Houston-based utility Dynegy announced the closure of its 650 MW gas-fired power plant in Morro Bay, California. The shut-down was initially planned for November last year as the plant fails to generate revenue and would need significant investment to be upgraded.
UK energy minister Ed Davey has written to the chief executive of Ofgem, the market watchdog, urging for tougher regulation of Britain’s big 6 energy companies and suggested a future break-up of British Gas and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE). “This might lead to more contracting in the wholesale market, so greater liquidity across the power market, but the intent of the split would be to make the retail end more competitive,” Trevor Skiroski, analyst at Energy Aspects told Gas to Power Journal.
The decision of Queensland's largest power producer, Stanwell Corporation, to stop producing electricity for three years at one of its modern gas-fired power plants and restart two ageing coal-fired units instead shows it is more profitable to sell Australia's gas output as LNG to global markets than using it to produce electricity.
Momentum is building up for the Ventus Project, a crowd sourcing initiative to map the world's thermal power plants, carried out by Arizona State University (ASU) under the lead of Dr. Kevin Robert Gurney. An array of users contribute information about power plants location, fuel type and CO2 emissions by placing a pin on Google Maps and filling a form.
Newly formed Japanese equipment manufacturer, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), has launched joint operations with president Takato Nishizawa stating that the new company aims to “become the world’s leader in thermal power generation and environmental businesses.”
As the world's most populous country and largest power generator China has surpassed the U.S. already in 2011 when generating capacity reached 4,476 Terawatt-hours (TWh), and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects capacity to expand nearly three times to reach 11,595 TWh by 2040.
The U.S. state of New England is facing a power shortage in the medium term as the closure of older plants left a shortfall in a recent capacity auction for 2017-2018. The region’s electric grid operator ISO-New England secured a commitment of only 33,700 MW in its recent capacity auction which did not cover its capacity requirement of 33,855MW.
Renewable gas – in the form of biogas, syngas or hydrogen – is intended to cover a 5% of Denmark's gas demand by 2020. To achieve this goal, the character of the gas pipelines transmission system needs to change from being a carrier of natural gas to becoming an energy storage system.
The Californian state regulator has approved construction of a new 305MW natural gas-fired power plant in San Diego. The quick-start Pio Pico Energy Center will help replace capacity lost due to the retirement of the erstwhile 2,100MW San Onofre nuclear plant.
The growth of the gas industry is under threat from a worldwide skills shortage, delegates at GE’s Oil & Gas annual meeting were told this week. “We are running out of capable people – technicians, field service support through to engineers in this particular space. We need to develop a competency base dramatically higher than it what it is now,” said Erik Bonino, vice president of project & engineering services at Shell.
U.S. private equity firm, Rockland Capital, has this week completed the acquisition of three natural gas-fired power plants in Illinois with total generating capacity of 1,166 MW. The purchases include the 460 MW Elgin Energy Center and 228 MW Gibson City Energy Center – both simple cycle plants, as well as the 478MW Grand Tower Energy Center – a combined cycle facility.