Daily News

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the extension of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), which Congress extended on 1 January as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), will result in the addition of significant wind capacity in the US over the next three years. A higher share of intermittent wind energy will require flexible fossil backup capacity.

RWE chief executive, Peter Terium, has voiced strong criticism against "one-off measures or action taken by individual [European] countries" both regarding capacity mechanisms or expansion targets for renewables. "[These] are of no use to us; we must find European solutions," he said.

Terium was one of eight CEOs of European energy companies who warned that Europe is currently facing "a perfect storm" which was endangering security of supply, undermining their ability to attract capital and hindering the EU's transformation to a low-carbon economy.

E.on has chosen the right time to enter the European market for small gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) systems under 1MWe, according to Michael Brown, Director at consultancy Delta Energy & Environment (Delta-ee) and former Executive Director at COGEN Europe. Delta-ee's projections see annual deployment of around 1.5 – 2.0 GWe for CHP projects in the 0.4 – 5.0 MWe size, and up to 1.5 GWe for projects in the 10 – 400kWe size by 2020.

Rather than sourcing flexibility from part-loaded conventional generation, Wärtsilä Power Plants believes that electricity markets should embrace high efficiency peaking and load-following power that can rapidly ramp up from standstill to provide the super-fast flexibility needed to balance large fluctuations of wind and solar power, says Melle Kruisdijk, Wärtsilä's Market Development Director for Europe.

Charles D Lamb Energy Center – a 103 megawatt (MW) gas-fired peaking plant – will be built to replace purchase contracts and meet energy demand growth in the US state of Oklahoma, the investor Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) said in an informational meeting.

Black Hills Corporation has begun construction of its new 132MW gas-fired Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station, located five miles (8km) southeast of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The plant will include one simple-cycle combustion turbine unit and one combined-cycle unit. It is scheduled to begin commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2014.

SSE has called gas-fired generation in the UK "barely profitable, if at all" in its annual report for the 2012/13 fiscal year, due to spark spreads throughout the year being "stubbornly low, if not negative." The company said that a combination of minimal economic growth, a sustained fall in underlying energy demand and high wholesale prices were largely to blame for the difficult environment facing gas-fired power generation.

Singapore's Semcorp Industries is considering delaying a planned expansion of its gas-fired power capacity on Jurong Island due to concerns over the risk of oversupply or power generation capacity.

Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries has officially opened its $1billion gas-fired Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant (Salalah IWPP) in Oman on Sunday. The plant provides electricity (445MW net) and water (69,000 cubic meters a day) to the government-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company under a 15 year power and water purchase agreement.

Toshiba Infrastructure South America Ltd (TIC-SA) has expanded production of electricity transformers in Brazil, "Renewable energy sources need transformers to connect with existing grid [and] this need will show a solid rise in emerging nations [such as Brazil] with its high growth rates," Atsushi Ido, Toshiba representative told Gas to Power Journal.

National leaders in the EU and the Commission are confronted with a trade-off between keeping energy prices high to encourage greater energy efficiency or taking measures to lower prices to help ease pressure on consumers and support Europe's energy intensive industries, the EU's Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger told the European Parliament during a debate in Strasburg on Tuesday.

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has awarded Siemens Energy two contracts valued at approximately SAR1 billion ($266 million) for the supply of five SGT6-2000E gas turbines to power stations in the Rafa, Rafha, Qurayyat and Arar areas as well as for the construction of the Al-Kharj-2 substation.

News in Brief

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

Central Hudson links solar farms to VPP

July 9 – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp has established its distributed generation program within the broader context of New York State’s energy plan. Together with Sensus and their Remote Telemetry Module (RTM-III), the Central Hudson will monitor decentralized solar PV backed up by flexible gas gensets.

Siemens and GREEN Solar turn German town CO2-free

July 8 – GREEN Solar and Siemens Energy are jointly developing a concept for making Herzogenrath CO2-free. The plan is to provide an energy-efficient and economical combination of solar power plants, wind turbines, batteries, CHP and combined cycle power plants, as well as heat and hydrogen storage. The hybrid system will be built on the grounds of Nivelsteiner Sandwerke and will be large enough to cover the city’s entire energy demand with zero CO2 emissions by 2030.

Denmark paves the way for Nord Stream 2

July 7– Denmark on late Monday gave the Nord Stream 2 consortium permission to utilize pipe-laying vessels with anchors in Danish waters, paving the way for the Gazprom-led consortium to complete the interconnector. Construction of the 1,230-kilometre pipeline is nearly complete, except for a final stretch of about 120-kilometers in Danish waters. The project was halted in December when the Swiss-Dutch pipe-laying company Allseas suspended works over threats of U.S. sanctions.

EPRI tests early warning system

July 6– The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting trial tests with multiple utilities across the United States of an early warning system. It can detect an off-gassing event as a precursor to thermal runaway up to 30 minutes prior to a cascading failure. This gives plant operators time to mitigate the problem or shut down the system.

KKR buys stake in First Gen

July 3 – Valorous Asia Holdings, owned by KKR investment funds, has bought a 11.9% stake in First Gen through a voluntary tender offer. First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers with 3,492 MW installed capacity, is owned by First Philippine Holdings which is controlled by the Lopez family. KKR’s acquisition of the First Gen stake is worth nearly $192.3 million.

Gazprom’s ‘BBB’ rating affirmed

July 2 – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have affirmed Gazprom's long-term credit ratings as part of their annual reviews. The ‘BBB’ ratings for Gazprom from S&P and Fitch are in line with the sovereign credit rating of the Russian Federation, while Moody's ‘Baa2’ rating is a notch higher.

MHIEC to refurbish WtE plant in Kushiro

July 1 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co (MHIEC) has received an order from the Kushiro Wide-Area Federation to repair and improve the core equipment at the local Waste-to-Energy plant in Takayama. The WtE plant has a capacity of 240 tonnes per day (tpd). Renovation will increase the energy efficiency of the fluidized bed type gasification and ash melting furnace facility, reducing emissions by around 15% annually. Works are due completed in September 2023.

Nigeria: Only two of six power projects on target

June 30 – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises has disclosed that only two out of six privatized power plants were delivered on target. Only Transcorp Power Ltd and Geregu Power Ltd out of the six privatised electricity generation companies (GENCOs) were said to have met their performance targets since taking over.

German investors prefer solar over wind

June 29 – Energy infrastructure investors are keen to build solar power projects in Germany, but shun wind parks. In the latest solar power auction, investors offered to build almost 450 MW of capacity – more than four times the 96 MW of volume on offer– with the average successful bid at 5.27 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh). The wind auction, in contrast, was undersubscribed: The German network agency  (BNetzA) tendered around 826 MW, but successful bids only totalled 464 MW, at an average price of 6.14 ct/KWh.

MAN ventures into synthetic fuels

June 26 – MAN Energy Solutions has entered the hydrogen economy with the recent pro rata acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, an electrolysis tech firm. The German OEM also committed itself to upgrading its gas turbines to run on 100% hydrogen by 2030.

Varegro starts using Cummins gas genset

June 25 – Belgian-based horticultural company Varegro, has started to use a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its greenhouses in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders. Varegro said it selected the Cummins HSK78G genset to produce combined heat and power (CHP) on its premises at a competitive cost for use in energy-intensive greenhouse facilities.

GE names Deloitte as independent auditor

June 24 – GE’s audit committee has selected Deloitte as the company’s independent auditor for the 2021 fiscal year, replacing KPMG. The selection of Deloitte concludes GE’s latest audit tender process.

House ad Jul2020