Ohio Gets Much Brighter as 3,400 MW Are Approved

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) recently approved construction of two new gas-fired electric generation facilities within the state in an effort to keep ahead of the region's growing demand. The projects include an enormous 2,700 MW plant in Summit County and a 704 MW facility in Sandusky County.

The board gave approval to Norton Energy Storage, LLC (NES), a subsidiary of CAES Development Co. LLC --- which is owned by its management team and by private equity funds managed by Houston-based Haddington Ventures LLC --- to construct the 2,700 MW compressed air and gas-fired combustion turbine generating facility. The facility will be located on 92 acres in the city of Norton at the aboveground location of a former limestone mine, which will be used to store compressed air.

The OPSB said the finished product will include nine combustion turbine generators and two compressor trains for each generating unit for a total of 18 compressor trains. The plant will initially operate on natural gas supplied to the site through taps into an existing 20-inch Dominion East Ohio Gas gas transmission pipeline that crosses the site property, the board said. During the construction, additional supplies of gas will be obtained. CAES Development estimates the capital and intangible cost of the facility to be in the range of $700 million to $1.5 billion, or approximately $275/kW to $600/kW.

The first unit of the project is expected to come online in 2003, an OPSB spokesman said, with additional units becoming operable in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Fremont Energy Center, LLC, a subsidiary of California-based Calpine Corp., also was given approval to construct its $260 million plant in Sandusky County (see NGI, March 26), which will be located approximately two miles northwest of the City of Fremont. The OPSB said the plant will connect with the FirstEnergy Corp.'s West Fremont substation and indirectly to American Electric Power's Fremont substation.

The completed facility will include two natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators, two heat recovery steam generators and associated equipment, the OPSB said. The plant will operate on natural gas supplied by an existing Dominion East Ohio Gas pipeline that runs in an east-to-west direction one mile north.

An OPSB spokesman said the Sandusky County plant would likely begin construction later this summer early fall, with completion scheduled for summer 2003.

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