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Connecticut Seeks 2,000 MW of Offshore Wind Capacity

LCG, August 22, 2019--The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on Friday released a request for proposals (RFP) for offshore wind power projects. DEEP is seeking up to 2,000 MW, as required under Public Act 19-71, An Act Concerning the Procurement of Energy Derived from Offshore Wind.

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EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Industry News

Sierra Club Loses Challenge of Air Permit Issued for New Gas-fired Power Plant in Texas

LCG, March 21, 2014 - The United States Environmental Appeals Board rejected on March 14 a Sierra Club petition for a review of an air permit issued to La Paloma Energy Center LLC for a gas-fired, combined-cycle power project in Harlingen, Texas. With the decision, an obstacle in the path towards construction is set aside. The project is being developed by Coronado Power Ventures, LLC and Bechtel.

Last November, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 issued the permit to La Paloma Energy Center, LLC (LPEC). The permit authorizes LPEC to construct and operate a 637-MW to 735-MW natural gas-fired power plant. In December, the Sierra Club filed a petition challenging the La Paloma permit on the grounds that the EPA erred or abused its discretion by failing to base the emissions limits for each of the plant's three gas combustion turbine (CT) units on the energy efficiency of the most efficient of three technologies proposed by the developer.

The Environmental Appeals Board stated in its March 14 order denying review of the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit, "Sierra Club has failed to demonstrate that the Region clearly erred or abused its discretion in establishing the GHG permit limits for the combustion turbines at the proposed LPEC facility. The Board finds no support in EPA's Best Available Control Technology [BACT] guidance for Sierra Club's position that the three specific turbine models proposed by LPEC must be identified as separate control technologies throughout the Region's five-step analysis." The Board concluded that the Region had a rational basis for its determinations that all three of the permitted turbine models considered are comparably efficient, that the assigned BACT limits are substantially equivalent except for marginal differences attributable to capacity, and that the GHG emission limits for all three turbine models represent BACT for highly efficient combined cycle combustion turbines.

The Sierra Club also challenged the permit on the grounds the EPA did not require LPEC to consider a design incorporating solar thermal energy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because the Region incorrectly concluded that solar technology would redefine the source of the GHGs. However, the Board concluded, "Under the circumstances of this case, the business purposes and site-specific constraints described in the administrative record support the Region's conclusion that the addition of supplemental solar power to this facility would constitute redesign of the source."
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