Daily News

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

Spain's power producers are calling for new regulatory support mechanisms to help cover investment costs of existing fossil plants. "It is vital to establish a mechanism to reward the backup service of existing gas-fired plants, particularly because the current Spanish regulation does not allow the closure of loss-making units," says Carmen Vindel, Head of International Regulation, Gas Natural Fenosa.

Published in Regulation & Policy
Page 2 of 3

News in Brief

ABB spends $30m on transformer factory in Sweden

July 20 – ABB is investing more than $30 million in a new manufacturing unit, under construction in Ludvika, Sweden. The new unit will increase production, expanding the capacity and the range of its high-voltage dry bushings offering.

Wärtsilä’s order intake up 14%

July 19 – The Finish equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä has seen its order increase 15% to €1,553 million in the second quarter, while net sales fell 4% to €1,246 million. Looking at the full year 2018, Wärtsilä said its Services and Solutions business will “improve somewhat from the previous year.” Good demand prospects are on the cards for Energy Solutions, as the global shift towards renewables and rising electricity demand in the emerging markets support the need for distributed power capacity.

NRG abandons Dunkirk coal-to-gas conversion project

July 18 – Shying away from having to pay $114 million in re-interconnection costs, NRG Energy has shelved plans to repower and convert its mothballed Dunkirk power plant in western New York from coal to natural gas. The company said in a statement that it has withdrawn its request to have New York ISO interconnect the Chautauqua County generating facility with the power grid.

Akwa Ibom, BlackRhino sign $1.6bn power deal

July 17 – BlackRhino, operator of the Qua Iboe Power Plant (QIPP), has agreed with the Akwa Ibom State Government to build a power plant and electricity transmission lines in the state. QIPP’s management  committed an investment of $1.1 billion for the facility, with an additional $500 million for gas.

Rostec develops mobile LNG-fired power plants

July 16 – Russia’s state-owned holding Rostec has developed a mobile power plant on the basis of gas reciprocating units of Russian make. Running on LNG, the power plant can provide up to 1.4 MW of electricity and is employed to power remote settlement and oil upstream operations. 

First grid-scale LAES launched

July 13 – Highview Power has just launched the first grid-scale liquid air energy-storage (LAES) plant. Used for grid balancing, the 5-MW/15-MWh system, situated near Manchester, will be able to store and deliver enough electricity to power about 5,000 homes for three hours.

Henry Hub to test $2.90 mark

July 12 – Rising gas-burn in the U.S. power sector of 4.7 Bcf/d week-on-week is more than offsetting holiday-related reductions in industrial gas use, according to Energy Aspects figures. Natural gas prices at Henry Hub are expected to once more test the high $2.90s/MMBtu.

Gemma carries out EPC for 1.6GW project in Virginia

July 11 – Gemma Power Systems and Chickahominy Power have entered into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services contract to construct the Chickahominy Power Station, a 1,600 MW gas-fired power plant, in Charles City County, Virginia. Developed by Balico, the project is anticipated to get underway in the first quarter of 2019 and be completed in the spring of 2022.

GE signs new Waukesha distributor in Nigeria

July 10 – GE’s Distributed Power business has signed an agreement with HOERBIGER Service Middle East FZE to be an authorized distributor for GE’s Waukesha gas engine products in Nigeria. With this deal, GE seeks to expand its Waukesha sales and services network near the point of use, given that Waukesha engines are suited for a variety of on-site mechanical drive, gas compression and power generation applications.

 

InnoEnergy and Swedish partners launch Power2U

July 9 – Europe’s sustainable energy engine, InnoEnergy, has joined forces with five Swedish energy firms to launch Power2U, its new venture to design and operate local energy systems that will integrate solar cells, EV chargers and batteries. The partners – Öresundskraft, Jämtkraft, Tekniska Verken, Umeå Energi and Jönköping Energi – and InnoEnergy will jointly invest 60 million Swedish Kroner ($6.69m).

Nigeria: Afam VI ready to supply 624MW

‎June 29 – The Afam IV gas power plant in Nigeria’s Rivers State is getting ready to supply 624 MW worth of electricity to the national power grid, barring any regulatory restriction. The start-up will help plug part of the gap in supply that opened following the latest outage of several thermal power stations.

ADB agrees $500m for Bangladeshi CCGT

‎June 28 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a $500m loan for an 800MW combined-cycle gas power plant project in Khulna, Bangladesh. The loan will cover costs to build the CCGT as well as a 230kV switchyard and 29km of transmission lines to feed electricity from the plant into the national power grid.

KBR to consult on Oman LNG’s power plant project

‎June 27 – Houston-based KBR has won a project management consultancy services contract from Oman LNG for a new gas engine power plant. The 120 MW plant is meant to reduce fuel gas consumption and emissions while maintaining liquefaction processes at Oman LNG's existing export facility in Sur.

ABB launches molded case circuit breaker

‎June 26 – Zurich-based ABB has added a molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) for higher-voltage solar power plants to its Tmax PV range. The breaker is designed to protect combiners, switchgear and inverters up to 1500V direct current.

Heat wave to propel up CCGT dispatch

June 25 – Temperatures in England and Wales might hit 32 degrees Celsius next week, according to the UK Met Office, while a wind lull will almost erode the contribution of wind power and require flexible combined-cycle gas power stations to bridge the gap. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, “people are underestimating how many gas stations are needed for a windless week.”

Siemens builds microgrid in Finland

‎June 22 –  Lempäälän Energia has selected Siemens to implement a self-sufficient smart grid system in the industrial area of Marjamäki, Finland. The medium-voltage microgrid will be equipped with a corresponding grid automation system and an electrical storage system.

Toshiba R&D into battery anodes

June 21 - Toshiba and Brazil’s CBMM are jointly developing anode material for lithium-ion batteries using Niobium Titanium Oxide (NTO). The aim is to develop next-generation lithium-ion battery material, characterized by high-energy density and ultra-rapid recharging.