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California delays gas power plant rebuild plan

08 Jun 2017 18:12 (+01:00 GMT)
California delays gas power plant rebuild plan

Houston, 8 June (Argus) — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has put on hold a plan to rebuild and modernize several natural gas power plants in California as officials examine possible renewable energy alternatives.

LADWP said an independent study would analyze the existing plan to rebuild the plants and also identify clean energy options by looking at factors including reliability, greenhouse gas emissions and the incorporation of renewable resources.

The study is anticipated to be completed no later than early 2018, officials said during a presentation to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on 6 June.

Repowering activities at the Scattergood generating station in Playa del Rey, along with the Haynes generating station in Long Beach, are currently in progress. Both projects involve replacing old, existing steam boiler units with cleaner, more efficient technology.

Scattergood completed an upgrade to Unit 3 in 2015, which boosted total gross capacity to approximately 903MW. The station is on track to also replace Units 1 and 2 with a combined-cycle generating unit that will use air cooling instead of ocean water cooling.

Haynes completed an upgrade to Units 3 and 4 in 2005, and another upgrade to Units 5 and 6 in 2013. The station has a total gross capacity of approximately 1,600 MW. Haynes is currently scheduled to replace Units 1 and 2 with simple cycle gas turbine units.

According to LADWP, the 2017-18 fiscal year budget includes $61.5mn to complete demolition projects and prepare both sites for future energy projects.

The move to delay further repowering of gas-fired plants comes as California continues to make significant strides towards greater use of renewable energy. Lawmakers have mandated that at least 50pc of California's electricity must come from clean energy sources by 2030.

Last week the California Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill 100 (SB 100), which guarantees that 100pc of the state's electricity would come from renewable energy sources by 2045.

The bill now moves to the California Assembly for a vote.