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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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

Southern's Kemper County IGCC Project Now Targets Completion in Second Quarter of 2016

LCG, September 30, 2015--Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power yesterday filed its monthly Kemper County energy facility project status report for August with the Mississippi Public Service Commission. After reviewing remaining start-up, commissioning and operational readiness activities, Mississippi Power now expects the entire project to be placed in service in the second quarter of next year.

The Kemper County project is designed as a integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) facility intended to showcase new technologies for gasifying coal, together with carbon capture capabilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Like a traditional combined-cycle facility, the plant combines two combustion turbines with one steam turbine - three engines that turn generators to produce electric power. The project has been operating since August of last year fueled by natural gas, as the coal gasifiers are not ready to be placed into service. Once the facility's two lignite gasifiers begin operation, the combustion turbines will use syngas derived from gasified lignite, a low-rank coal found abundantly throughout East Mississippi.

Mississippi Power has also revised its cost estimate subject to the cost cap for the Kemper project to include approximately $15 million in cost increases primarily related to additional resources in support of startup and commissioning activities, as well as operational readiness, and the company states that customers will not pay for this increase. The company's current cost estimate for the Kemper project includes costs through March 31, 2016. As previously disclosed, any extension of the projected in-service date past March is estimated to result in approximately $25-$30 million per month above the project's cost cap. Again, customers will not pay for costs above the cost cap.

In addition, Mississippi Power estimates approximately $13 million per month in financing costs and $7 million per month for items such as operating expenses and carrying costs are expected to be incurred, and these costs are not capped and are eligible for rate recovery, if approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Mississippi Power's President and CEO stated, "The power plant portion of the project is already in service and has been providing safe, reliable electricity for our customers for more than a year. Our November rate hearing before the PSC is only asking for cost recovery for this portion. As we've said many times before, the review of the project's schedule and cost estimates will be ongoing. Customers will not pay a penny more for the cost of the project than what is approved by the PSC."

Regarding the project schedule, the entire project is anticipated to be placed into service after April 19. However, an in-service date beyond April 19 would require the company to return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approximately $234 million of Phase II investment tax credits which were received for the Kemper project. Southern Company is expected to support Mississippi Power's cash needs in returning the funds to the IRS. Specific updates to the projected in-service date and related cost estimates are expected to be included in next month's PSC report to be filed by the end of October.
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