Merchant power firms now 20% of U.S. market

Dec. 5, 2000—Nonutility electric companies are playing an increasingly larger role in the U.S. electricity market.

Merchant generation jumped 70% to 167,357 MW in 1999, or about 20% of total U.S. capacity, compared to 1998, as merchant power producers bought and built power plants to supply growing demand.

Merchant power companies built 8,000 MW of mostly gas-fired capacity in 1999, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), just a fraction of the 145,417 MW the industry has announced plans to construct between this year and 2004.

Electric utilities generated 286 billion kw-hr or 77% of the August 2000 total—the latest month for which figures are available—and nonutility power producers generated 85 billion kw-hr or 23% of total generation.

U.S. demand is strongest in the industrial and commercial sectors, new figures show. Total demand in August rose 5% to 371 billion kw-hr, compared to the year earlier period. Sales to the commercial sector were up a robust 9% in August 2000, while sales to the industrial sector rose 7% over August 1999. Sales to the residential sector were flat at 124 billion kw-hr, compared to August 1999

Total U.S. net generation of electricity was up 2% to 2,563 billion kw-hr during the first 8 months of the year. Fossil fuels, primarily coal, accounted for 71% of net generation; followed by nuclear, 22%; and 7% from renewable resources, including hydropower.

At nonutilities, fossil fuels, primarily gas, accounted for 83% of total generation; 11% was from renewables, including hydro; and 6% from nuclear. Nearly, 80% of the new capacity on the drawing boards will be gas-fired, primarily short construction lead time such as gas turbine and combined cycle units, says the EIA.

In July, receipts of gas totaled 322 bcf, down from 367 bcf reported in July 1999. Gas maintained a slight price edge over fuel oil.

The average cost of gas delivered to electric utilities was $4.34/MMbtu, compared to $2.51/MMbtu reported in July 1999, the EIA said. The average delivered cost of fuel oil in July 2000 was $4.40/MMbtu, up from $2.68/MMbtu reported in July 1999.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Google, Scatec to build 104MW solar power plant in Utah

Google and independent solar power producer, Scatec Solar ASA, have entered into financing agreements totaling $157 million for construction of a 104-MW Red Hills solar power plant in Parowan, Utah.

Caterpillar lands certification for diesel gensets

Caterpillar's diesel generator sets for the North American market have been certified to meet the seismic provisions of the International Building Code (IBC).

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

Texas groups petition feds over alleged coal exemptions

Environmental groups in Texas want to overturn a state action they say exempted large coal-fi...

Westar plans to buy wind power from new plant

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Westar Energy says it plans to buy energy from a new wind farm to be buil...

Terrestrial Energy to advance molten salt reactor design

Terrestrial Energy Inc. is teaming with the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Man...

Austria will sue over nuclear power subsidies

Austria said it will sue to block any subsidized nuclear power plants in Europe in an attempt...

GE to supply energy storage system in Ontario

Convergent Energy + Power will use a GE (NYSE: GE) 7-MWh battery energy storage system for th...

PG&E president announces retirement

Christopher P. Johns, president of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E, NYSE: PCG), has ...

Army post near Baltimore breaking ground for new power plant

The Army is breaking ground for a more efficient power plant at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen...

Murray Energy makes sweeping coal mine layoffs in Ohio, Illinois and West Virginia

Four different Murray Energy affiliates announced May 22 a massive series of coal mine layoff...

Power Engineering Current Issue

12/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 12
1412pe-cover1
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Categories

Power Industry Wire News

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free NDT Job Training to Vets, Disadvantaged Young Adults

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free ND...

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tech Talent

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tec...

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possible Delisting

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possi...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>