Jackson power plant, also known as the Jackson Generation Energy Center, is a 1.2GW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant under construction in Elwood, Illinois, US.

J-POWER North America Holdings (J-Power USA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Electric Power Development Company, is the sole owner and developer of the project. Based in Japan, the parent company is a utility that operates under the brand name J-Power.

J-Power USA will develop and operate the project though its special purpose company Jackson Generation.

Construction on the £795m ($1bn) project was started in June 2019, while commissioning is expected in April 2022.

Jackson is the 11th independent power producer (IPP) project to be developed by J-Power USA in the US.

Once completed, the Jackson power plant will operate as an efficient peaking plant for the PJM wholesale electricity market and generate enough electricity for approximately 1.2 million US homes.

The project is estimated to create up to 500 construction jobs and 35 permanent jobs during the operations phase.

Jackson power plant location and site details

The Jackson power plant is being developed on a 30-acre site at the corner of S. Brandon Road and Noel Road in Elwood, Will County, Illinois, US.

The site is in close proximity to the existing electrical transmission lines and gas pipelines.

Jackson power plant make-up

Jackson Generation Energy Center will consist of two combined-cycle generating units of 600MW capacity each.

Each unit will be equipped with one M501JAC gas turbine from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), and a steam turbine to generate additional power utilising the recovered heat.

The plant will also use TOMONI Very Low Load (VLL) technology from MHPS, which will enable the facility to operate at output lesser than 25% of the full load in emissions compliance mode, when electricity generations from wind and solar resources are high, and ramp up its capacity when renewable generations decline.

The combined-cycle plant can be quickly started and brought to full load capacity in 30 minutes.

Other facilities of the plant will include a natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler, a diesel-fired emergency generator, a natural gas-fired dew point heater, air-cooled condensing systems, two water storage tanks, two aqueous ammonia storage tanks, two natural gas metering and regulation (M&R) stations, and associated natural gas distribution pipelines.

Turbine details

The M501JAC gas turbines come with 15-stage compressors and adopt air cooling for combustors. The turbines are designed to operate at a rated speed of 3,600rpm and a turbine inlet temperature of 1,600°C.

The turbine has a rated capacity of 425MW and offers 44% efficiency in simple cycle operation, while it offers 614MW plant output with 64.2% plant efficiency in combined-cycle operations.

Power transmission and natural gas supply

The electricity generated by the Jackson power plant will be fed into the PJM Interconnection. The plant will be connected to the electric grid via the existing Commonwealth Edison Elwood substation.

Natural gas required for the operations will be supplied from the existing interstate natural gas transmission pipelines of Illinois.

Contractors involved

Kiewit Power Constructors has been engaged as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, while Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas (MHPSA) was contracted to supply the gas turbines in July 2019.

Merit Capital Advisors and Baker & Mckenzie served as financial and legal advisors for the Jackson Generation Energy Center.