PPL Corp. Goes West in A Big Way
Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp. has recently taken on a "Go West"
theme, as evidenced by its plans to build 1,800 MW of new
electricity generation on the left coast at an estimated
development cost of $900 million.
PPL's development subsidiary, PPL Global, LLC will build a 1,200
MW natural gas-fired plant in eastern Washington State at $600
million and a 600 MW peaking gas-fired facility in Pinal County, AZ
for $300 million.
"These new power plants will expand our ability to provide
much-needed electricity to customers in 14 Western states - and
they will do so with clean-burning natural gas," said Paul T.
Champagne, president of PPL Global, LLC. "The addition of these
power plants will more than double PPL's generating capacity in the
western U.S., a key region in PPL's development plans."
The company said it has entered an agreement with Northwest
Power Enterprises to purchase Starbuck Power Co. LLC, which owns
the rights for the proposed 1,200 MW plant. The facility, which is
expected to be in service as early as 2004, will be called PPL
Starbuck and will be located in Columbia County, WA, near the town
of Starbuck. "PPL has the resources to follow through on this
project, which will help alleviate the shortage of electricity in
the Northwest," said Steven Strasser, CEO of Northwest Power.
Champagne reported that the 600 MW Arizona plant named PPL
Sundance is expected to be in service in time to meet the summer
2002 peak. The facility "is uniquely positioned to serve the
growing demands of the Phoenix metropolitan area," said Champagne.
PPL plans to power the new facilities with General Electric
gas-fired combustion turbines. In October, PPL acquired 30 turbines
with the option to take up to an additional 36 units. The CEO said
with the most recently announced facilities, the company would have
to expand on its 30 turbine firm order.
With over 10,140 MW on the East Coast and 1,456 MW currently on
the West Coast, Champagne said that the Arizona and Washington
plants bring the company up to about two-thirds of the way to its
objective of controlling 20,000 MW by the middle of this decade.
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