The CPV Three Rivers Energy Center in Illinois will have an installed capacity of 1.25GW. Image courtesy of Competitive Power Ventures.
The Three Rivers combined-cycle power plant is expected to become commercially operational in 2023.
The plant will receive gas supply from a nearby Kinder Morgan (NGPL) pipeline.

The CPV Three Rivers Energy Center is a 1,250MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant being developed in Grundy County, Illinois, US.

Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), a subsidiary of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), is developing the project in partnership with GE Energy Financial Services, Osaka Gas USA, Axium Infrastructure, and Harrison Street.

CPV and its partners achieved financial closure for the £992m ($1.3bn) project in August 2020 with the start of construction work expected in the third quarter of 2020.

Scheduled to commence operations in 2023, the CPV Three Rivers gas-fired combined-cycle facility is expected to generate enough electricity for approximately 1.25 million US homes.

The project is expected to create approximately 500 construction jobs and approximately 100 full-time jobs during the operations phase.

Location and site details

The Three Rivers Energy Center project site is located near Goose Lake approximately 3.2km  south of the Illinois River, in Grundy County, northeast Illinois, US.

The gas-fired power generating facility will be developed on an 80acre-site.

CPV Three Rivers Energy Center make-up

The state-of-the-art CPV Three Rivers gas-fired power station will comprise two combined-cycle units for a total installed capacity of 1,250MW.

Each combined-cycle unit will be equipped with a General Electric’s latest highly-efficient HA gas turbine, one heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), and one steam turbine.

Power station performance

GE’s latest highly efficient, low-emitting HA gas combustion technology will allow the plant to operate at an efficiency rate greater than 64% and provide unparalleled operational flexibility by enabling the facility to quickly respond to electricity demand changes due to the growing integration of renewable power in the grid.

The project is intended to supply reliable power and ensure grid stability while complementing greater deployment of renewables in the grid.

The CPV Three Rivers Energy Center will use water from on-site wells for cooling. The air-cooled design of the plant will reduce water usage by 90% compared to a wet-cooled facility.

Gas supply and power evacuation

The project will receive feed gas supply via a 36-inch Kinder Morgan (NGPL) pipeline that runs parallel to the project site.

The electricity generated by the facility will be evacuated into the grid through an interconnection with two Commonwealth Edison’s (ComEd) 345kV transmission lines located approximately 240m north of the project site.

The electricity output of the gas-fired power station will be sold into the PJM market and will serve to meet the electricity demands of households and businesses in Northern Illinois, including Chicago.

Project financing

CPV and its partners GE Energy Financial Services, Osaka Gas USA, Axium Infrastructure, and Harrison Street secured £668m ($875m) of senior credit facilities for the project from a group of 14 international financial institutions in August 2020.

The remaining project cost will be met through equity investment from the project partners. Bracewell represented CPV in obtaining equity investment from other partners of the project.

Contractors involved

Kiewit Power Constructors will lead the construction of the CPV Three Rivers Energy Center, while GE will supply the main electromechanical components for the project.

Electricity generation and transmission in Illinois

Illinois’ energy mix includes 7% natural gas, 30% coal, 54% nuclear, and 10% renewables.

The ComEd and Ameren are the two electricity grid operators that serve the region. ComEd’s operation covers the northern portions of the state while Ameren is focused midcontinent region of Illinois.