Coastal Plants Move to Repower or Die

By Published On: March 20, 2014

The plants addressed in the March 17 Statewide Advisory Committee on Cooling Water Intake Structures report include: • NRG Energy’s El Segundo—Its two repowered, dry-cooled units are online. The water-cooled unit 4, scheduled to close at the end of next year, lacks a power purchase agreement to allow a repower to go forward. • NRG’s Encina—The projects’ units 1-3 are expected to be converted into a peaking power facility, known as the 550 MW Carlsbad Energy Center. The company plans to retire water-cooled units 4 and 5 in accordance with the December 2017 phase-out deadline. • NRG’s Pittsburg—The company plans to eliminate once-through cooling at units 5-6 and close unit 7 by the Dec. 2017, the state closure deadline. Transmission upgrades are expected to facilitate the repower. • Dynegy’s Moss Landing—The units are slated for shutdown at the end of 2017. Retrofits of units 5 and 6, which have three-year power purchase contracts, are predicted by 2017. The two other units are newer dispatchable units expected to help fill Bay Area peak demand supply gaps. • NRG’s Ormond and Mandalay—The company is considered repowering them, and estimates it will comply with the Dec. 31, 2020, phase-out deadlines. • AES’s Huntington—Units 3 and 4 were converted to synchronous condensers following San Onofre’s closure in 2013. The company wants its current December 2020 phase-out extended to 2022, in part because it maintains the life of the synchronous condensers may be extended. The advisory committee questions the requested extension. “First, are the synchronous condensers at Huntington Beach Units 3 and 4 needed in 2018? Second, does the electric grid need the maximum generating capacity and/or voltage support at Huntington Beach?” the committee asked. • AES’s Alamitos—The company is seeking permits to repower the facility to dry-cooling in time to meet the end of 2020 deadline. Its plans are dependent on the company being granted a repowering permit and having a power purchase agreement in hand. • AES’s Redondo Beach—Set for a Dec. 31, 202O, closure deadline, it plans to convert Redondo to a smaller, dry-cooled project. That would allow it to transfer the attached air pollution credits required by the South Coast Air Quality District to its Huntington project, making way for a larger repower there. These plans also are dependent on repower certifications and power output contracts.

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