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Amid coal unit retirements, FERC receives 3 gas pipeline pitches

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission received new applications for short pipeline projects that would serve gas-fired electric power generation that is displacing coal-fired generation in the U.S. East and Southeast.

Equitrans Midstream Corp. proposed a 140,000-Dth/d gas pipeline project to serve an 830-MW combined-cycle power plant for Brooke County, W.Va. ESC Brooke County Power I LLC's ESC Brooke County Power plant will deliver power into PJM Interconnection LLC through existing transmission lines nearby.

Equitrans' 16.7-mile, 16-inch-diameter Tri-State Corridor pipeline project would run from Washington County, Pa., to Brooke County. It would receive its supply from the Rover pipeline and two intrastate pipelines, according to a Natural Gas Act certificate application filed with FERC on May 31. (FERC docket CP19- 473)

Equitrans is seeking certificate approval by May 31, 2020, to meet an August 2021 in-service date that would allow the power plant to receive test gas by September 2021 to begin the commissioning process so the plant can start full operations in June 2022.

The power plant developer has a binding precedent agreement for the full capacity. The power plant will "help meet PJM's projected load forecast in light of many coal-fired plant closures" and help balance intermittent output of renewables or variation in supply and demand, according to the Public Service of Commission of West Virginia order granting a siting certificate. It referenced 29,192 MW of retirements in PJM from 2011 through 2020.

Florida expansion

Separately, Florida Gas Transmission Co. LLC proposed a 21-mile, 169,000-MMBtu per day pipeline project to increase Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc. volumes at the SeaCoast Gas Transmission LLC delivery point in Putnam County, Fla.

The Putnam expansion project would allow previously unsubscribed firm capacity available on Florida Gas Transmission's West Leg system to be moved to Florida Gas Transmission's East Leg mainline, according to an application filed with FERC on May 31. This would be accomplished through loop extensions on the East Leg mainline to meet Seminole Electric's contractual firm volumes at the SeaCoast Gas Transmission delivery point in Putnam County. (FERC docket CP19-474)

Downstream of the delivery point, SeaCoast plans to build a roughly 21.3-mile pipeline to ship gas to an existing Seminole Electric power plant, which will be replaced by a gas-fired, combined-cycle unit.

The Putnam expansion would entail about 13.7 miles of 30-inch-diameter loop extension in Columbia and Union counties in Florida along with seven miles of 30-inch-diameter loop extension in Clay and Putnam counties and other modifications in Orange County to Florida Gas Transmission's existing Compressor Station 18 to allow for bidirectional flows.

According to the application at FERC, the compressor station would be able to discharge and flow from south to north to accommodate the total deliveries at the Florida Gas Transmission/SeaCoast interconnection. Florida Gas Transmission said the design could reduce fuel use at the station by allowing compressor units to go offline more often.

Gulfstream project

Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC proposed the Phase VI expansion project designed to add about 78,000 Dth/d of mainline capacity from receipt points in Mississippi and Alabama to a delivery point in Manatee County, Fla.

Tampa Electric Co., which is transforming one unit at a coal-fired station in Hillsborough County, Fla., into a combined-cycle gas generating unit, has a 25-year precedent agreement for the full capacity.

The project "is designed to transport 78,000 Dth/d of firm natural gas supplies from points in Mississippi and Alabama across the Gulf of Mexico to the power station" and would support Tampa Electric's expanding natural gas pipeline transportation portfolio, the abbreviated application said. (FERC docket CP19-475)

Gulfstream is seeking FERC's sign-off by June 1, 2020, to allow the facilities to begin service by December 2022. The FERC review schedule will give Gulfstream time to get a special permit from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to increase maximum allowable operating pressure on a 55-mile offshore segment of Gulfstream's system, the company said.

The project facilities would entail one 16,000-horsepower compressor unit at an existing station in Mobile County, Ala.; four miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline onshore in Mobile County; abandonment of a four-mile segment; uprating the pressure of the 55-mile segment offshore in Mobile County; metering equipment; and other facilities.

Maya Weber is a reporter with S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts are owned by S&P Global Inc.