AES Asks for Expedited Review of Revamped Huntington Beach Project

 AES Asks for Expedited Review of Revamped Huntington Beach Project

The AES Southland Development LLC unit of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) on Oct. 27 asked the California Energy Commission for an expedited schedule, with a commission decision on May 11 of next year, related to its Sept. 9 amendment request for the Huntington Beach Energy Project (HBEP).

The commission had approved one version of the project in October 2014. The Sept. 9 amendment was prompted by specific needs in a power sales contract worked out with Southern California Edison following the commission approval.

Noted the Oct. 27 request from AES: "It has come to Project Owner’s attention that due to scheduling constraints, a Site Visit and Informational Hearing is not able to be scheduled in November 2015 as requested by AES. Currently, a Site Visit and Informational Hearing is scheduled to occur on December 14, 2015 in Huntington Beach."

In an effort to expedite processing of the amendment, AES asked the committee of commissioners reviewing this amendment to issue a scheduling order that lays out the steps to the proposed May 11 decision. "Given that the Final Decision is only one year old and site conditions have not changed since issuance of the Final Decision, AES is confident that the proposed schedule is reasonable and realistic," the company said.

The commission as of Nov. 4 had not responded to the scheduling request. It did on Oct. 30 issue a public notice describing the amendment application and saying there will be chances for public input in the review process.

The HBEP would replace, and be constructed on, 28.6 acres entirely within the footprint of the existing and operating AES Huntington Beach Generating Station (HBGS) located in an industrial area of Huntington Beach, California. The redesigned project would total 844 MW and be constructed in two phases.

Phase 1 would be a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, air-cooled, 644-MW facility.

Phase 2 would be two 100-MW simple-cycle gas turbines.

The approved version of the project was licensed as a 939-MW plant consisting of two independently operating, three-on-one, combined-cycle gas turbine power blocks. Each power block would have consisted of three Mitsubishi natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators, three supplemental-fired heat recovery steam generators, one steam turbine generator, an air-cooled condenser, and related ancillary equipment.

The Oct. 30 notice explained: "The proposed amendment to the HBEP Final Decision from the Energy Commission is the result of the selection by Southern California Edison (SCE) of the revised AES project in the 2013 Local Capacity Requirements Request for offers (LCR RFO) to provide 644 MW of nominal capacity, with different technology than that permitted in the HBEP Final Decision."

New version features four GE gas turbines

The revamped project would include in Phase 1:

  • One combined-cycle, gas turbine (CCGT), 644-MW power block consisting of two General Electric (GE) Frame 7FA.05s;
  • Two unfired heat-recovery steam generators equipped with two emission control systems to control CO, NOx and VOC emissions;
  • One steam turbine generator;
  • One air-cooled condenser (ACC) and one closed-loop air-cooled heat exchanger; and
  • One natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler to support the power block.

Phase 2 includes two GE simple-cycle LMS-100 PB combustion turbine generators (SCTGs) with a nominal capacity of 200 MW. Each power block will have a set of electric powered natural gas compressors.

Removal/demolition of existing Huntington Beach Generating Station Units 3 and 4 will occur in advance of the construction of the HBEP phase 2 SCGT power block. Demolition and removal of the Unit 5 peaker (former gas turbine generator), two former fuel oil tanks, associated fuel oil pipelines, asbestos and containment berms will begin in mid-2016.

If the HBEP amendment is approved by the Energy Commission, construction and demolition activities at the project site are anticipated to take 96 months, lasting through the first quarter of 2024.

Construction of the CCGT power block 1 is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2017 with commercial operation of power block 1 during the first/second quarter of 2020. Construction of the SCGT power block 2 is anticipated to begin during the first quarter of 2022 with commercial operation during the first quarter of 2024.

Existing Huntington Beach Generating Station Unit 1 will be retired in the fourth quarter of 2019 to provide interconnection capacity for the new CCGT units, and Unit 2 will be retired either after commercial operation of the HBEP SCGT units or at the final compliance deadline for once-through-cooling intake structures as determined by the State Water Resources Control Board, after which demolition of Huntington Beach Generating Station Units 1 and 2 will commence.

This article was republished with permission.

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