Daily News

The world's largest concentrating solar plant – the 280 MW Solana Generating Station, located in southwest of Arizona, US – is being built beside a substantial fossil backup plant – the 2,334 MW gas-fired combined-cycle Gila River Power Station.

At the 2013 Russian International Energy Forum in St. Petersburg, Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies (SGTT) and power producer OGK-2, an open joint stock company, sealed a long-term service contract for PGU-800 – Russia's largest combined cycle power plant (CCPP).

Long-term regulatory stability is key for helping make new cogeneration developments more attractive for European industry, Dave Brownell, Refinery Manager at ExxonMobil told Gas to Power Journal at this year's COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels. "In Europe, we're looking for stability in the rules of the game; stability in terms of regulations. A large cogen plant is an investment of hundreds of millions of euros, typically takes four to six years of project development and the operational life of the unit exceeds 30 years," he said.

GDF Suez' fourth gas-fired plant in France - the Dunkirk natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant (DK6) - "is planned to remain in full operation", GDF Suez confirmed. Fuel economics of the 788 MW CCPP plant are more advantageous, it said, as the plant is operated by burning blast furnace gas and the coke oven gas from a nearby steel mill.

At two US-based gas-fired combined cycle plants, controllability at the plants was a major issue, the responsible plant manager told Gas to Power Journal on condition of anonymity. Large natural gas swings caused large boiler pressure swings, which "created a situation where the load was swinging around a lot more than it needed to be".

Xcel Energy has proposed adding up to three new gas-fired peaking units to boost electricity production during periods of high demand in Minnesota and North Dakota. The proposal aims to replace coal-fired capacity at its Black Dog plant in Burnsville, Minnesota, which is due to be retired in 2015 by installing a 215MW gas turbine. It also aims at installing one or two, as needed, 215MW gas turbines at a yet to be selected site near Hankinson, North Dakota.

Spain saves an estimated €1,250 million per year thanks to the utilisation of combined heat and power (CHP) plants, representing an increase in savings of €70 million or 6 percent from two years ago. The figure is based on the sum of savings from primary energy costs included avoided grid losses, savings from avoided CO2 emissions, and energy transport and distribution savings.

The EU's 2004 CHP Directive has played an important part in the encouragement and recent introduction of CHP incentives across several member states, according to an International Energy Agency (IEA) report on Cogeneration and District Energy. The Directive establishes general principles for CHP policy but leaves detailed implementation to member states.

The introduction of Capacity Payment Mechanisms (CPMs) as suggested under the UK Electricity Market Reform may solve immediate problems of renewable output increasing revenue volatility for operators of coal- and gas-fired power plants, but could introduce many more, says James Marshall, Senior Consultant, Pöyry Management Consulting. "Conventional generation must expect to rely on a smaller number of hours to cover fixed and capital costs, with the timing largely determined by weather patterns with only short-term predictability," he told Gas to Power Journal.

GE has launched a new corrosion protection technology for refinery steam systems, based on its Steamate low salt amine (LSA) product series that have been specifically designed for refinery boiler and steam condensate systems.

EU carbon emission permits almost halved in value today in a record drop after the European Parliament rejected the backloading proposal that had been intended to temporarily curb the surplus of allowances. MEPs turned down the proposal by 334-315 votes, with 63 abstentions.

Hours before today's vote in the European Parliament on backloading, Société Générale analyst said they expect MEPs to adopt the proposal, in a move likely to propel up traded carbon prices in the EU ETS from current lows around 4.8€/t to closer to €6/t.

On the eve before the European Parliament's vote on backloading – a measure deemed crucial for the future of EU emissions trading - over 40 power producers and technology developers including Areva, Alstom, EDF, EnBW, E.on, GDF Suez, GE, Shell and Statkraft, have made a strong case in favour of the proposal, arguing current carbon price levels at 4-6 €/ton are "insufficient to stimulate investments in low-carbon power generation.

Clarke Energy, a distributor and service partner for GE's Gas Engine Business, has been contracted by the Nigerian medical equipment maker IMIL to build a 14MW captive combined heat and power (CHP) plant power the company's manufacturing of syringes and healthcare products for the West African Market.

Even though Malta's Delimara power station could be immediately converted from using heavy fuel oil to diesel and eventually natural gas, the government has decided to shelf such plans for about two years until the necessary gas transportation infrastructure is in place.

News in Brief

German economy minister defends Nord Stream-2

May 24 – Peter Altmaier, the Germany economy minister, has defended construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, which Washington and many eastern European countries, would like to block. Altmaier attributed the U.S. opposition to its aspiration to boost its own shale gas exports. "They are looking for markets [for LNG], which we can understand, and they can land it here easily," he told German media, "But it is much more expensive than pipeline gas, so blocking Nord Stream-2 on its own won't guarantee exports."

NY Governor proposes coal exit by 2020

May 23 – Andrew M. Cuomo, the Governor of New York, has proposed new regulation that would establish emission limits strict enough to effectively end the use of coal for power generation by 2020. The proposal is now up for public comment, with three hearings on the matter scheduled in July.

