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Fluctuation in power supply to the grid amid rising renewable penetration has been increasing the need for black-start generators. Analysts expect this market will grow at a rate of 3.8%, up from an estimated $1.24 billion this year to $1.50 billion by 2021.

Published in Markets

Siemens has extended the scope of application of its Simotics SD Add low-voltage motors, helping power transmissions system operators (TSOs) reduce drain on the grid due to low start-up currents. The revamped motors are compatible are also compatible for use in process industries, or in sensitive industrial applications that require enhanced grid stability.

France’s leading power transmission utility, RTE has contracted the Swiss engineering company ABB to deploy its Ability Network Manager control system to help enhance the grid’s reliability and efficiency. RTE manages a network of more than 1,200 transformers, 2,800 substations and 3,500 delivery points.

Siemens is providing Dominion Energy, a subsidiary of one of the largest producers and transporters of energy in the US, with the company's first Mobile SVC STATCOM technology. The solution keeps the grid stable during disturbances and faults by providing fast and controlled reactive power. Siemens said it plans to deliver the first mobile device in mid-2018.

US manufacturers Koch Industries and Dow Chemical are lobbying against the plan of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal as a fuel for power generation. In a letter to Congress, manufacturers dismissed the Department of Energy’s (DoE) plan as “anti-competitive” and said it could distort or “destroy competitive wholesale electricity markets and increase the price of electricity to all consumers.”

Published in Regulation & Policy

UK Power Reserve said it is “on track to deliver its 2014 capacity market obligations” with nine power stations built so far in 2017 and another nine set for completion by the end of the year. Once all 18 are commissioned and fully operational, UKPR will contribute 364MW of fast-ramp, flexible gas generation to the UK power grid.

Published in Markets

In the absence of cost-effective, large-scale electricity storage, the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) finds stark regional differences concerning grid stability in its 2017 peak power demand projections. Reserve margins, the estimated buffer of unused generating capacity, range from less than 15% in the grid area of ISO-New England to almost 29% in New York.

Published in Markets

The corner may well have been turned for the European power sector, as many operators of fossil plants now focus on balancing markets. Grid services and flexible power supply is seen to remain essential in the medium- to long-term, industry experts at Power-Gen Europe agree, while gas use for baseload power will be very limited, indeed, notably in Europe as well as in parts of the U.S.

Published in Markets

Accelerated growth of volatile wind and photovoltaic power supply in Germany has been shifting the dispatch of fossil power plants to load-following operation to maintain the stability of the power grid. More decentralized gas-fired stations would help meet TSO’s flexibility requirements, Dr. Thorsten Krol, marketing manager at Siemens’ distributed generation business development told Gas to Power Journal.

Jan 28 – To detect threats to grid stability, GE is s providing Southern California Edison with a Phasor Measurement System to acquire, monitor, visualize, analyse, archive and share phasor measurement information.

The system acquires measurements of underlying grid conditions from phasor measurement units (PMUs), located within SCE's system as well as neighbouring utilities, at a rate of 30 times per second. The technology provides operators with visibility to power system dynamics and a real-time wide-area view of the grid, GE said.

The phasor project - a wide-area situational awareness system - involves the deployment of PMU devices in 500 kV and 230 kV substations throughout SCE's network.

Published in Brief news

News in Brief

German coal plants “worthless” at CO2 of €45/t

Feb 16 – Coal power plants in Germany would have to be almost completely eliminated by 2030 in a scenario with a carbon price of €45/t, a study of Barclays bank finds. A total of 46,000-MW of black and brown coal-fired generation is currently in service in Germany.

Iran plans to add 40 decentralized gas gensets

Feb 15 – Off-grid, decentralized power supply will help avert electricity shortages in Iran’s northern provinces of Mazandaran and Golestan. To that end, the Iranian energy ministry launched a plan to build 40 small-scale power plants across with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW over the two provinces over the coming six years.

National Grid makes £1m for top projects

Feb 14 – The UK’s National Grid System Operator is reaching out to industry and academia to open up a discussion on priority investments across the GB gas and electricity systems. Up to £1 million is available for the top projects, National Grid said when opening the funding application process which closes on 28 February.

Wärtsilä renews O&M accord for Saudi power plant

Feb 13 –Saudi Arabia-based Hail Cement Company hasrenewing the three-year asset management agreement with Wärtsilä and for a power plant in Turbah, Saudi Arabia. Under the agreement, Wärtsilä provides guarantees for the performance of the 53 MW base load plant, equipped with seven Wärtsilä 32 gas engines.

