Daily News

Alstom and Toshiba said today they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish complementary partnership in the smart grid business with the aim of developing systems that support wide scale integration of renewable energy sources into the grid and help to bring down the cost of power generation.

Wood Group GTS has secured a $10 million contract with Pasadena Water & Power (PWP) for repair and restoration of the GT-1 generating unit at their Glenarm Power Plant in Pasadena, California.

Despite most of the oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico being shut down following the landfall of Hurricane Issac, natural gas market in the US barely reacted. The abundance of shale gas supply has reduced the significant of offshore production, analysts say.

GE has been commissioned to install two of its aeroderivative gas turbines at a combined heat and power plant (CHP-1) in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, owned by OJSC (RAO Energy System of East). The total project cost is 3.3 billion rubles ($ 0.101 billion), GE said.

India's power ministry and the eight north Indian states, which were affected by prolonged blackouts after the collapse of the power grid on 30 and 31 July, have agreed on a 12-point resolution to avoid a similar crisis. "The Centre and the concerned states agreed to abide by a 12-point resolution to ensure that such breakdowns in the power grid do not recur," the ministry said in a statement.

Starting from 2013, E.on Russia will source its entire gas supply for its power plant fleet from Russia's second largest gas supplier Novatek instead of Gazprom. Under a $22 billion agreement, Novatek will supply gas to E.on Russia's plants at Smolensk, Surgutsk, Shatursk and Yaivinsk until 2027.

Alstom Poland has signed a contract worth close to €4 million (PLN 16 million) for the modernisation of a UK-50 type steam turbine at the Siekierki combined heat and power (CHP) plant, owned by PGNiG Termika SA, a subsidiary of state-controlled PGNiG. The retrofit is scheduled to be completed by September 2013.

The Indian government is not paying enough attention to smaller gas-based plants to cater for peak load demand as it focusses on large-scale coal-fired plants that provide base load capacity. The Indian power ministry recently awarded licenses for four Ultra Mega Power Projects with a capacity of 4,000 MW each. All plants are coal based.

The United States is currently facing its worst drought in decades which is likely to reduce power supply since electricity generation can be very water-intensive, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) warns.

Swiss power and automation group ABB has been awarded an order worth $60 million by American Electric Power (AEP) to replace a 30-year-old high-voltage direct current (HVDC)  converter station in Texas. The new station is scheduled to be operational in 2014.

Despite short term restraints in the market for gas-fired power generation, new analysis from Frost & Sullivan's Energy & Power Research expects "sound" medium- and long-term prospects and forecasts global gas-fired power plant orders to total 537 GW through 2020.

GE Energy Financial Services has served as lead arranger of an $107 million senior secured credit facility for two Illinois gas-fired peaker plants, managed by Tenaska Capital Management, LLC (TCM), an affiliate of Tenaska, one of the largest U.S. independent power producers.

The majority of the coal-to-gas switching activity in the U.S. is "permanent" as most utilities are not expected to revert investment decisions of converting coal plants to run on natural gas,  Moody's Investors Service said.

General Electric's (GE) has signed a 12-year, multimillion contractual service agreement (CSA) with Thailand's petrochemical company IRPC that includes the delivery of six GE Frame 6B gas turbines for a combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Rayong Province.

August 28 – ABB has been commissioned to launch the largest battery energy storage project of its kind in Switzerland together with EKZ, a power distribution utility.

ABB supplied EKZ with battery energy storage solution using Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that can provide one megawatt of power during 15 minutes.

The storage facility is integrated into EKZ's power distribution network and is being used to evaluate
performance in key areas such as balancing peak loads and intermittent power supply, and the viability of the solution for grid optimization.

News in Brief

Slow start of STT pipeline

Oct 18 – U.S. gas exports to Mexico have not picked up substantially despite the start of the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan (STT) pipeline. Exports are still below 6.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), although there no current postings regarding maintenance on the Sistrangas pipeline that feeds from NET Mexico.

EIB defers ban on fossil projects

Oct 17 – Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) has bowed to pressure from Germany and the European Commission and deferred its decision to ban loans to fossil-fuel projects until mid-November. Germany wants the bank to keep financing gas-fired power projects as it views the cleaner-burning fossil fuel as a vital backup for renewable energy sources.

Brexit will not impact UK gas supply

Oct 16 – Security of power and gas supply in the UK will not be jeopardized this winter by the country’s imminent departure from the European Union, even in the event of a hard Brexit, National Grid said. In its assessment, the TSO factored in a halt to flows via the Belgium and Dutch gas interconnectors “from EU exit day one”, but said ongoing deliveries from Norway, the UK Continental Shelf and storage will continue as usual.

