Daily News

With electric cars gaining popularity, the global electric vehicle battery market is anticipated to grow at a record 18% rate to reach a size of $120 billion by 2027. Government initiatives and more wide-spread environmental concern in western countries are driving the electrification of the transport sector.

Mexico’s state-run electric utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) is aiming to renegotiate take-or-pay clauses it had agreed with North American gas pipeline developers, including TransCanada and Sempra’s IEnova. CFE is the anchor customer for most new pipelines under construction, but the company's new CEO Manuel Bartlett wants to focus on hydropower, diesel and coal instead of gas-fired generation.

Beginning with the February billing cycle, customers of SCE&G, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dominion Energy, will start seeing the benefits of the Dominion Energy-SCANA merger reflected in their monthly energy bills. Typical customers will see their bills drop 15%, with further reductions in May for fuel and Demand-Side Management participants.

With variable renewables accounting for more than half of global capacity additions to 2040, utilities and power grid operators increasingly turn to energy storage to cover their flexibility requirements. The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects the cost for four-hour battery systems will fall to $220 per kWh by 2040, spurring a utility-scale deployment of energy storage of close to 220 GW.

Seasonal imports of LNG help meet peakload gas demand in New England’s industrial and power sector. During the freeze in the first week of February, more than 800,000 million cubic metres per day of gas was imported via Excelerate’s Northeast Gateway floating regas facility offshore Boston.

Though EU member states decided to tighten unbundling rules on gas interconnectors, parliamentarians agreed to a French-German compromise for the €9.5 billion Nord Stream-2 pipeline. The deal places the controversial project “under European control”, but with Germany as the lead negotiator with Russia's Gazprom.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems’ (MHPS) turbine, model M501 JAC, has been chosen to power what will become Virginia’s highest efficiency combined-cycle power stations. Developed by Gemma Power Systems and Balico, the Chickahominy CCGT will provide over 1,600 MW of electricity once completed in 2022.

Harrison Power is seeking to fast-tracking construction at its 1,100 MW combined-cycle power project in Cadiz, Harrison Country, Ohio. Though the groundbreaking date has been pushed back to Q1-2019, developers are seeking to get the CCGT into full commercial operation in the second quarter of 2021, providing electricity into the PJM Interconnection market.

Private equity firm Hull Street Energy has agreed to acquire the Bayswater and Jamaica Bay gas-fired power stations from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NEE) Resources. The two plants, situated in Far Rockaway, New York, provide some 110 MW of flexible, fast-start generating capacity to the region.

Price will largely determine the share of gas-fired generation in the future power mix of the United States. Scenario analysis in the EIA’s latest Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2019) shows that natural gas could provide between 21% and 54% of all U.S. electricity generation, dependent on fuel prices and relative technology costs.

Implementing the German coal exit will see 12.5 GW of coal-fired capacity being closed by 2022, pushing up the country’s gas demand. To fully replace these shuttered coal plants with gas-fired generation would create a need for additional 81 TWh in gas supply, equating to an 8% rise of German gas demand, says the lobby group Zukunft Erdgas.

Paz Oil, the largest Israeli fuels company, has decided to move ahead with a plant to build a 700 MW gas-fired power plant in the port city of Ashdod. The proposed plant is estimated to cost up to $700 million, partly debt-financed, and is intended to start operating in 2023.

For F-class turbine operators demanding fuel flexibility retrofits, Ansaldo Energia offers a tested and commercially proven combustion system for gas turbines originally manufactured by GE, Siemens-Westinghouse and MHPS. The sequential combustor is designed specifically for the use of hydrogen (H2).

USC Iceberg Central Design Bureau, a Russian shipbuilding company based in St. Petersburg, has launched a tender for a 50-60 MW floating power plant. Potential bidders for the tender are asked to include both construction costs and long-term maintenance costs.

The UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is inviting applications for funding under a new £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP). Designated as ‘gap funding,’ the monies will be is offered through a combination of grants and loans over a period of up to three years.

News in Brief

Controversy about planned CCGT in California

Feb 22 – Environmentalist have filed a lawsuit against plans to build a 634 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Palmdale, a city north of Los Angeles. The hybrid gas and solar plant had been approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC), although a developer has not been found yet.

GE installs and services 9E turbine in Iraq

Feb 21 – GE Power has delivered and installed a 9E gas turbine to Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity’s (MoE) Al Qudus power plant. Throughout 2019, GE will also service up to seven GE 9E gas turbines at the facility, helping to maintain a stable power output of up to 875 MW.

