Loss-making Irsching power units 4 and 5, with a combined capacity of 1,400MW, are likely to stand idle for the third year in a row beyond April 2019. In a filing to the German energy regulator, Uniper and the co-owners of unit 5, Mainova, N-Ergie and HSE, said they see “no way to ensure the Bavarian power plant’s commercial viability.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.