NRG makes no progress on gas-fired projects in California

California commission has suspended its reviews of these projects

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NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) affiliates on Aug. 29 filed separate quarterly updates with the California Energy Commission reporting basically no progress toward resuming commission reviews of three gas-fired power projects.

On June 30, the commission suspended until June 30, 2015, the review proceeding on Valle Del Sol Energy LLC’s Sun Valley Project, a 500-MW natural gas-fired peaking plant to be located in the City of Menifee, California, within the jurisdiction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The commission required the company to file quarterly updates during the one-year suspension period, with the Aug. 29 filing the first of those.

“There are no new developments to report at this time,” said the filing. “Valle Del Sol requested the suspension of the proceeding due to permitting difficulties associated with the unavailability within the South Coast Air Basin of emission offsets from the market that are needed to satisfy applicable SCAQMD rules. Those permitting difficulties persist. Valle Del Sol and its ultimate parent, NRG Energy, Inc., continue to look for solutions to address the lack of available offsets, and for contracting opportunities that would support active development of the Sun Valley Project. Valle Del Sol will provide an update regarding any new developments in its next quarterly status report.”

The company contact is: Sean Beatty, Regional General Counsel-West, NRG Energy Inc., 696 West 10th Street, Pittsburg, CA 94565, Telephone: (925) 427-3483, sean.beatty@nrgenergy.com.

On June 10, the commission agreed to suspend the proceeding for NRG Willow Pass LLC until June 30, 2015, and directed Willow Pass to submit quarterly status reports to ascertain progress in development of the Willow Pass Project, a 550-MW, natural gas-fired facility to be located at the site of an existing power plant in Pittsburg, Calif.

“There are no new developments to report at this time,” said that Aug. 29 status report. “Willow Pass and its ultimate parent, NRG Energy, Inc., remain committed to pursuing the Willow Pass Project and continue to look for opportunities to restart active development. The timing likely depends on the availability of a long-term contracting opportunity that would support financing and construction. Willow Pass will provide an update regarding any new developments in its next quarterly status report.”

The contact in the Willow Pass matter is: Lisa Cottle, Winston & Strawn LLP, 101 California Street, Suite 3900, San Francisco, California 94111, Telephone: (415) 591-1579, Facsimile: (415) 591-1400, lcottle@winston.com.

Cottle is also the contact for an Aug. 29 update from NRG San Gabriel Power Generation LLC. On June 13, the commission suspended a proceeding until June 30, 2015, and directed San Gabriel to submit quarterly updates on progress on the San Gabriel Project, a 696-MW natural gas-fired facility to be located at an existing power plant site in Rancho Cucamonga, California, within the jurisdiction of SCAQMD.

"There are no new developments to report at this time," said that Aug. 29 update. "San Gabriel requested the suspension of the proceeding due to permitting difficulties associated with the unavailability within the South Coast Air Basin of emission offsets from the market that are needed to satisfy applicable SCAQMD rules. Those permitting difficulties persist. San Gabriel and its ultimate parent, NRG Energy, Inc., continue to look for solutions to address the lack of available offsets, and for contracting opportunities that would support active development of the San Gabriel Project. San Gabriel will provide an update regarding any new developments in its next quarterly status report."

Barry Cassell
About the Author

Barry Cassell

Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 26 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

Barry can be reached at barryc@pennwell.com.

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