U.S. builds fewer power plants in first two months of 2013 -FERC

Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:45am EDT

By Scott DiSavino
    March 15 (Reuters) - Power generating companies built fewer
power plants in the United States during the first two months of
2013 than in the first two months of 2012, U.S. energy
regulators said in a report.
    Generating companies completed 57 units so far in 2013 with
a capacity of 1,584 megawatts (MW), versus 99 units in the first
two months of 2012 with a capacity of 3,145 MW, the U.S. Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said in a report Thursday.
    One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes.
    Most of the new generation in 2013 was wind power with 958
MW installed, followed by solar with 424 MW and natural gas at
170 MW.
    In 2012, the biggest new source of generation in the first
two months was also wind with 1,051 MW, followed by natural gas
at 1,028 MW and coal at 808 MW.
    The biggest unit FERC highlighted in its report was Exelon
Corp's 100-MW Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One in
California. FERC said the power from Antelope Valley will be
sold to PG&E Corp's Pacific Gas & Electric unit in
California.
    FERC said the 130-MW phase two of Antelope Valley was
expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
    On the transmission front, FERC pointed to three projects.
    Construction has started on the $500 million, 150-mile (241
km) Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse 161- and 345-kilovolt (kV)
transmission project in Minnesota and Wisconsin, which is
expected to enter service in 2015.
    Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and Omaha Public Power
District plan to build a $400 million, 190-mile, 345-kV line
from Sibley, Missouri to Nebraska City, Nebraska, which is
expected to enter service by June 2017. KCP&L is a unit of Great
Plains Energy Inc.
    PPL Corp said it planned to invest $968 million in
infrastructure improvements in 2013, including $352 million in
distribution and $616 million for transmission.
    The PPL transmission projects include its part of the
146-mile, 500-kV Susquehanna-Roseland line that is expected to
enter service in 2015. The project, which includes a unit of
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, will connect
Berwick, Pennsylvania, to Roseland, New Jersey and will cost a
total of $1.2 billion.
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