Daily News

Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in South Australia as early as 2025, Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research find. By then, wind, solar and battery costs are seen decline by 15%, 25% and 50% respectively – hence they offer a “lower cost alternative” to CCGTs, which cover the bulk of South Australia’s base load power today.

Published in Markets

Responding to California’s Aliso Canyon gas supply constraints, the key power provider Southern California Edison (SCE) has decided to install a battery energy storage system from Current, powered by GE’s LM6000 Hybrid EGT package.

To balance Europe’s electricity grid at times when wind and solar power contribution fades, operators need backup capacity of around 90 GW of quickly dispatchable generating capacity, the International Energy Agency (IEA) finds. Most of this backup capacity is gas-fired, but the runtime hours of these plants are estimated to fall to just 1,000 hours a year as renewable penetrations keeps growing.

Published in Markets

A drop in average wind speeds has led to below-normal wind generation capacity factors in California, Oregon, and Washington during early 2015, which required the use of more flexible backup capacity such as gas-fired peaking plants.

Published in Markets

Britain's first ever capacity auction has come at a high price, critics say after the government confirms it will pay £960 million under capacity contracts awarded to 46 generators to ensure fossil plants will provide backup power in the winter of 2018/19. Gas power plants won the lion's share of the capacity contracts.

Published in Regulation & Policy

May 8 – German network regulator, Bundesnetzagentur (BNA), forecast the country's need for conventional back-up capacity over the next four winters will be rising from 3,090 MW this year to 7,000 MW by the winter of 2017/18.

Of winter 2014/15's requirement only 64 MW had not yet been secured with power plant operators, while for 2015/16 around 1,440 MW yet has to be contracted.

"Delays to grid expansion continue to create a need for considerable reserve power plant capacity, BNA-president Jochen Homann said, warning the scope and cost of new-builds is rising year-on-year.

Published in Brief news

Siemens Energy has dedicated and handed over California's second Flex-Plant to power the gas-fired El Segundo Energy Center, operated by NRG Energy in Lodi. Together with the first unit, the plant can ramp up to 300MW in less than ten minutes, allowing the operator to backup intermittent renewable power supply.

Published in Projects & Finance

Underground gas storage has emerged as a "supporting tool to gas trading". It is vital to cover variability in gas demand when peaking gas-fired generation is used to balance intermittent renewable power supply, Cedigaz finds.

 

Published in Markets

Rapid uptake in flexible renewable energy units in Germany will help reduce the risk of negative power prices and limits the need for fossil plants to provide backup capacity, a study published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) found.

Published in Markets

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the extension of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), which Congress extended on 1 January as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), will result in the addition of significant wind capacity in the US over the next three years. A higher share of intermittent wind energy will require flexible fossil backup capacity.

Published in Markets
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News in Brief

SCANA pulls the plug on two nukes

Aug 18 – Escalating costs, falling electricity demand, construction delays, and the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, have prompted South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, part of SCANA Corp, to pull the plug on two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant. The project was launched back in 2009, and the reactors were scheduled to come online in 2019 and 2020.

HoA signed for 600MW plant in Indonesia

Aug 17 – Indonesia’s power producer ENMP, together with tenants of the Bantaeng Industrial Park has signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) in Jakarta for the development of a 600MW combined-cycle power plant. The CCGT will be fuelled by LNG that will be sourced through Philippines-based AG&P, a specialist for bringing LNG to markets that are currently off-grid.

EIA’s expands drilling report

Aug 16 - To complete coverage of U.S. crude oil and natural gas production, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is expanding the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) to cover the Anadarko region. This prolific area covers most of the production from the Anadarko Basin in 24 counties in Oklahoma and five counties in Texas.

US to stay ‘net exporter’ past 2018

Aug 15 – The United States’ status as a net exporter is expected to continue for the rest of this year and past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada, and increasing LNG exports the US Energy Administration (EIA) forecasts.

GE books $100m deal for hydro pumped storage in Israel

Aug 14 – GE Renewable Energy has booked a turnkey contract with Star Pumped Storage Ltd for the 344 MW Kokhav Hayarden hydro pumped storage station, the second to be installed in Israel. GE Renewable Energy is responsible for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of all electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical equipment as well as complete balance of plant for the two 172 MW pumped-storage units. The project will be executed by a consortium led by Chinese EPC SinoHydro.

