Peak power demand in the UK is forecast to top 50.7GW, but National Grid is “confident” to be able to balance the system “even under colder conditions than we have experienced in recent years,” the grid operator said in its 2017/18 winter outlook. Without intervention, reserve margins would be 1.2% - the lowest in a decade.
LNG imports to Spain have kept rising over the summer driven by record levels of gas-burn in the power generation sector. At the end of the peak summer season in August, Spain imported 19 LNG cargoes originating from Qatar, Nigeria, Algeria, Norway, Peru, Trinidad and the U.S.
Multiple record-breaking heat waves swept across the western United States this summer, with temperatures reaching 105 degrees in Portland – some 23 degress higher than the 30-year average. Record peak summer demand for electricity has been challenging some of the largest electricity balancing authorities in the area.
Natural gas-fuelled power generation in the United States reached its highest daily level at 41 Bcf/day on July 20 – just a tick lower than the 2016 peak of 42 Bcf/d seen on August 11 last year. Higher gas prices relative to last summer explain part of the decrease; but PointLogic Energy analysts stressed that “although power burn in 2017 is lower than in 2016, it is still relatively high compared with the previous five-year average for that period.”
A 19-day testing process is underway for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Paradise combined-cycle plant, including ‘first fire’ of the turbine and grid synchronisation. TVA said the 1,025-MW gas power plant is now 84% complete – all tests should be successful by early 2017 for the CCGT to enter into commercial operation before the coming summer.
Advancing much-needed power projects, the Philippines’ Department of Energy (DOE) has cleared 23 plant proposals for the conduct of a grid impact study (GIS) – a precondition before developers can proceed with the actual construction. If built, these projects will have a combined capacity of just over 2,750 MW.
“Unprecedented efficiencies” created by new technologies and more stringent energy policies will make per capita energy demand peak before 2030, according to projections by the World Energy Council (WEC). The “phenomenal rise of solar and wind energy” is seen to continue, while coal and oil will gradually fade out of the energy mix.
In the face of gas supply shortages following a major and prolonged leak at SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon storage facility, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) now provides timely updates in its ‘Southern California Daily Energy Report’. Withdrawal rates at Aliso Canyon have fallen sharply below the usual 1.9 Bcf/d – causing regulators to place a cap on gas-burn and spurring electricity imports from neighbouring states.
While power producers like EDF cashed in on record electricity prices during last week’s heat wave in the UK, capacity constraints provided an early test for National Grid which seeks to keep the lights on with ever tighter capacity margins. Winter 2016/17 might prove challenging in the face of mass retirements of coal-fired plants earlier this year.
Denton Municipal Electric, the locally-owned utility of the Texan city, has contracted Wärtsilä to deliver engineering and equipment (EEQ) for 225 MW gas power capacity. The plant will provide balancing power to the community, which aims to have 70% of its energy produced from renewables by early 2019.