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Bechtel to build 1,182-MW Ohio gas plant as fuel mix shifts away from coal

Bechtel awarded EPC contract for South Field Energy plant

Over 4 GW of regional coal capacity to retire by 2022

New York — South Field Energy has selected engineering firm Bechtel to design and build its $1.3 billion, 1,182-MW South Field Energy combined-cycle natural gas plant located in the heart of Ohio’s shale patch amid a regional shift in the power generation mix away from coal, Bechtel said Monday.

South Field Energy is an affiliate of Switzerland-based, privately owned Advanced Power, which has offices in Boston. Bechtel will be responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the power plant, which will use General Electric power generation equipment including two natural gas turbines. The plant will be a dual-fuel facility with ultra low sulfur diesel used as back-up.
A two-mile, 20-inch-diameter gas pipeline also will be built to link the plant with an existing Dominion pipeline about two miles west of the 86.5-acre plant site located in the Village of Wellsville. The plant will be owned by an investor group comprising Advanced Power, Kyushu Electric Power, NH-Amundi Asset Management and PIA Investment Management, RS Global Capital Investment (a joint venture between Development Bank of Japan and Showa Shell Sekiyu), Shikoku Electric Power Co., and an affiliate of Bechtel Development.

Upon completion in the second quarter of 2021, Advanced Power will manage the gas-fired plant and its energy, capacity and ancillary services will be sold into PJM Interconnection markets.

In 2017, coal fueled 58% of Ohio’s net electricity generation, natural gas fueled 24% and nuclear energy accounted for another 15%, according to the US Energy Information Administration. In May, coal supplied 44% of Ohio’s net power generation, gas supplied 34%, nuclear power contributed 18%, non-hydro renewables accounted for 2% and hydro power contributed 1%, according to EIA.

Power generation retirements across PJM have totaled 4,280 MW so far this year, more than twice as much as all of 2017, with an additional 1,500 MW of generation planned to close by the end of 2018, according to PJM data.

Of the 1,563 MW scheduled to be retired through the end of the year, 637 MW is coal-fired generation, 69% less a year ago, while 608 MW is nuclear and 318 MW is gas-fired generation, according to the grid operator.

FirstEnergy Solutions, a merchant generator that is in bankruptcy, notified PJM August 29 that it plans to deactivate three coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania with combined capacity of 4,004 MW by June 2021 and June 2022.

Read full article at Platts