Daily News

Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), part of AES Corp, has opened a 671-MW combined-cycle gas power plant in the U.S. state of Indiana. Situated at the Eagle Valley Generating Station in Martinville, the CCGT was built at a cost of nearly $600 million.

Falling technology costs of solar power and heat have sparked a spree of new installations across India. The country now has the sixth largest installed capacity for solar thermal globally, according to IEA figures, however the rapid growth in solar PV deployment with its intermittent supply requires an adequate backup based on flexible gas generation and energy storage.

Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has embarked on a technical framing workshop to realize Seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) that will supply up to 3.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day (Bcf/d) to underpin at least 15 GW of new power generation capacity by 2020.

Intelligent use of drones in the electric power sector can help utilities enhance the operational safety of their assets. Routine inspections of boilers, wind turbine blades and power transmission lines can be made cost-effectively by an unmanned drone – without putting workers at risk.

High-voltage direct current (HVDC) lines play a vital role in integrating renewable energy into the electric grid. Considering their cost effectiveness and lower electricity losses, HVDC lines could – if properly configured – help mitigate some operational issues associated with renewable generation.

Eager to develop proprietary gas turbine technology, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) of China has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens to explore a technology cooperation. The aim of SPIC is to boost its heavy duty gas turbine programme.

Taking bold steps to curb air pollution, China’s State Council has extended the reach of the three-year 'blue sky defence' action plan to cities in Shanxi, Shaanxi and Henan provinces. The target area now includes ‘2+26’ cities and prioritizes switching from coal to gas for winter heating and power generation, as well as renewables. Accelerating air pollution now affects a region with 37% of China's population and contributes to 41% of the GDP.

Peak power demand in ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, can barely be met with installed capacity as reserve margins are less than 11%. This is not enough to meet peak summer demand, the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) finds, considering that reserve margins in PJM Interconnection (PJM) are substantially higher at about 33%.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E), together with Texas-based Vistra Energy, have sought regulatory approval to install a 300-MW/1,200-MWh battery storage facility at Moss Landing in California. The project is part of a wider PG&E venture, comprising four projects with a total capacity of 567.5 MW – all due for commissioning before end-2020.

Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist, has highlighted the country’s potential to become a world leader in energy storage, including renewable hydrogen. Large-scale deployment of energy storage, however, requires a smarter electricity grid and mechanisms to empower consumers to manage their costs.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has joined forces with Énergir, a Canadian gas utility, along with French utilities GRDF and GRTgaz, focusing on research into clean energy sources. Targeted innovations include renewable natural gas, solar-powered hydrogen generation, fuel cells, power-to-gas and energy storage.

Alleviating power shortages in Myanmar, the Finish technology group Wärtsilä will provide equipment for a new gas power plant. The 145 MW facility, to be driven by eight Wärtsilä 50SG engines, is under construction on a fast-track basis and scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2019.

Natural gas, coal and petroleum account for at least 80% of energy consumption in the United States, even though the share of fossil fuels has fallen to the lowest level since 1902. Fossil fuel consumption in the U.S. dropped for the third consecutive year, according to EIA data, driven by slight decreases in coal and gas use in the power sector.

EGEMAC, Egypt’s largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of medium-voltage equipment, has asked ABB to supply several thousand medium-voltage air insulated indoor switch-disconnectors. ABB’s devices will help improve grid performance and ensure stable supply to almost 50 million users of electricity.

July has started with early and intense heat in the United States, which coincides with a new high in natural gas production. However, consumption from the power sector is soaking up any additional supply, as cooling demand skyrockets and a slate of new combined-cycle generators (CCGTs) have begun operation. Cash prices at Henry Hub are nearing the critical $3/mmbtu price threshold.

News in Brief

Aramco collaborates with Schneider Electric

Sept 21 – Saudi Aramco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Schneider Electric to work together on various advanced digital technologies, including virtual reality. The MoU is one of several accords to support the Aramco’s 2020 Transformation Programme and the kingdom’s own Vision 2030 economic blueprint.

GE appoints new CCO

Sept 20 – Jennifer Erickson has been named Chief Communications Officer (CCO) for General Electric with immediate effect. Erickson will report to Linda Boff, Chief Marketing & Learning Officer, GE who called her “hard work, superb instincts and team leadership” as a great asset to help transform GE for the future.

ENGIE rated “industry leader” in DJSI

Sept 20 – ENGIE has been rated “industry leader” in its sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and Europe indices in 2018. In the area Multi and Water Utilities it achieved a score of 82 out of 100.

