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Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has warned against a prevalence of smaller power plants bidding into the upcoming capacity auctions. “Almost 4 GW of diesel gen as the low-CAPEX option seems to be preferred by capacity markets. However, these small-scale units of less than 50 MW have significantly higher operating costs, so we are playing a short-time game,” Claire Duffy, ESB's UK general manager told the Gas to Power Journal's UK Forum today.

"The first UK capacity auction is not going to help us," said David Stokes, Director at Timera Energy. The target is 48.6 GW, based on the existing demand curve, but the existing confirmed capacity to bid at auction is 55.8 GW. "This implies that at least 6 GW of older coal/CCGT capacity will be unsuccessful at auction," told Gas to Power Journal's UK Forum in London today.

Targets for 2030 set out by the EU to tackle climate change need to combine policy with consideration of technology to achieve success, delegates at the Gas to Power UK Forum in London heard.
“Technology is not more important than targets - you need to have attention to both,” said Ann Gardiner, managing consultant at ECOFYS.

New gas power capacity, and to some extent existing coal, will be vitally important to keeping the lights on in Britain for years to come, according to Rupert Steele, Director of Regulation at ScottishPower. 

"In a cold winter, where gas supply has been difficult, coal generation acted as a sort of demand-side management for gas power capacity," he told the Gas to Power Journal conference in London.

In Britain's upcoming first-ever capacity auction, UK Power Reserve will be trying to place 1.8 GW of new-build distributed power projects – the single largest decentralised generation strategy of any independent provider. "We have multiple sites which can generate 20 MW each, and this versus a single Big Six plant at 1,000 MW provides us with the opportunity to evaluate each project on its own merits and develop customised site-based tender strategies," said Tim Emrich, chief executive at UKPR told Gas to Power Journal, suggesting decentralised generation increases security of power supply.

Better analysis of the process by which power plants receive hydrogen gas can save operators money and improve safety. “Power plants need to do all they can to cost-effectively and safely produce electricity. But many overlook the fact that their cooling hydrogen gas supply may be causing inefficiencies and making their plant more hazardous,” John Speranza, Vice President of Commercial Hydrogen Product Sales at Proton OnSite told Gas to Power Journal.

UK-based distributed power supplier Clarke Energy has won a contract from construction company Mace to deliver two Jenbacher J420 natural gas-fueled engines for the first phase of a £380 million redevelopment project in Victoria, London.

Japan's EPC contractor Fuji Electric has commissioned Siemens to deliver two SGT5-8000H gas turbines to form the core of a new 1.2 GW combined cycle power plant that is under construction on behalf of Kobe Steel (KOBELCO) in Moka City.

German fuel-cell developer Sunfire has demonstrated a first of a kind Power-to-Liquids (PtL) rig that uses its technology to synthesize fuel from electricity. “Our power-to-liquids technology extends the product range of flow-based hydrocarbons to liquid fuels such as diesel and kerosene as well as chemical products. For these products, we expect a higher willingness to pay,” Nils Aldag, CFO at Sunfire told Gas to Power Journal.

Though the UK's first ever capacity auction will be held in December, some developers warn it fails to achieve its aim of guaranteeing long-term supply security as it favours existing gas and even coal power plants, but does not sufficiently promote new-builds.

Emission reductions in the United States, promised as part of a climate deal with China, cannot be solely achieved from fossil-fuel power plants but it will take a broader effort from the entire hydrocarbon sector, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief administrator Gina McCarthy.

To tackle Europe's biggest strategic weaknesses – dependence on Russian gas and uncompetitive power prices – the new EU energy commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete, has called on member states to smoothen disparities in electricity tax rates, network tariffs and related regulation.

After having invested around $150 million is its 440 MW San Gabriel and 110 MW Avion gas power plant projects, First Gen Corp said it plans to spend less on plant developments in the coming year.

Commercial operation of the Avion and San Gabriel projects, both located in Bantangas, Philippines, are scheduled for April 2015 and March 2016, respectively – but FID is still pending on the on the $500m Santa Maria project.

GE’s Distributed Power division has commissioned the largest gas engine-based combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) plant in China, in partnership with the local firm, Shanghai New Energy.

Siemens, in consortium with Bechtel, has been awarded an order for the turnkey supply of Panda Power Funds' 778-megawatt Stonewall Energy Project in Leesburg, Virginia. To help fund the project, Siemens Financial Services provides $75 million in equity investment.

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News in Brief

Gas dominates UK capacity auction

Nov 21 - Over 40 GW of gas-fired generation has qualified for the auction where an overall 53 GW of capacity contracts will be awarded.

Power industry progresses towards cleaner energy

Nov 21 – Gas-fired power generation will register a substantial net increase globally, coal-fired capacities will witness major growth only in emerging regions. Coal-based generation will decline rapidly in North America and even faster in Europe post–2020 as new emission legislations come into operation, according to Frost & Sullivan, Annual Global Power Generation Forecasts 2014.

Rheinenergie plans to start-up Niehl-3 in 2016

Nov 20 - Germany's Rheinenergie aims to commence commercial operation of its new 450 MW CCGT plant in Niehl-3 in the first half of 2016. Apart from supplying electricity to the grid, the plant will also have a heating output of 265 MW.

Ukraine may prepay for Russian gas by Dec 1

Nov 20 - A prepayment to Russia for gas deliveries will be made before 1 December, announced the Ukrainian energy minister Yuri Prodan.
"Gas purchase plans haven't changed: we plan to buy up to 1.5bcm of gas by the end of the year. The purchases will start with the cold weather. Most likely we'll start before 1 December," he told reporters in Kiev.