Black & Veatch eyed as EPC contractor for £500m Wyre plant

Feb 12 – Wrye Power, a subsidiary of NPL Group, and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) have hired Black & Veatch as EPC contractor for the £500 million Wyre power project. Black & Veatch will provide engineering and planning consultancy services to develop the 900 MW combined cycle gas turbine plant, which will be built at Fleetwood in Lancashire.

Lockyer Valley Energy Project gets environmental nod

Feb 9 – The Lockyer Valley Energy Project, a 1,000-MW gas-fired power plant formerly known as the Westlink Project, has received environmental approval from the US Federal Government. As part of the approval, Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, the developer of the plant, has been ordered to commit up to $800,000 for an environmental offset plan.

GIP buys NRG Yield

Feb 8 – Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an independent infrastructure investor, has agreed to acquire NRG Energy’s US renewable energy platform for $1.375 billion in cash and provide backstop support for NRG Yield agreed purchase of the Carlsbad Energy Center project. NYLD is the second largest US power company by enterprise value and market capitalization, operating a total capacity of 5.1 GW, diversified across wind, solar, and natural gas technologies.

Rolls-Royce tests lean-burn combustion system

Feb 7 – Rolls-Royce has run a demonstrator engine featuring ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) for the first time on a testbed in Derby, UK. Designed for future jet engine programmes, ALECSys may be adapted for the power generation segment at a later stage.

Just Energy takes over EdgePower

Feb 6 – US retail energy provider Just Energy Group announced today it has agreed to acquire all shares or EdgePower, a privately-held energy monitoring company. Based in Aspen, Colorado, EdgePower provides lighting and HVAC controls, as well as enterprise monitoring in hundreds of commercial buildings across North America

Pöyry to carry out EPC for cogen project in Finland

Feb 6 – The Finnish utility Pori Energia has selected Pöyry to carry out project management, basic and detail engineering and procurement services for 90-MW Aittaluoto combined heat and power (CHP) plant project. The construction of the new cogeneration power plant will be completed by mid-2020, and once operational Pöyry will replace some of the boiler capacity at Aittaluoto.

Kosmos advances FLNG offshore Senegal

Feb 5 – Kosmos Energy has completed drilling the Requin Tigre-1 exploration well in Senegal’s Saint Louis Offshore Profond block. Exploration of the deepwater Cretaceous petroleum systems offshore Mauritania and Senegal are part of Kosmos’ efforts to source more feedgas for a FLNG project, though some of the gas find will be reserved by local governments for power generation.

Eland gets involved in Innovate UK project

Feb 2 – Participating in a £1 million Innovate UK grant-funded project, Eland Cables will install its new long linear capacitor cable technology, dubbed the Capacitive Transfer System (CTS) to help reduce power loss in the national grid. The UK currently loses around 7.6% of the power it generates during transmission and distribution, which equates to an estimated £1.1 billion spent annually.

Floating power market to quadruple by 2023

Feb 1 – The global Floating Power Plant industry is expected to surge exponentially by 2023, registering a growth rate of 10.23% during between 2017 and 2023, according to Market Research Future. Gaining full viability as a technology, floating power plants are being rolled out to guarantee uninterrupted electricity supply in remote locations that are not connected to national distribution grids.

Ener-Core, Dresser-Rand grid synchronize CHP

Jan 31 – Ener-Core’s first two 1.75-MW power oxidizers, integrated with Dresser-Rand KG2-3G gas turbines have achieved electrical synchronization with the power grid at the Pacific Ethanol bio-refinery in Stockton, California. The oxidizers are replacing the traditional gas-fired combustion chamber within CHP gas turbines, allowing industry customers to convert their low-quality waste gases directly into clean power, heat and steam.

Gazprom’s curbs domestic gas debt

Jan 30 – Accumulation of overdue debt for gas supplies remains a problem for the Russian gas market. According to Gazprom data, the total outstanding debt reached RUB 170.7 billion ($3.03bn) by January 1, 2018, an increase of RUB 9.8 billion ($173m) from early 2017. Among the most problematic non-payers are heating suppliers, which account for about 35% of the debt and two-thirds of debt growth.

Global gas demand up 3%

Jan 29 – Spurred by China’s green energy policy, global gas demand increased 3% year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2017, according to Cedigaz figures. The Paris-based research institute criticized that investments made upstream and in liquefaction infrastructure have been “insufficient” in recent years, with Coral the only LNG export venture to take a final investment decision last year.

UKPR launches iGrid App for Android

Jan 26 – UK Power Reserve has launched an Android version of its iGridUK app, providing near real-time information about the energy market, such as generation by fuel type and peak demand. The release complements the popular iGridUK app for Apple.