The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has said that 13 GW of natural gas-fired generating capacity is due to come online in the USA during 2017. More than 90 per cent of this are combined cycle plants, with two already put into service this year.
On 14 March, Competitive Power Ventures announced that the St Charles Energy Center in Charles County, Maryland, came online. This can generate 725 MW using two 205 MW gas turbines and one 315 MW steam turbine. Polk Power Station, near Tampa, Florida, received a 460 MW expansion, with four gas turbines converted into a combined cycle unit. The expansion was completed on 16 Jan.
The EIA said that the two largest combined cycle power plants due for completion this year will be in service before the summer months. The first is the 1100 MW Paradise plant in Drakesboro, Kentucky, due to be operational in April, and will replace two of three older Paradise Fossil coal-fired units. The second is the Wildcat Point facility in Cecil County, Maryland, due to come online in June.
Less than 2 GW of gas-fired generating capacity will be retired this year, with 1.7 GW coming from older steam turbines. In 2016, 8.9 GW of natural gas-fired generating capacity was added, and 4.3 GW retired. The total natural gas-fired capacity at the end of 2016 was 431 GW.