Black-yellow-green: a Jamaica coalition between the Conservatives, Liberals and the Green Party is now the sole option for Germany’s new government – after the Social Democrats decided for the opposition. With the Greens participating, the time is ripe for a fierce debate in parliament in about the feasibility of phasing out coal-fired power plants; in close succession to Germany’s nuclear exist.
Digitalisation unfolds in the energy sector as utilities are seeking to achieve revenue and efficiency gains, but there is a corresponding need to identify cyber threats at their earliest stages – going beyond compliance regulations to secure operations. To that end, Siemens and PAS Global have joint forces to provide fleet-wide, real time monitoring for control systems.
Events like major hurricanes lay bare the fragility of utility infrastructure and the value of adopting onsite distributed generation. With the resiliency of microturbines, most Capstone customers in the U.S. experienced minimal downtime, if any at all, and kept powering through Hurricane Harvey, Irma and now Maria.
Rumuji, a mini-LNG facility in River State, Nigeria, is being developed to monetize the country’s substantial stranded gas reserves. Set to be built with $500 million worth of private funds, gathered by Greenville Ltd., the project is underpinned by a gas supply agreement for the delivery of 74 mmscf of gas through NNPC, Total and the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN).
Solar power will outcompete natural gas as a fuel for power generation in the United States, given that costs for utility-scale solar projects are forecast to plunge 84% from 2009-levels by 2025. The US National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL) expects gas will maintain its cost advantages at $53/MWh for a combined-cycle power plant – except compared with the $32/MWh of utility-scale PV in 2030.
Construction has started in the US northeast state of Pennsylvania on the greenfield portion of the almost $3-billion Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project, an expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline to connect Marcellus Shale supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and the South of the United States.
Uncertainty over gas demand growth for power generation in Virginia and North Carolina may put at risk the development of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, proposed in 2014 by a joint venture of Dominion, Duke, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. Though developers say 79% of the pipeline capacity has been contracted, analysts from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) caution that projections for demand growth are overoptimistic.
Norway-based Jacobsen Elektro, an international provider of turnkey power plants, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to provide the generating equipment for a new power plant in Indonesia. The 48 MW will be operated by PT PLN, the Indonesian government-owned utility.
Indonesia's state-run electricity supplier, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), has contracted MAN Diesel & Turbo to deliver a total of 20 MAN 51/60DF engines. Ten of these engines will be installed in three power plants for which the German manufacturer will take on EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) responsibilities.
ABB has launched a solution using its VD4G vacuum generator circuit breaker to extend the safe operational life of power plants. It extends the OneFit concept with new ratings and covers generator protection applications, notably for aging switchgear.
Persistently high power prices and energy shortages along the East Coast of Australia could be solved by a trans-continental gas pipeline that connects the resource-rich Northwest to existing infrastructure in central Australia, says Colin Barnett former premier of Western Australia. Though the 3,000km interconnector costs an estimated $5billion, he stressed expenses need to be put in context with $49 billion spent for a national broadband project.
Construction works for the proposed Marshall Energy Center could start by early 2019. The project comes with a price tag of $400 million and consists of two gas-fuelled generators that will together provide 1,000 MW of flexible capacity to help balance the regional power grid.
Eager to meet the compliance deadline, several operators of coal-fired power stations across the United States have installed mercury controls, based on activated carbon injection systems. The timing of these retrofits show that utilities are willing to invest in order to keep some of their coal capacity up and running.
Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply two more baseload power plants to Bangladesh. Orion Group, an industrial conglomerate, is developing two 110 MW units, each of which will operate on six Wärtsilä 50 engines running on heavy fuel oil.
The Atlantic LNG production plant at Point Fortin, Trinidad, has been shut and evacuated after a fire flared up at one of its power generating units. The company said it contained and extinguished the fire, with no injuries reported.