Saturday, June 2, 2018

M/V Christine B

Seen this past Thursday pushing  two empties up past Maysville, Ky. That would be Aberdeen, Ohio, in the background.

According to the Coast Guard, the Christine B is owned by C&B Marine Equipment LLC of Covington, Ky. It was built in 2008. It's 51 feet  long, 22 feet wide and 8 feet deep. Its previous name was the Scott Alvey.

Ohio looks to natural gas and wind, not coal, for future power needs

As planned, the J.M. Stuart and Killen power plants along the Ohio River in Adams County, Ohio, were both listed as retired as of yesterday "in response to declining market conditions," according  to a news release from Dayton Power & Light, which operated them.

From the news release:

"DPL recognizes the extent of the impact the decision to retire J.M. Stuart and Killen Stations has on our people and the communities in which they live. We are proactively managing workforce transitions, including opportunities to be redeployed within AES’ portfolio, as well as financial support for workforce development and job retraining efforts in Adams County.

The Killen Electric Generating Station along the Ohio River and U.S. 52 east of Manchester, Ohio, seen here on the day before it was retired. The remains of Tropical Storm Alberto had just passed through the area.

Both plants received their coal by barge, so less coal will be moving along the river now. That continues a long-term trend.

In its day, Stuart was one of the largest power plants along the Ohio in terms of generating capacity. Killen was a smaller operation at only about 618 megawatts of total capacity. That's close to the lower limit of the size needed for a company to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to keep a plant compliant with changing environmental regulations.

As things go, Stuart and Killen were retired in the same month that NTE Energy announced the start of operations at its new gas-fired power plant at Middletown, Ohio. The company said Middletown can produce about 525 megawatts, or about the same capacity that Killen had. Worded differently, Killen's generating capacity didn't leave the grid; it moved as it was replaced by cleaner, cheaper technology.

As of February (and there are probably newer numbers), there was about 4 megawatts of new generating capacity under development in Ohio, according to the Energy Information Administration. Natural gas accounted for about 3.1 megawatts of that, with wind the next biggest contributor at about 760 megawatts. These numbers are for projects in all phases of development, from conception to permitting to construction, and they include the 543.9 megawatts nameplate capacity for the Middetown NTE project.

And as you would expect, not one project in development in Ohio as listed by the EIA involves coal. In Ohio, the energy generating future belongs to those sectors that can produce it cleanly and inexpensively. As with wind, some tax incentives help.

However (and there always seems to be a however), clean energy only goes so far in the economic and political marketplace. Earlier this week, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia issued an order denying American Electric Power's request to purchase wind farms in Ohio and West Virginia and to pass that cost along to consumers. The West Virginia PSC reached the same decision that the Virginia State Corporation Commission did when AEP filed the same request there.