NET Power, developer of an emission-free gas power generation technology, has taken a leap forward with successful combustor first-fire at its 50MWth demonstration plant in Texas. Using the technology called Allam Cycle, the new plant is “radically different” from conventional combined-cycle plants. It uses high pressure CO2, rather than steam, as the working fluid to generate electricity from carbon-based fuels without producing air emissions.
June 1 – California and Texas are two potential tight spots for reliability of electricity this summer, even as most regions seem prepared to meet peak summer demand, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes. In its 2018 energy market and reliability assessment, the regulator predicts warmer than average temperatures which could stir record high gas-burn for power generation.
Just days after NTE Energy inaugurated its $645 million Middletown Energy Center in Ohio, the utility confirmed it will invest more than $1 billion to develop the 1,000-MW Anderson County Energy Center in South Carolina. Florida-based NTE hailed the 525-MW Middletown combined cycle facility as among the most efficient gas-fired power plants in the United States. The plant’s operation commenced on May 21, some 31 months after construction began.
About 21 GW of natural gas-fired generators are scheduled to come online in the United States this year out of a total 32 GW of new-built electric capacity. “If these gas generators come online based on their reported timelines, 2018 will be the first year since 2013 in which renewables did not make up a majority of added capacity,” the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) commented.
The U.S. state of Pennsylvania has seen a record increase in natural gas production due to a rise in permitting and drilling activity, combined with the expansion of regional pipeline capacity. Production averaged 5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, an increase of 3% and a record for the state, with output originating largely from shale gas plays in the Appalachian Basin.
Australian commodities company BHP Billiton is continuing to exit its onshore assets in the southwest of the United States. “We expect to receive bids by June 2018, " BHP said, addding it aims to "proceed with negotiations to potentially announce one or several transactions in the first half of the 2019 financial year.”
Natural gas production keeps on rising in the United States with two out of three of EIA’s measures on gas output at new all-time highs. Gross withdrawals reached 90.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, the highest volume on record, and marketed gas production also hit a new high.
Siemens has delivered five gas turbine-driven compressor trains to Fermaca Enterprises for two pipeline stations in Mexico. The pipeline projects are part of the regulator CFE’s ongoing energy reform, aimed at increasing the availability of low-cost electricity to boost Mexico’s economic growth. Commissioning of both stations will start later this year, and the entire 500 kilometer pipeline is expected to begin commercial operation in early 2019.
West-to-east power flows on the ERCOT transmission system are bound to rise substantially, following a surge in wind capacity addition in the Panhandle northwestern Texas, and new solar PV resources in far southwest Texas. Rising supply of inherently intermittent renewable energy is proving difficult to integrate; hence transmission line upgrades need to be fast-tracked to allow the grid operator ERCOT balance wind energy in the Northwest with flexible gas-fired generation in the eastern part of the state.
Greensmith Energy, a part of Wärtsilä group, has completed two grid-scale energy storage systems in Texas. Called ‘Texas Waves’, the two 9.9-MW short-duration storage facilities are fed by E.ON’s 249-MW Pyron and the 197-MW Inadale wind farms, both near Roscoe, delivering energy on short notice to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).