Nearly 19,000 MW of power generation fueled with natural gas is expected to be built and commissioned between 2016 and 2018, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Thursday.
Not surprisingly, much of that capacity is being built near shale formations containing prolific amounts of low-priced natural gas. Several new combined cycle gas-fired plants are in some stage of development around the Marcellus and Utica shale gas plays in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio and the Eagle Ford and Barnett shale formations in Texas.
In the Mid-Atlantic region, Virginia is adding the most gas-fired generation capacity, with plans to build 2,300 MW of gas-fired capacity between 2016 and 2018, followed by Ohio with 1,900 MW, Pennsylvania with 1,800 MW, and Massachusetts with 700 MW. In Texas, 3,200 MW of gas-fired capacity is expected to become operational during the same period. Florida will be commissioning the most gas-fired generation, adding 3,800 MW of new capacity over the three-year period.
“The Mid-Atlantic states and Texas have the most natural gas-fired capacity additions under construction with planned online dates within the next three years,” EIA said in a statement.
As a result, all three regions have expanded existing pipeline systems and built new pipeline capacity to transport more gas produced from the thin, nonporous rock known as shale.