Substations in the digital age are increasingly known as “the heart of the power supply system,” connecting parts of the grid that operate at different voltage levels. Siemens’ vision is a largely decarbonized energy system in a “near-to-all electric world”. The technology is already there, but utilities and grid operators still need to fully embrace it.
General Electric has signed a multiyear service agreement with GEL Utility to support the power generation unit at Nigerian National Petroleum Corps’s refinery in Port Harcourt. The aim is to achieve uninterrupted power supply at Nigeria’s largest refinery, which currently produces up to 210,000 barrels per day (bbl/d).
Rebounding oil prices are putting energy pricing reforms under pressure in some countries, with fuel subsidies creeping higher again after having fallen from a high in 2012 of more than a half trillion dollar. New IEA data for 2017 show a 12% increase in the estimated value of fuel subsidies, to more than $300 billion.
Natural gas production in the United States is hitting new records after output increased to an average 86.9 Bcf/d in October, and continues to rise. In its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said 2018 production will average 83.2 Bcf/d, and is seen to top 89.6 Bcf/d in 2019. This supply glut is likely to push down prices at Henry Hub.
Coal exports from New South Wales, Australia, are seen entering a phase of “terminal long-term decline” as key buyers are turning away. Exports of thermal coal out of the Port of Newcastle peaked three years ago and analysts now observe a steady decline as Asian markets transition towards cheaper more sustainable renewables.
Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) has alerted state regulators about plans to retire four coal-fired power units by 2023, and another one by 2028. The utility’s latest Integrated Resource Plan details NIPSCO’s efforts to produce 65% of its electricity from renewables and at least 25% of its output from natural gas.
Advent International, a Boston-based private equity group, has acquired GE’s Distributed Power business and is now a stand-alone energy company, rebranded as INNIO. The transaction includes the Jenbacher and Waukesha product lines, with main operating sites in Austria, Canada and the U.S.
Germany utility RWE has decided to freeze the development of Tilbury Energy Centre in the UK, which included proposals for a 2.5 GW combined-cycle gas power plant and energy storage. The project is no longer economically viable, RWE said, considering current market conditions and costs.
The Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo Energia has signed a contract worth about €60 million, stipulating the supply of its first H-class GT36 gas turbine to the Minhang combined-cycle gas power plant (CCGT) in China. The 800-MW is being built in Minhang District, a suburban area of Shanghai.
Fuel security has been politicized in the U.S. and PJM Interconnection has just passed a stress test, imposed by the U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on all transmission system operators. Selecting 14-day period of winter weather, PJM analyzed the system under more than 300 different scenarios that might occur from 2023 onwards. “We could handle it, but need to focus on fuel supply and demand response,” said PJM President, Andrew L. Ott.
A consortium led by ACWA Power, the Saudi power plant developer and investor, has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with for a 2,300-MW project to be built in Luxor, southern Egypt, at an estimated cost of $2.3 billion. Phase-1 of the project will start up in summer 2022, and the entire plant is due to be operational in summer 2023.
Duke Energy has stepped up efforts to finalize and commission the second 820-MW unit of its 1,640 MW Citrus County Power Plant by the end of December. In April, the utility first announced plans to have the entire new CCGT fully operational by the end of 2018.
New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC) has approved a petition by Consolidated Edison Company (Con Edison) for a $5 million, three-year gas demand response pilot program, one of the first schemes of its kind. Industries and large commercial customers will get financial incentives to reduce gas consumption at times of peak demand.
Siemens has successfully concluded the first phase of its Subsea Power Grid shallow water test in Trondheim, Norway. Working together with Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, and Eni Norge, Siemens is in the final stages of developing a barrier-breaking system to distribute medium-voltage power, using pressure compensated technology.
Strong winds and plentiful sunshine has pushed up the renewables share in Germany to 43% in January, April and May – and with an average amount of wind in Q4-2018, renewables could cover 38% over the entire year. “Clearly, renewables are in the fast lane, while the contribution of conventional energy sources to cover gross power consumption is falling continuously,” said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer.