Ohio siting board approves 2 gas-fired projects

Dive Brief:

  • The Ohio Power Siting Board last week approved construction of two natural gas-fired, combined-cycle projects totaling 1,950 MW in Guernsey and Trumbull counties.
  • The 1,100 MW Guernsey Power Station is being developed by jointly developed by Apex Power Group and Caithness Energy in Valley Township.
  • The 940 MW Trumbull Energy Center in Lordstown is being developed by privately owned Clean Energy Future-Trumbull.

The announcement comes after the Trump administration is pushing for cost recovery for coal and nuclear plants. While coal and nuclear interests generally back the effort, gas industry stakeholders oppose the proposal, and are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend the evaluation period.

Particularly in the MidAtlantic region, gas-fired generation has done well without any government intervention, aided by low-cost fuel from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.

Part of the Guernsey project calls for the construction of a gas pipeline to connect the plant to the Tallgrass Energy Partners Rockies Express Pipeline. The plant is scheduled to begin construction in December and begin commercial operation by October 31, 2020.

The Trumbull Energy Center will be supplied with natural gas from a Dominion East Ohio pipeline and is scheduled to begin construction in November 2017 and come online by June 2020.

Ohio also has been the center of contentious proposals by FirstEnergy and American Energy Power to bail out struggling coal and nuclear fleets. Both utilities are urging partial re-regulation of the state’s markets as well. The approval of these gas-plants shows appetite for this cleaner source of energy despite the DOE’s proposal.