Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries has today reached an agreement to acquire the business and all assets of UK Power Reserve (UKPR) for £216 million ($167m). The deal gives Sembcorp an additional capacity of over 1,000 MW in the UK, where it currently supplies energy and services to industrial firms on Teesside.
Aggreko, a provider of modular mobile power gensets, has been awarded a $23.8 million contract over of 36 month to provide 20-MW of flexible power to Caribbean island of St Croix via a Next Generation Gas Generator in 60 Hz. Once operational, the solution is expected to provide $6 million worth of fuel savings to the island in the first two years.
Opinions differ widely when it comes to energy storage. Dominion Energy in its new long-term plan for Virginia and North Carolina notes that the price of battery storage showed it wasn’t ready for full consideration. Instead, the utility is looking to intensify the deployment of new gas-fired peaking power plants.
The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has signed a contract to engineer, manufacture and deliver a 130 MW Flexicycle plant to Mbour, Senegal, that is meant to lower the country’s energy cost and help integrate more renewable energy sources. The order for the Malicounda power project was placed by Lebanon-based Matelec Group, the contractor of the Independent Power Producer MPG (Melec Power Gen).
ITM Power and Northern Gas Networks (NGN) have announced the outcome of a feasibility study, evaluating the potential of deployment and cost-effective operation of 50MW energy storage capacity within the boundaries of the NGN gas distribution network. Low Thornley in Gateshead is being recommended as the most suitable site for a power-to-gas demonstration plant in the size range 50-100MW.
Bonaire in the Caribbean and the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic: these two self-sustaining islands are setting standards in integrating renewable energy sources, supported by MAN Diesel & Turbo gensets. On the Faroe Island, four MAN 9L51/60 four-stroke engines are being installed to expand the existing Sund power plant near the capital Tórshavn.
Cloud-based distributed power generators, aggregated to a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), are gaining popularity notably in North America – the world’s first country to implement demand response where end-users can earn monetary incentives by managing power usage. Globally, the VVP market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 29.68%, reaching an estimated $709.2 million by 2021.
Cost competitiveness of wind and solar power is rapidly increasing, hence many installations in favourable locations are now economically viable without subsidies. This accelerating green energy transition drives the need for flexible gas engine solutions. Benefitting from this trend, Wärtsilä managed to boost its market share in the <500 MW market segment from 13% in 2016 to 19% in 2017, according to the McCoy Power Report.
UK capacity markets, pitched by proponents as a necessary to balance rising amounts of variable generation, “simply are no longer needed,” IEEFA’s Gerard Wynn claims. He referred to some European markets with far higher levels of variable renewables that are investing in flexible grids, capable of sourcing up to 50% of their energy from wind and solar.
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.