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Advanced Power Plans Another NatGas-Fired Plant in Ohio

A subsidiary of Switzerland-based Advanced Power AG has announced plans for a second natural gas-fired power plant in Ohio that would cost $1.1 billion and utilize the region's shale gas.

South Field Energy LLC said Thursday that it would make the investment to construct a 1,100 MW facility in Wellsville, OH, in what has long been a Utica Shale stronghold. Known for the pace of development in the county during the play's early stages, Columbiana still remains a top-producing county, where more than 130 horizontal drilling permits have been issued to date.

Expected to be in service by 2019 or 2020, the plant would be constructed on roughly 20 acres. South Field said construction could start in 2017. The facility would complement another that Advanced is constructing to the south of the proposed Wellsville site in Carroll County. That plant is expected to cost $899 million and provide 700 MW of generating capacity (see Daily GPIJuly 23July 12, 2013).

"Ohioans face a growing gap in energy production," said Advanced Power’s Jonathan Winslow, senior vice president for development. "With facilities like this, we can begin to close that gap by using advanced technology to produce substantial, reliable power, while also minimizing our environmental footprint."

Ohio remains one of the nation's leading energy consumers, with a population of more than 11 million. It is also one of the country's top states for carbon dioxide emissions. The latest Advanced facility is one of several natural-gas fired power plants being constructed in Ohio, and it is the second such facility to be announced for the Northeast part of the state. To the north, in Trumbull County, Boston-based Clean Energy Future LLC has been approved by the state to construct an 800 MW plant (see Daily GPISept. 21).

The multitude of projects comes as states across the country face more stringent emissions standards from the federal government. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules to cut carbon emissions from the power generation sector 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 (see Daily GPIJune 2, 2014). While the proposals are being questioned by states and reviewed by the power sector, and a legal battle is likely, preparations are being made for the plan, which calls for a state-federal partnership to implement the emissions cuts. 

Ohio still generates about 66% of its power from coal.

The Wellsville facility would utilize General Electric's gas turbine technology. The global engineering and construction firm Bechtel Corp. is expected to serve as the project's general contractor. The facility would also be capable of operating on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel to ensure reliable operations if gas is unavailable.

Advanced has developed 1,540 MW of power generation in the U.S. since 2000. In addition to its Carroll County project, the company has others being developed in New York, Massachusetts and overseas in places such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

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