The St Joseph Energy Center will have a total capacity of 1,425MW. Credit: Kiewit.
Phase I of the project began operations in 2018. Credit: Iren Moroz on Shutterstock.
Phase II will interconnect with the MISO regional transmission system. Credit: ssguy on Shutterstock.

The St Joseph Energy Center is a 1,425MW greenfield natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) being constructed within the St Joseph County Economic District 2 in New Carlisle, Indiana, US.

50.9% of the project is owned by Ares EIF Group, a subsidiary of Ares Management, 20% by KPIC USA and 29.1% by Toyota Tsusho.

The CCPP power project is split into two phases, with phase I having a capacity of 715MW and beginning operations in 2018. The second phase, with a capacity of 710MW, is expected to be completed in 2023.

Phase I created approximately 700 jobs during its construction and 21 permanent jobs upon completion. It produces enough power to serve approximately 450,000 households.

St Joseph Energy Center construction details and plant make-up

The St Joseph Energy Center site covers an area of approximately 165 acres. The construction of a diesel fire pump foundation, as well as the surveying and geotechnical studies, were completed in late 2015 and the earthworks were initiated in early 2016.

Siemens equipped the phase I power plant with two SGT6-5000F gas turbines, one SST6-5000 steam turbine and three SGen-1000A air-cooled generators. Phase II will involve the installation of an equal number of gas turbines, a steam turbine and air-cooled generators.

The waste heat from the gas turbines is used to power the steam turbine and generate additional electricity without using more fuel. The heated water, which is the by-product from the process, is cooled in the cooling towers and cycled back into the power plant.

Connection with the national grid

The entire output from phase I is supplied to PJM, a regional transmission organisation (RTO) that serves all or parts of the 13 states in the north-eastern US, including Southern Michigan and Indiana.

To facilitate the connection with the grid, the project involves the construction of a new substation interconnecting with American Electric Power’s (AEP) Dumont-Olive 345kV line.

The new substation is equipped with three 345kV circuit breakers, a 345kV revenue metering system, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, and associated equipment. The ownership of the inline facilities was transferred to AEP upon completion of the construction works.

The 700MW phase II power plant is proposed to interconnect with the Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator’s (MISO) regional transmission system at Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s (NIPSCO) Stillwell substation.

Financing for the Indiana CCPP project

The overall investment for phase I exceeded $700m, which was financed through both equity and debt. Ares EIF Group contributed 80% and Toyota Tsusho contributed 20% of the equity capital.

BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole arranged non-recourse debt financing for the project while Siemens Financial Services has also agreed to support the project with a commitment of $50m.

Contractors involved in the CCPP project

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for phase I was awarded to Kiewit Power Constructors in August 2015.

Siemens, the equipment supplier and one of the financiers for the project, is also involved in providing maintenance services for a period of 25 years. It manufactured the generators and gas turbines for the CCPP project at its Charlotte Energy Hub.