Daily News

A boom in new-built solar capacity Germany, with up to 3,000 MW of new-built capacity in a single month, proves detrimental for gas-fired power generation capacity. "Feed-in tariffs and 'insanely over-funded' renewable energy supply is the fundamental flaw in Germany's energy transition, says Helge-Jürgen Beil, Vice President Asset Origination, Statkraft Markets GmbH.

For power producers to prefer gas over coal as a fuel for power generation the price of carbon emission allowances would have to rise to €40-50/ton, Thijs van Hittersum, Natural Gas Analyst, International Energy Agency said at a conference organised by Gas to Power Journal in Brussels today.

Regulatory interventions such as the proposed backloading of up to 900 billion carbon emission allowances (EUAs) into the third phase of the ETS is, however, in his view "most likely not sufficient to solve the oversupply situation in the carbon market."

Siemens has won a contract to supply a single-shaft power island with a H-Class turbine, with up to 61% operational efficiency, to power Cengiz Enerji's proposed gas-fired combined-cycle power plant (600 MW) in Samsun, Turkey.

In an interview, Mete Maltepe, General Manager at GE Power & Water – Turkey, told Gas to Power Journal that the company has invested approximately $500 million in Turkey to date, with a further $900 million planned over the next three years. This includes the provision of turbines to various gas to power projects such as the new plant in the Erzin district operated by Akenerji, the Egemer Elektrik Uretim A.S. (Egemer), and the cogeneration plant at Bursa, operated by Bis Enerji Elektrik Uretim AS.

The Mississippi Senate has approved two bills (HB 894 and HB 1134) already passed by the state's Lower Chamber which will help Mississippi Power Co. recover costs from its coal gasification power plant project.

Exploitation of the UK's significant shale gas resources is unlikely to result in low natural gas prices, as high costs and slow exploration rates are unlikely to offset the need to import gas for power generation.

Unless Germany introduces measures to curb the costs of renewable feed-in-tariffs, the price tag for its energy transition policy (Energiewende) may amount to up to €1 trillion by the end of the 2030s , German environment minister Peter Altmaier warned.

The UK government will make best use of new powers in the Energy Bill to enforce energy regulator Ofgem's retail market reforms, Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday.

PG&E Corporation posted a slight year-on-year rise in the total cost of electricity generation from 4,016 million to 4,162 million in the annual 2012 report, while the costs of natural gas fell from 1,317 million to 861 million.

Following completion of its S$1 billion ($860 million) second stage repowering project, Singapore's Senoko Energy believes it is now in an advantageous position for selling power to consumers at competitive prices.

Speculators are taking advantage of regulatory uncertainty and subsequent price volatility in the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). "The carbon market is 'broken' in that it is driven by regulation, and not by fundamentals," French investment bank Société Générale suggests.

To help meet peak-load power demand, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. will install a GE 7E 3-Series gas turbine in a unit adjacent to its coal-fired Heskett Generating Station near Mandan in North Dakota, U.S.

Iran has announced the operational start-up of a gas-fired combined-cycle power plant, located in Yazd in central Iran, as part of government plans increase electricity exports to neighbouring countries.

Siemens Energy has won a contract to supply turbo compressors and mechanical-drive gas turbines for a project to improve output at the Petronas Bintulu LNG Plant in Sarawak, East Malaysia.

Drax Group said it is on track with works to convert half its power generating capacity from coal to wood pellets and other environment-friendly fuels such as natural gas, as new EU levies on burning coal threaten operational profits at Britain's largest coal fired plant.

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.