SWB delays start-up of 445 MW gas power plant

Nov 19 –German municipal utility Stadtwerke Bremen (SWB) has postponed the commissioning and start-up date of its 445 MW Mittelsbüren gas-fired power plant near Bremen to the first half of 2015.
The plant was initially scheduled to commence operations at the start of this year and is intended to supply most of its electricity to railway operator Deutsche Bahn.

ABB upgrades power management in Swaziland

Nov 19 –ABB has signed a software license agreement with state-owned Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) to upgrade its Ventyx Ellipse work and asset management platform. Rural electrification continues to be a major priority for Swaziland's Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, and the upgrade is part of SEC's efforts to improve power supply and customer service – while minimizing operating costs.

Alstom Grid wins €47m contract in Saudi Arabia

Nov 18 –Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has awarded a €47 million turnkey contract to Alstom Grid to supply a Static VAr Compensator to the Jeddah substation and two capacitor banks to the Wadi Jaleel substation in Mecca. The SVC (-150 / + 300 MVAr at 110 kV) is se to improve power transmission stability and quality across Saudi Arabia's power grid. The project is expected to be completed by 2016.

FlexEnergy microturbines gets ISO certificate

Nov 18 – FlexEnergy, manufacturer of the world's only synchronous generator micro-turbines, has established and maintains a quality management system that meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2008. The certification applies to its New Hampshire facilities in the conduct of the design, manufacture, and sales of FlexEnergy's turbine generators and ancillary equipment.

ABB to fast-track power plant automation in Algeria

Nov 17 – Fast-track delivery of an ABB power plant automation system and substation expansion for the new Ain Djasser III gas-fired power plant (340 MW) will ensure grid stability in the northern province of Batna, Algeria.
The plant is operated by Sociéte Algérienne de Production de l'Electricité and service provider Ansalso Energia contracted ABB to deliver a distributed control system based on its Symphony Plus total plant automation platform.

Alstom to modernise boilers in Argentina

Nov 17 – Under a contract worth €25 million, Alstom will modernise two existing boilers in the Piedra Buena thermal power plant located in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, operated by Pampa Energía. Completion of the project is due in December 2015 for the first unit and June 2016 for the second.

AMEC joins forces with Foster Wheeler

Nov 14 - Amec Foster Wheeler has created a new force in global engineering, project delivery, asset support, power equipment and consultancy following the completion of the £5bn combination of AMEC plc and Foster Wheeler AG. The new joint company has a highly skilled workforce of over 40,000 in more than 50 countries, 2013 annualised scope revenues of £5.5 billion and a £6.3bn order book. 

Alliant proposes new 650MW gas power plant

Nov 14 – U.S. utility Allient Power is planning to build a gas-fired power plant with a capacity of 650 MW near Beloit in south-central Wisconsin at an estimated cost of up to $775 million.
In June, Allient started construction of its 600MW Marshalltown Generating Station (MGS) in Iowa with the aim to start operations in 2017.

Siemens, Bentley advance manufacturing process

 

Nov 13 – Bentley Systems and Siemens PLM Software have integrated the latter's point-cloud building information modeling (BIM) advancement with the state-of-the art process simulation tools in Siemens' Tecnomatix®software for 3D digital factory automation. Users for PLM software can now work from 3D digital models of existing factories in their "as-operated" conditions – by leveraging the models created from point clouds captured through scanning.

 

APR renews 300MW contract in Uruguay

Nov 13 – APR Energy, provider of fast-track power solutions, has prolonged contracts for 300 megawatts in Uruguay to run through the end of the second quarter 2015. The extension adds to APR Energy's record 1,754 MW of contract renewals for the year – a success rate of over 90%.

TTS opens office in Houston

Nov 12 - Turbine Technology Services (TTS) has opened a new office in Houston, Texas, although the its headquarters will remain in Orlando, Florida. The strategic move came in response to rising demand for natural gas produced electricity. TTS' Houston office will be the business development center for the Americas as well as the operational center for oil and gas services.

CB&I wins contract to develop 760MW CCGT

Nov 12 - CB&I has been awarded a contract by Calpine Mid-Merit, an affiliate of Calpine Corp, for the initial development phase of a combined-cycle gas turbine power station in Peach Bottom Township, Pennsylvania. The 760 megawatt unit will be built adjacent to the existing York Energy Center.

Malaysia: Sabah gets decentralized power

Nov 12 – Constant power disruptions in Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo, are now reduced with the start-up of the 95 MW Kimanis power plant, operated by a subsidiary of Petronas Gas Berhad. The completion of this third block complements the existing two blocks that generate a total of 190 MW of electricity.

 

Latest News on Natural Gas Power Generation, Plants and Generators

Gas to Power Journal is a specialist publication for the natural gas power generation industry, supplying analysis and insight on topics including combined cycle gas turbine technology and gas fired power plant efficiency, as well as developments in plant projects, financing and markets. Our daily updated journal provides insight into the UK, European and world energy markets for those seeking to explore the technical, strategic and commercial opportunities in natural gas power generation and its related topics.

In addition, our website tracks the commercial development of new natural gas power generation projects, through the planning, project finance and construction stages, and on to the procurement of gas supplies. Trading, pricing and product specification trends are highlighted, while regulatory and policy developments are tracked in related fields that may impact the security of natural gas power supply. Shifting demand patterns for natural gas power generation, as a part of global energy demand, are also covered, as part of our in-depth analysis.

Explore the latest innovations in natural gas power generation technology and the most efficient ways to integrate gas power with natural / renewable energies, with Gas to Power Journal.

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