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US adds nearly 3,000 MW of new generating capacity to grid in October

The U.S. saw 2,858 MW of generating capacity come online in October. Most of the new capacity, 86.8%, was gas-fired; 11.5% was wind and 1.8% was solar.

Three new projects amounting to 468 MW were announced in the same month, each powered by a different fuel source: gas, wind and solar. Five units were also retired in October, with nearly 800 MW taken off the grid.

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The three largest completed projects were all gas-fired, with the Lordstown Generating Station, a three-unit facility with a total capacity of 940 MW, topping the list. The plant is in Trumbull County, Ohio, in the PJM Interconnection region, and is owned by Macquarie Group Ltd. and Siemens AG. Majority-owner Macquarie has entered into an agreement to sell a 10% minority stake to Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corp.

Three units came online at the Crystal River CC (Citrus County) plant in Citrus County, Fla., totaling 820 MW. Three other units began operating in October. Wholly owned by Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary Duke Energy Florida LLC, the power the plant generates will replace the output of two coal-fired units, also named Crystal River, which will be retired in December.

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The 720-MW CPV Valley Energy Center in Orange County, N.Y., in the New York ISO market, is the third-largest completed project in October. Global Infrastructure Management Participation LLC and Mitsubishi Corp., which have equal ownership over the plant, decided to start operations on-site while they await a pending court decision on an air permit.

Out of the renewable projects completed in October, the largest was the 200-MW Wilson Ranch Wind Project (Infinity Live Oak) in Schleicher County, Texas. The project has 76 wind turbines installed and is owned by ENGIE SA subsidiary Infinity Renewables LLC.


Of the three new announced projects, two are in Texas. The 200-MW Thunder Creek Wind Project in Hardeman County is owned by NextEra Energy Inc. and has an estimated project cost of $370 million, while the 100-MW Wang Solar Project in Falls County is owned by U.K.-headquartered Belltown Power Ltd. and has an estimated project cost of $240 million. Both projects are expected to come online in the last quarter of 2020.

In Hillsdale County, Mich., the 168-MW gas project Endicott Generating (Energy Island) was also announced. Owned by public utility Michigan South Central Power Agency, the project is expected to cost nearly $160 million and become fully operational by 2020. The utility had retired a small coal-fired plant at the same site.

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Five units were shut down in October, with all plant owners saying they retired the plants in line with their focus on retiring older, less-efficient fossil fuel-fired plants and investing in newer, cost-effective renewable generation.

The two-unit, 530-MW Gordon Evans plant in Sedgwick County, Kan., is one of the facilities its owner, Kansas Gas and Electric Co., chose to close as part of its merger to form Evergy Inc.

Two units at WEC Energy Group Inc.'s Pulliam plant in Brown County, Wis., were retired. They totaled 214 MW and were the last of six coal-fired units at the site to be shut. The other coal facility to shut down was Vistra Energy Corp.'s 52-MW Northeastern Power Cogeneration Facility in Schuylkill County, Pa.

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