Fuel cell CHP market keeps growing at +24%

Sept 19 – The global market for fuel cell for combined heat and power (CHP) applications is forecast to grow at an annual rate of over 24% through 2022. Fuels cells are considered a clean source of energy that is highly expandable and can be used in a variety of applications. Top manufacturers include: Bloom Energy, FuelCell Energy, Viessmann, Baxi, Ceres Power, Doosan Fuel Cell and Toshiba.

Siemens Gamesa stays in DJ Sustainability Index

Sept 18 – For the ninth time running, Siemens Gamesa has been confirmed as member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices (DJSI World). The Spanish company scored particularly well in the areas of codes of business conduct, supply chain management, operational eco-efficiency and product stewardship.

Oldest U.S. power plant retires

Sept 17 - The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, a 625 MW single-unit GE boiling water reactor in New Jersey, will retire today. The plant, situated 50 miles east of Philadelphia, first came online in December 1969 and is the oldest commercially operated nuclear power plant in the United States.

Power of Siberia 93% complete

Sept 14 – Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller has informed his Chinese counterpart at CNPC, Wang Yilin, that 93% or over 2,010 kilometers of the Power of Siberia pipeline’s linear part from the Chayandinskoye field to the border with China has been welded and laid. The submerged crossing under the Amur is also “nearly complete.”

Industry benefits of cheap Marcellus gas

Sept 13 – Commercial and industrial users in Pennsylvania have saved about $17.2 billion as a result of the low price of natural gas. Abundant production out of the Marcellus Shale and helped push the price down from $10.39 per thousand cubic feet in 2008 to currently below $3, and occasionally lower.

DNV GL opens digital hub in Singapore

Sept 12 – Driving digitalization across the oil & gas, maritime and energy sectors, DNV GL has launched a new digital hub in Singapore. Named Digital Consulting and Smart Cities, the new hub includes three teams covering smart cities, cybersecurity and digital development – all based on DNV GL’s data management platform Veracity.

Siemens launches floating power barge

Sept 11 – Siemens has developed barge-based, turnkey floating power solution that takes a critical part of an FLNG facility off a project’s critical path. According to the manufacturer, the integrated turnkey solution helps reduce overall project execution time by 25% or more.

ENGIE, Maltem found Blockchain Studio

Sept 10 –The French utility ENGIE and Maltem, an advisory on digitalization, have jointly founded a Blockchain Studio to make this technology more accessible to energy companies. An initial €1,9 million in seed funding has been secured, the companies said, which will be used to develop activities in southern Europe, and open an office in Singapore at the beginning o f 2019.

UPS for Dubrovnik Airport

Sept 7 – A new data center for Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia has been equipped with modular uninteruptible power supply (UPS). The solution ABB’s DPA UPScale ST 60 system CBAT-120 battery cabinets and the Rittal IT solutions.

FirstEnergy modernizes grid in Ohio

Sept 6 – FirstEnergy has started to rebuild and modernize an existing 69-kilovolt (kV) power line in its Ohio service area. The project is part of Energizing the Future, an investment initiative that has already led to a 37% reduction in equipment-related transmission outages across FirstEnergy ‘s power work in Ohio and the Penn Power territory in western Pennsylvania.

Wärtsilä supplies engines for 145-MW plant in Myanmar

Sept 5 – Wärtsilä gas engines have arrived at Ahlone port in Yangon, Myanmar, designated for a 145-MW power plant being built by Powergen Kyaukse Co. on behalf of Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy. Powergen Kyaukse said it started civil works on site in preparation for installing the gas turbines. EPC contractor for the overall project is SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction of China.

Gas Turbine Control appoints new COO

Sept 4 – Gas Turbine Controls (GTC), supplier of replacement parts for all versions of GE power plant control systems particularly the Speedtronic series, has appointed John SantaCroce as new President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). John’s experience in finances, distribution and international sales is meant to benefit GTC clients through new products and service offerings

PennEnergy snaps up RexEnergy assets

Sept 3 – Pennsylvania-based gas producer PennEnergy has acquired nearly all assets of its former rival Rex Energy in a cash deal valued at an estimated US$600.5 million. Rex Energy recently filed for bankruptcy and had been primarily active in oil and gas exploration in the Appalachian Basin.

New GIS launched with 72.5kW

Aug 31 – GE Power’s Grid Solutions business has launched a new compact F35 Gas-Insulated Substation (GIS) for 72.5 kV networks. With a bay volume reduced by 23% and a 30% reduction in SF6 mass this new GIS allows the power voltage transformer to feed auxiliaries under “no wind” conditions, making it an ideal interface with a view to grid balancing.