nantucket Electric Company, each d/b/a National Grid, and Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, d/b/a Unitil

Scale: 804 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On November 5, 2020, the NSTAR Electric Company, d/b/a Eversource Energy, Massachusetts Electric Company, and Nantucket Electric Company, each d/b/a National Grid, and Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, d/b/a Unitil, filed a petition before the Department of Public Utilities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for approval of the of two long-term contracts for the acquisition of Offshore Wind Energy Generation. The Companies solicited bids for up to 1,600 MW of offshore wind energy generation. As a result of this solicitation process, the Companies each sought Department approval of two power purchase agreements (PPAs) for energy. They associated RECs from the Mayflower Wind 804 MW offshore wind energy generation project. Phase 1 of the Project has a nameplate capacity of 408 MW and has a commercial operation date of September 1, 2025. Phase 2 of the Project has a nameplate capacity of 396 MW and has a COD of December 15, 2025. Together, both phases total 804 MW of offshore wind energy generation nameplate capacity. The Companies have agreed to purchase 100% of the energy and RECs generated and delivered by the Project over a 20-year term.

Click here for more information. 

 

$302.4 Million Wind Turbine Electricity Generating 200MW Facility Project 

Type: Wind Generation                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: Tunica Windpower, LLC

Scale: 200 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On November 24, 2020, the Tunica Windpower, LLC filed a petition for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct the electric generating facility in Tunica County, Mississippi before the Public Service Commission of the state of Mississippi. Tunica Windpower intends to construct and operate an up to 200MW wind turbine electricity generating facility and sell the capacity and related energy by the Facility solely to wholesale customers in interstate commerce. It is anticipated that the Facility will be operational on or about October 1, 2021. The estimated cost for this project is $302.4 million.

Click here for more information. 

 

$200 Million 200 MWac Solar Electric Power Generation Facility 50 MWac Storage Facility

Type: Solar / Storage Facility                                             

Status: Proposed

Organization: MS Solar 5, LLC

Scale: 200 nominal power (MWac)  and 50 MWac

Summary: On December 11, 2020, MS Solar 5, LLC filed a petition for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct and operate a 200 MWac solar electric power generation facility and a 50 MWac storage facility before the Mississippi Public Service Commission. The entire electricity output generated by the Facility will be sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a term of 20 years. The capital investment in Mississippi necessary to develop and construct the Facility is estimated to be $200 Million.

Click here for more information.

 

$615 Million Space City Solar Project 

Type: Solar Project                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC and EDF Renewables Development, Inc.

Scale: 609.7 megawatts (MW)

Summary:  On January 7, 2021, the Public Utility Commission received  Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Standard Generation Interconnection Agreement (SGIA), dated December 15, 2020, between CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC and EDF Renewables Development, Inc. The agreement considers Space City Solar Project that will consist of 175 PV solar inverters rated at 3.484 MW for a combined gross total of 609.74 MW , which is projected to be the Plant's Net Dependable Capability. The estimated cost of this project is $615 Million.

Click here for more information. 

 

300MW Solar PV Facility

Type: Transmission                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: Gaston Green Acres Solar, LLC

Scale: 300 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On July 15, 2020, the North Carolina Utilities Commission received Gaston Green Acres Solar, LLC's Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for a solar photovoltaic merchant plant facility with a capacity of 300 MW AC to be located in Northampton County, North Carolina. 

Click here for more information. 

 

222MW Red Barn Phase 1

Type: Solar Generation                                            

Status: Proposed

Organization: Electric Transmission Texas, LLC and RE Maplewood Interconnection Manager, LLC

Scale: 222 megawatts (MW)

Summary: On December 8, 2021, the Public Utility Commission received  Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Standard Generation Interconnection Agreement (SGIA), dated November 23, 2020, between  Electric Transmission Texas, LLC and RE Maplewood Interconnection Manager, LLC. The agreement considers Phase 1 construction of the generator's Red Barn Substation. The substation will be located in Pecos County, Texas and Phase 1 will include a maximum 222 MW Plant capacity, comprised of 77 inverters at 3.15 MW each.

Click here for more information.

 

$235 Million 175 MWAc Solar Photovoltaic Facility

Type: Generation - Solar                                         

Status: Proposed

Organization: Pearl River Solar Park, LLC

Scale: 175 nominal power (MWac)

Summary: On December 23, 2020, the Pearl River Solar Park, LLC filed a petition for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity authorizing construction, ownership, and operation of a solar electric generating facility before the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Petitioner intends to construct, own, and operate the Facility, in Scott County, Mississippi. The Facility is expected to be located on a total of around 1,760 acres that is currently under control by the Petitioner. The energy offtake of the Facility is still yet to be determined, but Petitioneris currently in discussions with potential offtakers for the full output of the Facility. Estimated cost of this project is $235 million. 

Click here for more information.

 

$101.4 Million Bethel-Batavia Pipeline (T/L C367)

Type: Pipeline - Gas                                           

Status: Proposed

Organization: Duke Energy Ohio, Inc 

Summary: On January 14, 2021, the Duke Energy Ohio, Inc filed its Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need with the Ohio Power Siting Board. Duke Energy Ohio is proposing to support growth and natural gas demands by installing a new natural gas pipeline, which will also be known as Line C367. This Project will serve as a connection between existing Line C338 and Line CG11 pipelines in Clermont County. The Preferred Route of the natural gas pipeline is 15.5 miles long and the Alternate Route is 14.2 miles long, with both routes in Clermont County, Ohio. The proposed pipeline will have an outside diameter of 12.75 inches, a nominal wall thickness of 0.375 inches, and pipe lengths of approximately 40 feet (double random length). The proposed pipeline maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) is 535 pound-force per square inch gauge (psig), and the line is planned to operate up to this pressure. Pipeline system design pressure will be 1,000 psig.

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 January:

  • December 30, 2020, Global Infrastructure Partners acquired MAP® RE/ES, including renewable energy assets under management.
    Click here for more information.
  • January 5, 2021, NRG Energy acquired Direct Energy for $3.625 billion.
    Click here for more information.
  • January 15, 2021, Ameren Missouri acquired 300MW Atchison wind farm from Invenergy.
    Click here for more information.
  • January 19, 2021, Dominion Energy’s subsidiary acquired 150MW Hardin solar generating facility from Invenergy.
    Click here for more information.
  • January 21, 2021, Exus acquired a 160MW wind farm in Texas from Goldwind.
    Click here for more information.

 

What We Are Reading

Reading News and Market Updates

Here are some recent articles our team has been reading:

 

Meeting Planner

Meeting Planner

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

Meetings in February and March 2021

Call for Papers Deadline

  • Event: ASES Annual National Solar Conference
    Dates: Aug. 3 - Aug. 6, 2021
    Date Call for Paper: Feb. 15, 2021
    Click here for participation. 

 

Early Birds Registration

  • Event: International Biomass Conference & Expo - 2021
    Dates: Mar. 16 - Mar. 17, 2021
    Date for Early Registration: Feb. 17, 2021
    Click here to register
  • Event: Engineering & Operations Virtual Conference - 2021
    Dates: Mar. 23 - Mar. 24, 2021
    Date for Early Registration: Feb. 26, 2021
    Click here to register. 

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