Ferrybridge C gets demolished

Oct 15 – Four cooling towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station have been taken down as the coal-fired power station will make way to a new, high-efficiency gas power station. Operator SSE shut down the 500 MW Ferrybridge C unit in March 2016 and now started to tear it down.

Global energy storage tops 10 GW by 2025

Oct 14 – The global market for grid-connected energy storage will grow by 6,900 MW, or 16.6% to reach over 10,500 MW by the end of 2025, according to Reportlinker.com. Germany will add over 267 MW energy storage installations over the next five to six years, while 330 MW will come from other European markets. These numbers are dwarfed by China, where up to 1,200 MW energy storage units could be connected to the grid by 2025.

Wärtsilä services EDL plant

Oct 11 – Energy Developments Ltd (EDL) of Australia has awarded Wärtsilä a service contract for gas engine-based baseload power plant at the McArthur River zinc mine in Northern Territory. The maintenance approach for the 53 MW onsite power plant is no longer pre-planned and scheduled but has been changed to condition-based and predictive maintenance, with an advisory contract.

EPH buys CCGT in Galway

Oct 10 – The Czech energy company EPH has received regulatory approval to purchase an 80% stake in the 400 MW Tynagh Energy combined-cycle gas power plant in Galway, Ireland. Mountainside Partners will continue to own the remaining stake in the CCGT, which operates based on a security-of-supply contract from the Irish TSO based on guaranteed power prices.

ITM gets £38m boost from Linde

Oct 9 – Sheffield-based ITM Power, maker of electrolysers for hydrogen production, has been boosted by a £38 million cash injection, as Linde acquired a 20% stake in ITM at 40 pence per share. Looking ahead, ITM said it is seeking to raise £14 million from new and existing institutional investors.

Drax to convert two power units

Oct 8 – Drax Group has received government approval to convert up to two coal-fired generating units at its power station in North Yorkshire to run on natural gas. With this ruling, the UK regulator overturned objections by ClientEarth, stressing some fossil power is vital for the UK to backup intermittent renewable power source.

Storage use tops 80% in key U.S. regions

Oct 7 – Gas storage utilization in the United States is rising in the autumn, with net injections topping 112 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the first week of October. According to EIA figures, underground storages are at least 80% full in the East, Midwest, and South Central non-salt regions, allowing for seasonal withdrawals to help meet peak-day gas demand throughout the upcoming winter.

Maine, NY aspire to 100% clean energy

Oct 4 – Three U.S. states—Maine, New York, and Ohio—have updated their renewable portfolio standards (RPS), since May 2019. As a result, Maine and New York joined California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia in requiring 100% clean electricity by 2050.

TransAlta to built CHP in Alberta

Oct 3 – Canada-based Transalta and SemCAMS Midstream have agreed to develop, construct and operate a new cogeneration facility at the Kaybob South No. 3 sour gas processing plant in Alberta. To be built at a cost of some 105 million, the CHP will have an installed capacity of 40 MW. Start of commercial operation is targeted for late 2021.

GE’s 100th HA turbine sold in Greece

Oct 2 – Greek industrial firm Mytilineos has ordered a GE 9HA.02 gas turbine to be the heart of the 826 MW Agios Nikolaos combined-cycle gas power plant. This deal also marks the 100th unit of GE’s HA gas turbine sold. Construction of the CCGT is due to start before the end of the year.

ABB launches M4M analyzer

Oct 1 – Swiss technology firm ABB has launches its first Bluetooth-equipped network analyzers, called M4M. The system gathers data from distribution grids and connects them to a cloud-based control system, allowing users to react on energy consumption and on-site power generation trends.

Microsoft invests in wind power

Sept 30 – Microsoft and ENGIE have entered a long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States. The deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW.

Gazprom tackles issue of ownerless gas grid

Sept 27 – Gazprom, the main supplier of pipeline gas to Europe, is trying to settle the issue of ownerless gas pipelines – a relic of the former Soviet Union. Abandoned gas transmission pipeline spanned 6,651 kilometers as of March 1, with the issue seen as “especially acute” in the North Caucasus region where half of this infrastructure is located. If no owner registers these facilities within three months, Gazprom will take over to ensure reliability and safety.

Investors flock to Myanmar

Sept 26 – Fitch Ratings has singled out Myanmar’s power sector as one of the largest beneficiaries of foreign direct investments (FDI) worldwide. Nearly $21.2 billion was poured into power generation and energy infrastructure projects thus far in 2019, which is 27% of total FDI under the Myanmar Investment Law.