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EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

City of Austin Approves PPA for Texas Biomass Plant

LCG, August 29, 2008--The Austin City Council yesterday approved a 20-year, power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nacogdoches Power LLC for the electricity generated from a 100-MW facility fueled with biomass. The proposed facility is scheduled to commence operations in 2012.

The project, located in northwestern Nacogdoches County, will use a variety of wood wastes, including residues from forests and sawmills, as well as waste pallets and municipal wood waste. The facility will use a bubbling fluidized bed boiler to directly combust the wood wastes, together with a steam turbine for power generation. With respect to air emissions, the design includes a baghouse to control particulate emissions and a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) system for NOx control. With respect to carbon emissions, biomass power generation is deemed carbon neutral.

Unlike wind and solar renewable resources that generate power only when the wind blows or the sun shines, the hour-to-hour generation from a biomass facility can be dispatched by the operator to meet changing load and market conditions.

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) is discussing a similar project with Nacogdoches Power LLC that could be constructed at the existing Deerhaven Generating Station near Gainesville, Florida.

Earlier this week, Georgia Power submitted a request to the Georgia Public Service Commission for approval to convert an aging, coal-fired unit at its Mitchell Generating Plant in Georgia to use wood wastes. The modified unit would use a direct-fire, stoker technology for a design capacity of 96 MW.

These three projects show a rising interest in developing large-scale, electric generating facilities that are reliant solely upon biomass as the fuel.
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