Ansaldo to service Thai power plant

Aug 4 – Italy’s Ansalso Energia has won a service agreement for the Glow Energy Phase-5 gas power plant, some 200km southeast of the Thai capital Bangkok. The 328 MW plant produces electricity and also up to 160 tonnes/hour of process steam that gets used by local industries.

DTE Energy files plan to build 1.1 GW plant at Belle River

Aug 3 – Detroit-based utility DTE Energy has filed plans with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to build a 1,100-MW gas-fired power plant northeast of Detroit, near its existing Belle River power station. The August 1 certificate of necessity filed with the MPSC asks for construction of the new $1 billion gas power project to begin in 2019 with a view to starting commercial operation in early 2022.

Coiled turbine market at 7% CAGR

Aug 2 – The coiled turbine market, by service, is seen expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6-7% to reach an estimated $4.4 billion in 2020. North America is the largest market for coiled turbine (CT), both by value and by active fleet count.  The United States in 2013 held the major share of the active fleet count of more than 59%, spurred by the surge of shale gas drilling activities, with analyst seeing further growth potential for ultra-deep CT services.

Aliso Canyon cleared to resume operations

Aug 1 – Aliso Canyon, California’s largest underground natural gas storage facility, has been cleared by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to increase injections above earlier imposed limits. The facility has been undergoing extensive testing since a leak was detected in October 2015 and stopped in February 2016

Need for fast-ramp, fast-cycle dispatch propels up OPEX

July 31 – Rising penetration of renewable electricity sources in California is forcing gas-fired power generators in the state to cycle more often, which incurs higher operating costs. Analysis of hourly data from the California Independent System Operator (CASIO) shows that intermittent electricity supply from wind and solar caused 21% of the cycling events for the system's 120 fossil-fuelled generators in 2013, up 7.1% from two years earlier. The study was compiled by Renewable Impacts.

ABB delivers power solution for Shanghai Stock Exchange

July 21 – Swiss-based ABB has signed a contract to provide more than 1,500 units of MNS low-voltage switchgear for the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) before the end of the year. Dubbed the Jinqiao Technology Center project the MNS switchgear deployment is meant to support the safe, efficient and reliable operation of the stock exchanges’ data center. SSE is ranked #4 in the Shanghai market, and is ranked #26 in China.

TNB extends acquisition period for 51% stake in SPG

July 20 – Malaysia’s state utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has granted SIPP Energy an further 30 days to fulfil conditions set out in the May 3 acquisition agreement when TNB bought a 51% stake in SIPP Energy’s Johor-based unit SPG for RM51. Set up as a special purpose vehicle in august 2016, SPG was given regulatory approval last September to build a 2x720MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. The CCGT is scheduled to start full commercial operation at the start of July 2020.

TVA’s new plant produces 1 GW in first three months

July 19 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new combined cycle gas power plant in Muhlenberg County has produced over 1,025 MW of electricity in its first three months of operation. The cost of the project is estimated at about $850 million, but TVA senior vice president Bob Deacy underlined the new CCGT will give the operator the option of fuel switching to optimise its coal- and gas-burn which will ultimately save money. 

Toshiba opens hydrogen application centre in Tokyo

July 18 – Toshiba has opened a new hydrogen application centre at its Fuchu complex in western Tokyo. Research at the centre focuses the company’s new H2Onesolution for hydrogen supply system business for fuel-cell vehicles, or fuel-cell forklifts within buildings.  According to project manager Hiroyuki Ota, “This center showcases totally CO2-free operation, from hydrogen production through to application.”

Opening of Rhode Island plant delayed unit 2020

July 17 – Chicago-based Invenergy has delayed the start-up of its proposed natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island until “at least 2020,” citing “delays in permitting. The Chicago-based company had previously agreed to start selling power to the regional grid in 2019.

China’s energy efficiency sector tops $13bn in revenue

June 14 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) is supporting association member states in implementing energy efficiency measures. In China, government policy created a whole new sector for low-energy solutions, retrofits and services. This niche sector got started less than 20 years ago but already employs over 600,000 people and has annual revenues of over $13 billion.

Centrica starts building 50 MW unit

July 13 – UK energy supplier Centrica has announced that construction works are getting underway this week on its new 50 MW back-up power unit at Peterborough power station. The new gas-fired ‘peaking’ plant will be driven by five Wartsila-built reciprocating gas engines. The plant operator will dispatch the fast-ramp unit mostly on weekdays to cater periods of peak power demand or to provide back-up electricity when requested by the National Grid.