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EIA Rolls Out Long List of New Gas-Fired Power

EIA Rolls Out Long List of New Gas-Fired Power

Between 2000 and 2004, a total of 145,417 MW of nonutility generation is expected to be added to the U.S. power grid and 83% of that total will be gas-fired power generation, according to a new survey by the Energy Information Administration.

The EIA's Inventory of Nonutility Electric Power Plants in the United States found that a total of 799 new gas-fired units, totaling 120,645 MW in nameplate capacity, are scheduled to be added by the end of 2004. The Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (SERC) is expected to receive the largest portion of new nonutility generation with an additional 252 units totaling 36,636 MW. SERC is followed by ERCOT with 109 new units totaling 21,775 MW; ECAR with an expected 181 additional units, totaling 17,733 MW; and MAIN with 140 new units, totaling 17,139 MW.

The largest amount of new nonutility capacity, or about 61,823 MW, is expected to be added in 2002. About 46,551 MW of new capacity is scheduled to be in service next year.

Electric restructuring has led to a boom in nonutility power generation. The EIA report found that total nonutility generation in 1999 reached 167,357 MW, which was a 71% increase from the previous year. However, only 21% of the total represented new plants. In 1999, about 50,000 MW of electric utility generation assets were purchased by nonutility generation companies. At the end of 1999, nonutility generation accounted for 19.8% of total electric generation in the country. The totals reported by EIA include all operable units, even those that did not run at all in 1999 but are expected to return to service.

Gas-fired power accounted for the largest share of nonutility generation last year, and the Pacific Census Division accounted for 31.4% of that gas-fired capacity. The Pacific Census Division also accounted for the greatest number (1,167) of total nonutility generation and the most nonutility capacity (33,254 MW). California was the dominant state in the division with 30,189 MW.

Gas-fired (only) generation represented 29.4% (49,353 MW) of total nonutility capacity in 1999, and petroleum/natural gas (fuel switchable/combined) generation accounted for 24.2% (40,508 MW) of the total. Coal represented 28.9% (48,501 MW). Hydroelectric power accounted for 3.6%. Petroleum (only) totaled 2.2% and all other sources amounted to 11.5% of total nonutility generation.

The top five states based on existing nameplate capacity are California (30,189 MW), Illinois (24,013 MW), New York (17,256 MW), Pennsylvania (12,483 MW) and Texas (12,376 MW).

For a copy of the report go to EIA's web site at http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/ipp/ipp_sum2.html .

Rocco Canonica

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