NRG has a large U.S. portfolio of 45.9 GW of generating capacity. Almost half of this capacity — 21 GW — is in NRG’s eastern region. NRG is planning to add a new natural gas-fired turbine at its Sandwich power plant on the Cape Cod Canal and recently received a unanimous vote of approval from the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board.
“NRG is pleased that the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board unanimously approved the Canal 3 New Generation project,” said NRG’s David Gaier. “This is a major step in moving forward with the project, after a permitting cycle that has lasted about two years.”
While natural gas represents the dominant fuel source for NRG, at 50% of its currently installed capacity in the U.S., the facility at Sandwich has been relying on older oil-fired capacity, at Sandwich’s Canal facility, totaling 1.1 GW.
According to the local newspaper, Cape News, previously NRG had co-owned the older units with the New Jersey-based company GenOn, which owns 32 power plants in eight states and filed for bankruptcy last month.
The new 350-MW gas-fired turbine would add to this capacity, along with provide additional power capacity to meet demand in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
According to Cape News, Gaier added: “The GenOn restructuring was publicly noticed as a possible outcome over a year ago. NRG has pursued the development of the Canal 3 knowing that this was possible and will continue to do so now that the GenOn bankruptcy has been filed, NRG and GenOn continue to cooperate to maximize the value of the Canal 3 project.”
NRG shares ownership of the two older Sandwich power plant units with Princeton, New Jersey-based energy company GenOn. GenOn, which owns 32 power plants in eight states, filed for bankruptcy last month, but it will not affect NRG’s plans to upgrade the Sandwich site, town and company officials have said in the last few weeks.
NRG expects to commence construction work on the site later this year, with current plans having the new unit online by June 1, 2019, to meet the company’s agreement with the New England ISO. ♦