Bg&e Making Its Appeal To Expand Perryman Plant

January 27, 1991|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. will make its pitch next week to the Maryland Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in Maryland, for permission to expand its Perryman Power Plant.

PSC hearing examiner Dan Gahagan will review BG & E's data and arguments beginning 9 a.m. Tuesday in a meeting room at the Aberdeen Town Hall.

The PSC hearings will continue Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at 9 a.m. each day. Public hearings on the proposal will be scheduledat a later date.

The utility wants to build four turbines that would initially add 600 megawatts of generating capacity at the Perryman site, located along the Bush River near Aberdeen Proving Ground.

BG & E wants to build the 150-megawatt simple-cycle turbines by the mid-1990s, then convert them to twin 400-megawatt combined-cycle units by the year 2000.

The utility now operates four 50-megawatt combustion turbines at the site.

BG & E is requesting permission to boost its power-generating

capabilities to create a 16 to 20 percent cushion between power demand and capacity, said Peggy Mulloy, a BG & E spokeswoman.

In 1990, BG & E's power capacity of 6,165 megawatts was 11 percent higher than the peak demand of 5,540 watts the utility had anticipated.

The Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland interconnection -- the regional power grid -- has asked member utilities to establish a 16 to 20 percent cushion, said Mulloy.

The utility's electricity-generating capacity was at a low point last year because the two 825-megawatt units at Calvert Cliffs, Units 1 and 2, were shut down. Mulloy said Unit 1 went on line again in late 1990, and Unit 2 is expected to be opened later this year.

"But we're still concerned about that cushion," she said, noting

that the company filed papers in December 1989 to begin the first phase of the PSC approval process for the Perryman project.

BG & E has estimated that building the four simple-cycle turbines at Perryman could cost about $379 million.

"Right now, we're getting ready to take testimony from BG & E thatwill support its proposal," said Frank Fulton, director of consumer assistance and public affairs for the PSC.

"After these hearings there will be a Feb. 22 deadline for other parties who oppose or support the plan to come forward," Fulton said.

"When all the testimonyhas been given, there will be an opportunity for BG & E to rebutt any opposition, so this whole process could take several more months."

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