NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), has entered commercial operation at its Marsh Landing Generating Station, a natural gas–fueled, peaking facility located near Antioch, CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The plant provides 720 megawatts (MW) of flexible electrical generation to the California grid that can supply up to 650,000 homes. The fast-start technology employed by Marsh Landing supports the integration of new renewable energy sources that are expected to come online in the next decade.
“Our Marsh Landing team worked closely with a very effective construction team from Kiewit to safely build this facility on-budget and on-time,” said John Chillemi, Senior Vice President and Regional President, West. “Our goal was to bring this facility online before the California summer peak arrived, and we were able to make it happen.”
During the peak period of construction, this project created nearly 600 jobs in the local community. Bringing the new facility online also allows NRG to immediately retire two less-efficient, 1960s-era units at its adjacent Contra Costa Generating Station (CCGS) that relied on once-through cooling. Replacing the older units nets a nearly 50 MW gain in power with a fraction of the environmental impacts. Marsh Landing’s fast-start technology will bring it to full capacity in minutes where CCGS took hours, providing more power faster—and with lower emissions.
During construction, the station followed the highly respected Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building standards, which serve as the U.S. Green Building Council’s national model for environmentally friendly construction.
The Marsh Landing station will employ technologies to meet or exceed the state of California’s strict standards for emissions control and air quality. The turbines will operate with ultra-low nitrogen oxides (NOx) combustors, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system will be installed to further reduce the NOx emissions, and an oxidation catalyst system will be utilized to reduce carbon monoxide and other organic compound emissions. Marsh Landing's state-of-the-art air-cooling system uses a minuscule amount of water compared to facilities relying on water-cooled systems, advancing California's policy of reducing the use of water associated with the generation of electricity. In fact, Marsh Landing’s maximum use of 50 acre-feet of water per year represents a 99.99 percent decrease from CCGS’ maximum annual use.
The facility is located on a 27-acre parcel of industrial-zoned land approximately 50 miles east of San Francisco. Through a 10-year power purchase agreement, Pacific Gas and Electric Company will obtain the entire output of the facility.