Middletown Energy Center onstream

May 22 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) Americas has helped NTE Energy with the commissioning and start-up of Middletown Energy Center which has been running successfully for 24 hours. With an installed capacity of 525 MW, the plant is being powered by MHPS M501GAC gas turbine equipment in a combine-cycle alignment. First fire of the turbine was in January 2018.

Dominion invests in development of new SMR design

May 22 – Dominion Energy has agreed to provide funding to help progress the BWRX-300, a 300 MWe small modular reactor design under development by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH). Dominion’s funding of the BWRX-300 provides “seed money” to advance work that could lead to commercializing this technology, although the utility said it currently has no plan to build a commercial nuclear power station.

Entergy to buy peaking unit near Washington

May 21 – Louisiana regulators have approved plans by Entergy to buy a 361-MW gas peaking power unit to be built in Washington Parish. The Washington Parish Entergy Center will be constructed by a Calpine subsidiary on a brownfield site. Entergy said it anticipates the for $261 million transaction will close in Q2-2021.

Ivory Coast nears CCGT finance deal

May 18 – The government of the Ivory Coast is reported to be close to completing a $530 million project finance deal with Eranove of France that will allow for construction start at a thermal power plant project. Though the concrete project has not been named yet, Siemens confirmed it is in negotiations about about combined-cycle power projects in Ivory Coast.

Delta-ee summit returns to Berlin

May 17 – Delta-ee’s European Heat Summit 2018 will return to Berlin this June. The event will begin with two concurrent roundtables, focussing on Electrification of Heat or Micro-CHP and High Efficiency Gas Heating.

Turboden ORC technology stands out in waste heat recovery

May 16 – Innovative solutions at Turboden’s Organic Racine Cycle (ORC) systems boost the energy efficiency such as the direct heat exchange system and the heat recovery through pressurized water circuit. In waterless conditions, ORC is said to be more efficient and cost-competitive than to steam technology. Large cement groups as well as power generators have recently chosen Turboden ORC technology such as Turkey’s CTP Team, the Swiss Lafarge Holcim group or Cementi Rossi in Italy.

Chile: AES to sell four gas plants to EDF

May 15 – AES Gener has announced the sale of four of its operating power plants, with a total capacity of 750MW, in Chile to Generadora Metropolitana, a joint venture between EDF Energy and Andes Mining & Energy (AME) for $300 million. The four power plants that are part of the sale are the 379MW Nueva Renca CCGT and the three peaking power plants – 132MW Los Vientos, 139MW Santa Lidia and 100MW Renca.

Florida PSC approves 1.7GW of gas power capacity

May 14 – The Florida Public Service Commission has given the green light for the development of two gas plants, totalling nearly 1.7 GW combined. The first is Seminole Electric’s 1,122 MW facility in Putnam County, due operational in December 2022; a second 573 MW project in Paso County will be realized by Seminole Electric together with Shady Hills Energy Center by December 2021.

FirstEnergy completes 138-kV line across Ohio in May

May 11 – A subsidiary of FirstEnergy is gearing up to energize a new 138-kilovolt transmission line and substation later this month to enhance service reliability for Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison customers across northern Ohio. Line construction began late last year and FirstEnergy said the new facilities are “on schedule to be energized ahead of a May 31 in-service deadline.”

Marubeni, BMCE Bank to jointly develop project in Morocco

May 10 – Japan’s Marubeni Corp has signed a memorandum of understanding with BMCE Bank for Africa to jointly develop new business opportunities in Morocco. Marubeni has designated its Casablanca office as a regional strategic base for West Africa and since achieved CFC status, a special legal status designed to support the development of the Casablanca city as a financial hub.

Capstone wins 9-year FPP service contract

May 9 – A New York-based food retailer has handed a nine-year Factory Protection Plan (FPP) service contract for a 650,000 square foot warehouse and shipping centre to Capstone Turbine Corp. Located in the Bronx, the warehouse is powered by a C1000 microturbine installed in a combined heat and power (CHP) configuration that provides baseload power and hot water for the facility 8,760 hours per year. Additionally, the microturbine can also provide about 700 kW of backup power in the event of a utility outage.

Loan for CHP in Argentina

May 8 – Albanesi Energía and its subsidiary Generación Centro have secured a $395 million loan for the construction of de la Arroyo Seco cogeneration power plant and to refinance the development of Timbúes’ project. UBS, BACS, Banco Hipotecario, Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior and Credit Suisse acted as lenders. In Argentina, Albanesi Group operates power plants with an installed capacity of approximately 887 MW.

California abandons hybrid power project

May 4 – After a decade of trying to realise a hybrid power plant that would bring together natural gas and solar energy, the California Energy Commission has abandoned attempts to build the Victorville-2 Hybrid Power Project (563 MW). No development partner had been found, and the city lost $50 million after failing to make timely payment to GE for the plant’s gas turbines.

TVA’s Allen CCGT ready to run

May 3 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new 1,000 MW Allen combined-cycle gas power plant in Memphis has been completed and is ready to operate. The CCGT came at a cost of $900 million and replaces a 58-year old coal-fired power unit.

Mott MacDonald supports works on FRSU in Brazil

May 2 – Golar has selected Mott MacDonald to provide environmental support during the installation of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Babitonga Bay, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Capable of distributing 15 million cubic metres of natural gas per day, the FSRU is due to become operational in early 2021.