RDI Tallies Gas-Fired Power Growth
In a new analysis of power demand growth, Colorado-based
Resource Data International (RDI) projects slightly over 186,000 MW
of primarily gas-fired electric generating capacity will have to be
added by 2010 nationwide to meet burgeoning demand and to replace
retiring nuclear and non-nuclear capacity. The cost approaches $90
That daunting task actually pales in comparison to other recent
forecasts. For example at the California Independent Energy
Producers annual conference last month in Lake Tahoe, Calpine
projected the need for 1 million MW of new generation by 2015
partly to replace 750,000 MW of existing capacity that is a major
source of air pollution.
In its "Outlook for Power in the U.S., 1998," RDI offers a
relatively conservative estimate of the amount of generating
capacity that will be retired over the next 11 years. RDI see a
total of 18,000 MW of nuclear and non-nuclear generating capacity
being shelved. A total of 4,675 MW of non-nuclear capacity and
13,244 MW of nuclear capacity is expected to be retired.
Six of the 15 NERC regions-Florida Reliability Coordinating
Council (FRCC), Mid-America Interconnected Network (MAIN), New
England Power Pool (NEPOOL), Northwest Power Area (NWPA),
Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (SERC), and the Southwest
Power Pool (SPP)- need new generating capacity almost immediately.
And by 2004, all the NERC regions will need capacity, RDI said.
"Although merchant power plant developers are currently focusing
on only a few regions, most regions will present opportunities
within the next few years," RDI said.
According to a separate RDI analysis, total U.S. merchant power
plants in operation, under construction or in development currently
total 49,462.5 MW, of which 21,000 MW is sited in the New England
Power Pool (NEPOOL). Another 9,195 MW of merchant power plant
projects are in the Western Systems Coordinating Council (WSCC).
The remainder of the merchant plant activity (19,319 MW) is
scattered in other parts of the country.
RDI cautioned there is the risk that the market for new capacity
in any one region could become "overheated and trigger a boom-bust
cycle. Such a cycle could result in power price decreases of as
much as 20%." For more information contact Chuck Van Note at RDI's
Boulder office, (303) 444-7788.
©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights
reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or
redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of
Intelligence Press, Inc.