NTE Opens Gas-Fired Middletown Plant in Ohio

NTE Energy on May 21 inaugurated the new Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, Ohio, the latest in a series of natural gas-fired power plants the Florida-based company is developing in Ohio, Texas, and North and South Carolina. NTE touts the 525-MW Middletown combined cycle facility as among the most efficient gas-fired power plants in the U.S., in part because heat from the power generation process will be used to create steam to drive an additional steam turbine at the plant.

NTE earlier this month said it would invest more than $1 billion to develop the 1,000-MW Anderson County Energy Center in South Carolina. St. Augustine, Florida-based NTE also is building the 500-MW Reidsville Energy Center in Rockingham County, North Carolina, and the 475-MW Kings Mountain Energy Center in Cleveland County, North Carolina. The company also has discussed a combined cycle plant—the Pickaway Energy Center—it could build in Circleville, Ohio. It also is seeking permits and approvals for two other U.S. projects: the $500 million Killingly Natural Gas Energy Center in Lakeville, Connecticut, and the $200 million Pecan Creek Energy Center near Sweetwater, Texas. The Killingly plant is a planned 550-MW facility with 330-MW and 220-MW condensing steam turbines. The Pecan Creek plant, a simple cycle facility, would generate 237 MW from a Mitsubishi combustion turbine generator.

The Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, Ohio, was inaugurated May 21, 2018. The natural gas-fired facility is among several projects either online or being developed by Florida-based NTE Energy. Courtesy: NTE Energy

The Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, Ohio, was inaugurated May 21, 2018. The natural gas-fired facility is among several projects either online or being developed by Florida-based NTE Energy. Courtesy: NTE Energy

The $645 million Middletown plant, which opened 31 months after construction began in October 2015, uses 60 Hz Advanced-Class turbines from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas (MHPS). MHPS Americas President and CEO Paul Browning, who attended the May 21 inauguration, said “I’m proud to be here in my home state of Ohio as join NTE Energy’s celebration of a power plant that uses artificial intelligence and advanced-class turbine technology to dramatically reduce emissions.”

The Middletown plant is among several new gas-fired power plants being developed in Ohio, in the heart of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale. At least 11 natural gas-fired power plants have either been recently built, are under construction, or in development in Ohio, a state gaining gas generation capacity at the same time it is losing generation from coal-fueled and nuclear plants.

FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) in late March notified PJM Interconnection of FES’s plans to close the 908-MW Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, by 2020, and the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio, in 2021. Dayton Power & Light is in the process of closing two coal-fired plants in Adams County, Ohio, along the Ohio River southeast of Cincinnati: the 2,318-MW J.M. Stuart Station, and the 618-MW Killen Station.

Coal-fired generation accounted for about 85% of the state’s electricity production just more than a decade ago. State data shows that coal’s share will drop below 60% this year.

Darrell Proctor is a POWER associate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).