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PUC Expects Natural Gas-Fired Electric Generation To Increase From 30 To 45% Of Capacity By End Of 2022 In PA

The Public Utility Commission released its annual assessment of generation, transmission and distribution capacity in Pennsylvania last week which projected a significant increase in natural gas-fired electric generation capacity from 30 percent to as much as 45 percent of capacity by the end of 2022.

The Electric Power Outlook for Pennsylvania 2018-2023 report also concludes regional generation capacity and reserve margins of the mid-Atlantic will be satisfied through 2028, “provided planned generation and transmission projects will be forthcoming in a timely manner.”

The assessment includes the announced retirements of 15 individual units of nuclear, coal, diesel and landfill gas generation facilities made during 2018 (page 48).

Overall, the report says natural gas generation capacity is expected to increase from 30 percent of generation now to about 45 percent by 2022 (it was 23.2 percent in 2009) (page 49). 

Both coal (from about 30 to 24 percent, it was 36.2 percent in 2009) and nuclear (from about 23 percent to 17 percent, it was 20.8 percent in 2009) are projected to decline (page 49). 

This compares to the current PJM regional fuel mix of 40.2 percent natural gas, 32.7 percent coal, 17.6 percent nuclear, 6.1 percent hydro, wind and other. (page 49)

The report says Pennsylvania has 21 natural gas-fired power plants under construction with a generation capacity of 6.413 GW (page 47) for a total of 11.467 GW of generation in the que (active and under construction) (page 48).

There are also 37 active solar energy projects with a generation capacity of just over 1 GW in the que with 8 under construction (54.7 MW) (page 47) for a total of 1.081 GW of generation in the que (active and under construction) (page 48).

Three wind energy projects are considered active with a capacity of 38.5 MW with 8 under construction (85 MW) (page 47) for a total of 149 MW of generation in the que (active and under construction) (page 48).

Other active generation projects in the que included 2 hydroelectric projects with a capacity of 500 MW and 10 active storage energy projects with a generation capacity of 143.8 MW (page 47).

The report said there were announced retirements 76.1 MW of Pennsylvania generation  in 2018, compared to 14 MW in 2017, and 177 MW in 2016 (page 48).

PJM received 12 new Pennsylvania Deactivation Notices in 2018, totaling 4,391.5 MW. The retirements in 2018 included 15 individual units of nuclear, coal, diesel and landfill gas generation facilities. (page 48)

The PUC forecasts a nearly 1 percent decrease in electric energy use over the next 5 years, with residential use decreasing 1.4 percent and commercial use decreasing 2.15 percent.  Industrial use is expected to increase by 0.7 percent (page iii).

The report says electric distribution companies are complying with the minimum requirements of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards law (page 13).  The AEPS law requires electric distribution companies to have 8 percent Tier I (solar, wind, etc.) and 10 percent Tier II (waste coal, hydropower, energy-from-waste, etc.) generation by May 31, 2021.

The report indicated all electric distribution companies are on their way to meeting their 5-year electric consumption and peak demand reduction requirements under the Act 129 energy efficiency law, but noted final annual reports for Program Year 10 are due to the Commission by November 15, 2019 (page 15).

The report also includes a helpful list of generation facilities (page 49) and lots of other data on each electric distribution company in the state (starting on page 22).

Click Here to read the reportClick Here to read past reports.


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[Posted: August 31, 2019]


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