Daily News

Mexico, the largest offtaker of US pipeline gas and LNG importer from Peru, Nigeria and the US, is getting ready to launch an online gas trading platform by the summer of this year, at the latest. The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), Mexico’s state-owned grid operator, also plans to set up several gas pricing points. “We'll have Henry Hub, too, as that's what we now have,” said Javier Gutierrez Becerril, director of operations at CFE Energy.

Precisely geared to the tasks of users in the control room of a power station, Siemens’ latest instrumentation and control systems SPPA-T3000 Cue is proving a “risk-free means” for operators around the world to cut costs and reduce plant downtime.Customers embrace the new system, so SPPA-T3000 was already sold to a three-digit number of power station operators within just a few months after the launch.

Co-operating on data center projects, Wärtsilä and Schneider Electric have partnered to join up their individual products and services, along with those of third parties. The co-operation focuses on hyperscale data center projects with at least a 10-MW electrical load.

Speed and scope of implementing both grid and off-grid solutions is not fast enough to allow the world’s state leaders reach their common goal of reaching universal electricity access by 2030. To not miss their target, countries need to find innovative ways of integrating decentralized power sources, renewables and scale up demand-side management. Staying optimistic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) deems global electrification by 2030 to be “within reach.”

“Green chemistry” is what Evonik and Siemens are envisaging by using electricity from renewable sources and bacteria to convert carbon dioxide into specialty chemicals. Based on €2.8 million funding from Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the two companies just launched a 2-year research project, called ‘Rheticus’, on electrolysis and fermentation processes.

Low-cost of natural gas has allowed it to stay the dominant source of power generation in the United States for the second year in a row. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that gas-fired power plants covered an average of 32% of total U.S. electricity needs in 2017, compared with 30% from coal power plants.

Moody's Investors Service maintains its stable outlook for the power sector in India over the next 12-18 months. The Indian government's debt restructuring of financially weak distribution utilities, under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), is expected to “gradually improve the financial conditions of state-owned distribution companies,” alleviating off-taker risk.

Dominion Voltage Inc. (DVI), a subsidiary of Dominion Energy and leader in Volt/VAR optimization "VVO" solutions, will work with energy companies in Ontario, Canada, to help avoid energy losses in power distribution systems in line with the government's Long-Term Energy Plan. Navigant estimates the inclusion of front of the meter conservation (IFMC) will reduce annual power demand by 185-MW and save up to 1,130 gigawatt hours (GWh), once implemented.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio on January 10, 2018, announced a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips, claiming the companies intentionally misled the public about the effects of climate change in order to protect their profits.  Together with comptroller Scott Stringer, de Blasio submitted a resolution instructing the city's five pension funds to explore ways to divest their fossil fuel holdings.  Between them, the funds hold $5 billion worth of securities in over 190 fossil fuel-related companies. 

Diversifying electricity sources, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has floated a tender in search for a consultant to carry out a feasibility study for the country’s first waste-to-energy project. Capacity of the plant and capital expenditure will be specified later.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) has filed to the state’s public utilities commission for permission to increase rates, seeking to recover its $390 million investment in the Mustang Energy Center. The 462-MW peaking power plant is the first gas-fired generator that OG&E has built in more than 30 years.

As the use of 690 V energy efficient motors continues to grow within industrial applications, ABB has launched its new range of EQ A44 three phase 690 V high-functionality electricity meters, which deliver outstanding performance for the reliable metering of energy usage.The new meters are suitable for use in a wide range of applications including the processing industry, decentralized energy, mining, docks and harbours, wind turbines, water and waste water management.

Action in terms of demand-side response is essential to ensure a smooth and timely clean energy transition. Globally, the theoretical potential of demand-side response today is nearly 4,000 TWh per year, or more than 15% of total electricity demand, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

On-schedule completion of Japan’s largest ever gas turbine upgrade, the replacement of eight GE 9F gas turbines at the Yokohama power plant, helps Tepco save up to $71 million annually on fuel costs.

More than three months after Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory on September 20, over 1.5 million Puerto Ricans remain without stable electricity supply. Hard-pressed to revamp the island’s power grid, the island’s energy commission has now proposed to emphazise new wind and solar power projects, next to fast-ramp gas peaking plants.

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.