Daily News

Footprint Power has signed a $200 million contract with GE to supply FlexEfficiency 60 technology for the re-powering of the 674MW Salem Harbor Station. The new gas-fired plant, scheduled to start-up in June 2016, is set to replace an aging coal- and oil fired facility at the same site on the Salem waterfront.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced plans to integrate a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant at the existing 500-megawatt (MW) Cosumnes gas-fired power plant in California with the aim to expand output by 10 MW. The project will be led by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and is part of the DOE's strategy to build a diverse range of hybrid energy systems.

Clarke Energy has acquired GE's South African Jenbacher gas engines service business and Agaricus Trading, official sales representative of GE Jenbacher in the region in a bid to secure contracted service revenue expand its sub-Saharan sales beyond Nigeria and Tanzania.

A greater reliance on gas instead of coal as a fuel for power generation has helped to slowdown the increase in global carbon emissions to just 1.1% in 2012, a new report from the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) shows. The findings, published as part of the organisation's "2013 Trends In Global CO2 Emissions" report, call the slowdown "remarkable" and singled out the changing energy mix in China and the U.S. are key factors for declining emission levels.

A 75% reduction in recuperator and combustor sizes may cut the market price for microturbines by as much as 50% by 2015 if prototyping is successful in the coming year, according to Brayton Energy, developer for manufacturer ICR Turbine Engine Co (ICRTec).

The case for state-level capacity regulation in the U.S was weakened this week following a ruling by the U.S. District Court of Maryland, as it rejected previous legislation that would have subsidised the construction of new natural gas-fired power plants.

Ireland's Energy Supply Board (ESB) has declared its intention to sell two Irish power plants – Lough Ree Power and West Offaly Power – on top of ongoing divestments of Marchwood Power Ltd in the UK and Spain's Bizkaia Energia SA as it needs to pay €400 million to the Government by the end of 2014.

If Europe wants to avoid de-industrialisation, policy makers need to address the stark differential between energy prices in the EU and the US, warned Walter Bolz, director of E-Control Austria and vice-chair of Europe's Agency for the Co-operation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

US state support and investment for foreign coal-fired plants is set to be greatly reduced following new guidance issued by the treasury this week. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) are now required to ensure that all coal power projects in developing nations to feature costly CCS technology, and can only support new high efficiency coal capacity if there is no economically feasible alternative.

Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co has agreed to pay $1 billion to GDF Suez in a partnership deal to acquire a 20.6% stake in the Astoria I gas-fired plant (1,296 MW) in New York City.

Price signals determine the fuel mix of energy-hungry Asian markets and Dr. Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that coal, not US shale gas production and expanding US LNG exports will have the greatest impact on the region's power mix.

Peak spending on new installations and renovations of gas-fired power plants may be reached as soon as 2016, analysts forecast. "We expect the natural gas power generation market to peak in 2016 and then subside afterwards, before stabilising by the beginning of the next decade, as demand in the US and Japan declines." Riccardo Patrian, energy analyst at VisionGain Global told Gas to Power Journal.

Burgeoning economic growth in South Korea, spurs growth rates of 3.6% in electricity demand and a rising heat offtake. "Conditions for district heating and new CHP projects are excellent, due to a high population density in Korean metropolises and a climate with hot summers and cold winters," Lothar Balling, head of gas turbine power plant solutions at Siemens Energy told Gas to Power Journal.

Seeking to boost cement output to support Russian construction projects in connection with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olymics, the Verhnebakanskiy Cement Plant in Novorossiysk has turned to GE to expand its 44.3-MW onsite gas power plant by installing a 12th Jenbacher J624 gas engine.

The Beijing municipal government is fast-tracking its Clean Air Action Plan by announcing the closure of all coal-fired power plants by 2017, three years prior to the original schedule. Four major coal-fired plants are due to be replaced with less carbon-intensive gas power facilities already by 2015, in an effort to tackle the city's crippling air pollution crisis, though analysts warn a gas shortage could delay the coal-to-gas switch.

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.