MHI to join Cybersecurity Charter

Feb 20 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed a letter of intent to join the Charter of Trust for cybersecurity by the end of September, expanding the charter’s reach into Asia. Initiated by Siemens, the charter calls for binding rules and standards on cybersecurity as digitalization advances. Other signatories include AES, Airbus, Allianz, Atos, Cisco, Daimler, Dell Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, Enel, IBM, NXP, SGS, Total and TÜV Süd.

Substation market grows at 9.4% rate

Feb 19 – The gas-insulated substation market, currently valued at $17.3 billion, is anticipated to grow at a rate of more than 9.4% in the years through to 2025. Analysts say rising demand for low maintenance and small power systems will boost the market, particularly for large infrastructure projects such as smart city where GIS substations are well-suited due to their high efficiency and compact size.

Amprion advances P2G project in Germany

Feb 18 – Amprion, together with Open Grid Europe (OGE), are striving to get a €150 million Power-to-Gas project in Germany into operation by 2023. The pilot plant includes a 100 MW electrolyser that converts renewable energy into hydrogen and methane for use in the district of Emsland, northern Germany.

MHPS leads on post F-class turbines

Feb 15 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System (MHPS) secured most orders in 2018 for newest-generation turbines, while GE booked most order for turbines of all classes amongst its rivals. For so-called post F-class turbines, MHPS reportedly achieved 49% of orders, compared with 34% for GE and 16% for Siemens.

UK inflation down amid fall in energy prices

Feb 14 – Falling energy bills and fuel prices have pushed down UK inflation to a two-year low in January, according the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Inflation had peaked at a five-year high of 3.1% in November 2017, and is currently at just 1.8% – below the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target.

Lahmeyer is now Tractebel

Feb 13 –The German engineering and consulting company Lahmeyer International is now operating under the Tractebel, with the new company name; Tractebel Engineering GmbH. Tractebel reached a turnover of €662 million in 2018, and is part of the French energy group ENGIE.

BECCS pilot project starts at Drax

Feb 12 – The 4,000-MW Drax Power Station has started using bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology, capturing up to 1 ton of CO2 per day. The Drax demo plant in Selby, North Yorkshire, moves Britain further ahead in the race to develop BECCS technologies

Demand for power ships up 3.6% through 2026

Feb 11 – The global market for floating LNG-fuelled power ships is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 3.6%, exceeding exceed $1,073 million by 2026, according to ResearchandMarkets estimates. Power ships with a capacity between 100 MW and 150 MW, and usually leased for short durations, will cover most of the demand growth which is centred in Asia Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.

Australia’s H2U uses NovaLT turbine

Feb 8 – H2U, an Australian hydrogen infrastructure developer, will use Baker Hughes NovaLT gas turbine at is hydrogen and ammonia supply chain demonstrating plant in Port Lincoln. The greentech project integrates a 15 MW electrolyser plant, a 10 MW hydrogen-fired gas turbine and a 5 MW fuel cell, all of which set to supply electricity to the power grid in South Australia.

EC rules out Siemens/Alstom mobility merger

Feb 7 –The European Commission has decided to prohibit the proposed combination of the Siemens and Alstom mobility businesses. As a result of this prohibition, the merger will not proceed.

PG&E seeks to re-organize

Feb 6 – Having just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) now seeks to restructure and access up to $6 billion in financing to help it operate while under bankruptcy protection. In a filing to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the district of northern California, PG&E listed assets of $71.39 billion and liabilities of $51.69 billion.

Contigo enhances trading of DB Energy

Feb 5 – Contigo, together with the consulting firm Nevento, have introduced a new energy trading system at DB Energie of Deutsche Bahn. The system’s new functionality provides fast and easy access to business data and credit risk information, enabling effective decision making in energy trading.

ABB, Intel cooperate on digital substations

Feb 4 – ABB and Intel have agreed to jointly sell automation systems for utilities. At the core of the agreement is ABB Ability smart substation control for electrical systems, SSC600, powered by Intel Xeon processors.

Backup power for Hinkley Point C

Feb 1 – Rolls Royce will provide MTU diesel gensets to provide back-up power to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. The generators, Type MTU 396 TB33 with 3600 kW output each, will provide emergency power in case of an outage of the site’s standing power supply

Gauging UK’s shift to green energy

Jan 31 – Engineering consultancy WSP has been selected to model the impact of low carbon technologies on the UK’s electricity networks. It will also work with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) on the Distribution Losses Mechanism Study.