California regulators okay early shutdown of GE-owned, 800MW gas-fired power plant

first_imgCalifornia regulators okay early shutdown of GE-owned, 800MW gas-fired power plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The California Energy Commission on Dec. 11 approved the premature decommissioning and demolition of General Electric’s 10-year-old, financially struggling natural gas-fired Inland Empire Energy Center, a more than $500 million generating facility in Riverside County once heralded as the future of the global power sector.Now a different future is unfolding — one in which a large-scale battery storage system is planned to replace the once roughly 800-MW, combined-cycle plant after GE dismantles it over the next year.“Obviously, the repurposing of this site as a battery storage facility will provide significant benefits,” Commissioner Karen Douglas said at a meeting ahead of the agency’s unanimous vote approving GE’s closure plan.The facility will cease power production at the end of 2019 and begin a 12-month decommissioning and demolition process, according to the plan. The company mothballed one of the two units in 2017.Only a quarter to a third of the way into the typical 30- to 40-year lifespan of such assets, the plant’s machinery remains in “pristine condition,” according to the Branford Group, an auctioneer that is helping GE sell still-useful equipment at reduced prices.Inland Empire came online in 2009 amid a gas plant building boom in California that pushed the state’s capacity reserves far beyond what is required for grid reliability. Increasingly under pressure from low-cost renewables, the plant’s early end reflects the investment risks of a gas-fired glut in many regions of the U.S., as identified in a new S&P Global Market Intelligence investigation. [Garrett Hering]More ($): California OKs early end for GE gas plant; big battery peaker plannedlast_img

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