MAN Diesel & Turbo has supplied a custom-made steam turbine for the 100MW Shams 1 solar thermal power plant in Abu Dhabi, owned by the Shams Power Company – a joint venture between Masdar, Total and Abengoa Solar. Unlike conventional solar plants using photovoltaics where solar cells convert the sun's energy directly into electricity, the plant utilises concentrated solar power (CSP) technology to work with fossil fuels.
The 'Golden Age of Gas' fueled by the rise of unconventional gas resources such as shale gas is set to spur new CHP capacity, Shonodeep Modak, Global Marketing Manager at GE Gas Engines told Gas to Power Journal at this year's COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels. "In the near term, the majority of new CHP will be gas based. There will be some biomass projects in places such as South East Asia and parts of Latin America which lack fossil fuels, but that is still some time away," he said.
Unless new efficient policy measures are implemented, about 40 percent of Spain's installed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) capacity is at risk of being shut-down in 2015, Javier Rodríguez Morales, Director General of Spain's Cogeneration Association (Acogen) told Gas to Power Journal. "At the moment, there is a moratorium in place to install new cogeneration capacity since 2012, as well as uncertainty about the actual regulatory framework reform and new energy taxes applied since 2003 which are deeply impacting CHP," he said.
Sembcorp Industries has sealed a deal to develop its first energy-from-waste facility outside Singapore. The 49MW plant project, located in Teesside, UK, will be developed under a 40:40:20 joint venture between Sembcorp, SITA UK (part of SUEZ Environment) and ITOCHU Corp.
Selling heat in addition to electricity has made new combined-cycle power plants (CCPPs) economically feasible in Germany, Norbert Wenn, Director of Sales Support and Product Line Management at Siemens told Gas to Power Journal at this year's COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels. "The renewed German CHP law and incentive scheme has made a business case of the Lausward plant currently being built in Düsseldorf, which would have never happened had it been planned as a pure condensing plant," he said.
Increased market penetration of energy efficient Combined Heat and Power (CHP) installations can help the EU reduce its energy imports and drive economic recovery, Paul Hodson, Head of Unit Energy Efficiency at the European Commission's DG Energy told this year's COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels.
The world's largest concentrating solar plant – the 280 MW Solana Generating Station, located in southwest of Arizona, US – is being built beside a substantial fossil backup plant – the 2,334 MW gas-fired combined-cycle Gila River Power Station.
At the 2013 Russian International Energy Forum in St. Petersburg, Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies (SGTT) and power producer OGK-2, an open joint stock company, sealed a long-term service contract for PGU-800 – Russia's largest combined cycle power plant (CCPP).
Long-term regulatory stability is key for helping make new cogeneration developments more attractive for European industry, Dave Brownell, Refinery Manager at ExxonMobil told Gas to Power Journal at this year's COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels. "In Europe, we're looking for stability in the rules of the game; stability in terms of regulations. A large cogen plant is an investment of hundreds of millions of euros, typically takes four to six years of project development and the operational life of the unit exceeds 30 years," he said.
GDF Suez' fourth gas-fired plant in France - the Dunkirk natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant (DK6) - "is planned to remain in full operation", GDF Suez confirmed. Fuel economics of the 788 MW CCPP plant are more advantageous, it said, as the plant is operated by burning blast furnace gas and the coke oven gas from a nearby steel mill.
At two US-based gas-fired combined cycle plants, controllability at the plants was a major issue, the responsible plant manager told Gas to Power Journal on condition of anonymity. Large natural gas swings caused large boiler pressure swings, which "created a situation where the load was swinging around a lot more than it needed to be".
Xcel Energy has proposed adding up to three new gas-fired peaking units to boost electricity production during periods of high demand in Minnesota and North Dakota. The proposal aims to replace coal-fired capacity at its Black Dog plant in Burnsville, Minnesota, which is due to be retired in 2015 by installing a 215MW gas turbine. It also aims at installing one or two, as needed, 215MW gas turbines at a yet to be selected site near Hankinson, North Dakota.