Sunny south-western parts of the United States is where solar PV plus energy storage can now outcompete flexible gas-fired peaking plants. Several tenders in the region for solar plus storage came in at less than $30/MWh last year – and technology costs keep falling.
Researchers from Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and B&B Agema have been looking at a novel design approach – Nekomimi film cooling – to further increase temperatures at the combustor exit and high-pressure turbine stage inlet. The aim is to boost efficiency without putting too much strain on vanes and blades, considering that modern turbine stage inlet temperatures exceed the melting points of turbine blade materials.
The Texan arm of Entergy Corp has selected two Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) gas turbines of its Montgomery County Power Station near Willis, due to start operating in 2021. For MHPS the order is the third from Entergy in just 22 months.
The Finish technology group Wärtsilä will supply a gas engine-driven power plant to a leading petroleum company in Argentina. With an initial output of 57.4 MW, which can later be increased to 90 MW, the plant’s electricity output will primarily be used to power the local oil fields in the Manantiales Behr basin.
Market observers have questioned the commercial viability of a new 300 MW ‘emergency reserve’ power plant at Irsching, Bavaria. Uniper has won a tender to build the open-cycle unit even though it is seeking to mothball two combined-cycle power units at the same site.
Protests raised by the Engineers’ Union has forced Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to stop construction at three cabinet-approved LNG-fuelled power projects. A China-led 400 MW project, a Japan-sponsored 500 MW project and an India-lead 500 MW project are all halted amid claims that private developers would force the government to buy electricity at higher prices.
Though a tender has been completed, the winning bidder for a 300 MW LNG-fuelled power project in Kerawalapitiya, in Sri Lanka’s western province, is not yet officially named. LTL Holdings submitted the lowest bid of US$ 160 million, but the offer is based on conditions that pile “maximum political pressure” on the government to decide in its favour.
Electricity produced from wind farm will be the fastest growing U.S. power source for at least the next two years. About 11 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity is due to come online in 2019, pushing up the share of wind in the energy mix from 7% in 2018 to 9% in 2020, according to EIA figures, while the share of gas is set to rise from 25% to 27% over the same period.
Suspension of Hitachi’s 2.9 GW Wylfa nuclear power project and the phase-out of coal power by 2025 will greatly enhance the role of gas in the UK energy mix. To replace the lost capacity at Wylfa with combined-cycle gas power plants, operators would require close to 3.5 bcm of gas per year.
Energy-intensive industries in Germany are pressing the government to limit the cost burden of the country’s green energy transition for their businesses. The much-discussed ‘coal exit’ will favour flexible gas power plants, but industries fear it could push up wholesale power prices by up to 50%.
Falling technology cost and supportive policies are seen pushing up the American grow from currently $400 million to top $4 billion by 2024. According to Global Market Insights, power storage could become a “market disruptor”, having nearly doubled in 2018 by adding yet another 1,000 MWh of capacity.
Caterpillar Energy Solutions has just launched a new 170B 50-Hertz series of generator sets with a power output ranging from 1.3 MW to 2.3 MW. The 20-cylinder version is available now, with 12 and 16 cylinders set to come out later in 2019.
Though trade tensions with the U.S. affected China’s GDP figures in the fourth quarter, demand growth in China’s electricity sector is still “phenomenal,” Wood Mackenzie says. Total power demand in 2018 is estimated to have fallen by just 0.5%, or 32 TWh, based on tariffs on US$34 billion of goods with effect from July.
Wisconsin’s state utility regulators will decide on whether the proposed 550-MW Nemadji Trail Energy Center will be built. The developers have filed plans to co-develop the $700 million facility, and now await an official permit.
Mitsubishi Electric Corp has developed two technologies for gas-insulated switchgears (GIS): arc-cooling that improves the interruption of electrical current in sulfur-fluoride GIS by 25%, and high-density dielectric coating that improves insulation performance by 30% in high-voltage conductors.