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Natural gas facility may be considered for Indian River power plant

Lori Neuman, NRG Energy spokeswoman, said because wind is an intermittent resource, NRG Energy will seek permission for a back-up resource, such as a natural-gas-fueled plant. Bluewater Wind's planned offshore wind farm now has state approval and is on its way to securing required permits. But, the approved contract requires Delmarva Power to purchase significantly less power from the wind farm than previously planned.

Natural gas may be the new fuel at the Indian River power plant. NRG Energy, the plant's owner, bid to back up Bluewater Wind's offshore wind project with a natural-gas-fueled power plant.

Lori Neuman, NRG Energy spokeswoman, said because wind is an intermittent resource, NRG Energy will seek permission for a back-up resource, such as a natural-gas-fueled plant.

Bluewater Wind's planned offshore wind farm now has state approval and is on its way to securing required permits. But, the approved contract requires Delmarva Power to purchase significantly less power from the wind farm than previously planned.

At the July 31 Public Service Commission (PSC) meeting, Delmarva Power attorney Todd Goodman said the issue of a backup facility is complicated and must be considered in detail, separately from the wind farm.

Initially, after the new wind power contract was signed, Delmarva Power said a backup facility was not needed because it would buy only about half the power it initially expected to.

Representatives of four state agencies voted to not consider a backup facility with the wind farm contract. Now, the issue of a backup facility will be considered by the PSC alone, not by all... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Natural gas may be the new fuel at the Indian River power plant. NRG Energy, the plant's owner, bid to back up Bluewater Wind's offshore wind project with a natural-gas-fueled power plant.

Lori Neuman, NRG Energy spokeswoman, said because wind is an intermittent resource, NRG Energy will seek permission for a back-up resource, such as a natural-gas-fueled plant.

Bluewater Wind's planned offshore wind farm now has state approval and is on its way to securing required permits. But, the approved contract requires Delmarva Power to purchase significantly less power from the wind farm than previously planned.

At the July 31 Public Service Commission (PSC) meeting, Delmarva Power attorney Todd Goodman said the issue of a backup facility is complicated and must be considered in detail, separately from the wind farm.

Initially, after the new wind power contract was signed, Delmarva Power said a backup facility was not needed because it would buy only about half the power it initially expected to.

Representatives of four state agencies voted to not consider a backup facility with the wind farm contract. Now, the issue of a backup facility will be considered by the PSC alone, not by all four agencies.

NRG Energy's David Davis said at that meeting, "We are prepared to build whatever kind of facility the state of Delaware needs at the Indian River site."

State Sen. George Bunting, D-Bethany Beach, said a natural-gas facility at the site could greatly relieve human health and environmental concerns about the power plant, which currently burns coal to generate power.

Bunting said in recent years there has been a loud and increasing outcry from area residents about the need to clean up emissions. "It is clear that these emissions have a negative effect on public health in the surrounding region," he said.

Bunting also cited concerns over harm to fish that get caught in the power plant's cooling water intakes. Millions of fish are killed in the once-through cooling water intakes each year, Bunting said. "A modern natural-gas facility with improved cooling-tower technology could go a long way in helping to control this problem," he said.

Neuman said the addition of a natural gas plant to the Indian River site to back up wind generation would not change the cooling water processes on the existing facility. She said a natural gas plant needs less cooling water than a traditional coal plant, but how much less depends on the plant's specific design.

Three units at the plant use once-through cooling water. Unit 1 and Unit 2, the oldest units, are scheduled to be shut down by 2011, as a result of a consent decree between the plant's owner and state environmental officials to cut air pollution emissions at the site.

Getting away from burning coal would also address the issue of coal ash being disposed in landfills on the site, as well as the possibility of it escaping to the air to Indian River and Indian River Bay, Bunting said.


Source: http://www.capegazette.com/...

AUG 10 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16430-natural-gas-facility-may-be-considered-for-indian-river-power-plant
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