California may be headed to 100 percent renewables in future decades, but at least one city inside Los Angeles County is now committed to new gas-fired technology to ensure grid reliability.
Late last month the city of Glendale approved a repowering project at the aging Grayson Power Plant. The city’s utility division plans to replace most of the plant with new equipment and a combination of combined-cycle and simple cycle gas turbine generation units.
A city web page devoted to the Grayson repowering project noted that the city was prone to unplanned and forced outages and noted infrastructural limitations to bring in outside clean energy. Quick acting gas-fired units would help deal with that.
“The driving force for replacing the obsolete Units 1-5 and 8 at the Grayson Power Plant is to ensure a reliable electric supply for the citizens and residents of the City of Glendale,” the city said on its web page underlining details of the project. “The new repowered units will be cleaner, more energy efficient, and will greatly increase the reliability of the Glendale’s power grid.”
Much of the plant was built between 1941 and 1877, with the exception of the Unit 9 simple-cycle peaking unit completed 16 years ago. Under the new plan, the boiler building, cooling towers and non-unit 9 generation units would be replaced and repowered on the current Grayson site.
On July 23, the Glendale City Council unanimously approved a 2019 Integrated resource plan focused on a diverse set of generation, transmission and distributed energy assets. The proposed portfolio would include a 75 MW/300 MWh battery energy storage system, 93 MW in natural gas-fired internal combustion engines and 50 MW of distributed energy programs.
Environmentalists have opposed any new gas-fired infrastructure, but relented once the city made certain concessions to support clean energy additions.