Projects & Finance

Golar Power, part of Hamilton-based Golar LNG, has teamed up with Galileo Technologies to expand its small-scale LNG activities in Brazil. Together with Stonepeak, Golar already developed several large-scale LNG-to-Power projects in northeast Brazil. Now, it turns to biomethane.

Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp, has started to modernize its electricity infrastructure in Lawrence County as part of a new, four-year plan. Works add to the utility’s previous grid enhancements that have reduced the number of frequency disruption by 20% on average.

Germany’s Evonik and UK’s Omexom have ordered 18 of GE’s ‘Green Gas for Grid’ solutions, or ‘g³’ gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) bays for use at industrial sites. g³ is an alternative to sulphur hexafluoride (SF₆), a potent greenhouse gas, used in high-voltage equipment including switchgear.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has issued requests for proposals (RFP) for up to 500 MW of mobile temporary capacity to meet peak summer demand. PREPA said it still assess the damages of an earthquake earlier this year, which incapacitated the 967 MW Costa Sur power plant.

MAN Energy Solutions has completed the Sund power plant extension and handed it over to Elfelagið SEV, the local energy supplier on the Faroe Islands. Four MAN 9L51/60 engines were added, enhancing the plant's generating capacity by 37 MW as well as district heating.

UK’s National Grid and the Norwegian TSO Statnett have achieved the halfway mark in laying the world’s longest subsea cable – the North Sea Link. Due completed in 2021, the interconnector will allow Norway to export hydro and wind energy to the British Isles.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) plans to generate over 70% of its electricity from wind and solar resources, supported by gas generators and energy storage. In its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) the Arizona-based utility also proposes to retire its remaining coal-fired units over the next 12 years.

NorthWestern Energy has contracted Caterpillar to supply six Cat G20CM34 gas gensets to replace combustion turbines currently operating at the Huron Generating Station in South Dakota. Construction activities will begin in July, with a view to starting commercial operation at the end of 2021.

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has awarded 5 stars to the Waad Al Shamal integrated solar and combined cycle power plant (ISCC) project for environment, health and safety standards. The plant consists of 50 MW solar plus 1,000 MW thermal capacity (four GE 7F gas turbines) and is due to enter service this fall.

GE has completed the first major inspection project in China since the coronavirus outbreak. Modernisation of two 9E.03 turbines at the 360 MW Baochang power plant, Guangdong province, was delivered safe and ahead of schedule on behalf of Shenzhen Baochang Power Supply Company.

Though travel restrictions are still in place in the Dominican Republic to contain the coronavirus, Siemens is striving to deliver a barge-mounted power plant, based on SGT-800 gas turbine, on time and on budget. The 145 MW Estrella del Mar III is due to start operations by spring 2021.

National Grid has secured the first multi export credit agency (ECA) covered loan for the Viking Link, a 1,400 MW subsea power cable between the UK and Denmark. The $743 million financing package is made up of $488 million from SACE Export Credit and $255 million from Euler Hermes.

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News in Brief

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.

Northern German states push for hydrogen pilot cluster

June 23 – Northern German states are pushing for greater hydrogen use with a pilot project cluster. Some 12 large demonstration plants for the production and use of green hydrogen are meant to be realised in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The aim is to demonstrate how 75% of CO2 emissions can be saved in the region by 2035.

Wärtsilä to design and equip battery-powered ferries

June 22– The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries on behalf of the Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö. For each ferry Wärtsilä will supply the thruster motors, batteries, onboard and shore-based battery charging equipment, the back-up generators, and various electrical systems. The equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in early 2021 for the ships to start commercial operations in autumn 2021.

Subsidy cut slashes Chinese wind turbine margins

June 19 – China’s wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could have their gross profit margins halved due to subsidy cuts, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Commissioned onshore wind power capacity is expected to drop by more than 16% to 19 gigawatts (GW) from 2020 to 2021 as government subsidies were terminated. This could also lead to a 27% drop in turbine prices over the next five years, slashing OEMs’ gross profit margins by half.

PowerPHASE converts gas peakers into storage engine

June 18 – U.S. emergency power provider PowerPHASE has developed an upgrade to convert 7F gas turbine-based peaking plants (350 MW each) to a so-called Storage Engine (400 MW). The unit would be able to store 3500 MWh daily and discharge 4800 MWh daily. CEO Bob Kraft claims utility customers could dispatch the Storage Engine, despite its lower heat rate (4000), ahead of higher heat rate options (9000 for gas peakers) in a competitive market like ERCOT in Texas.

Cummins names Davis head of New Power unit

June 17 – Cummins has appointed Amy Davis as Vice President and President of the company’s New Power Segment, effective July 1. The new unit includes Cummins’ electrified powertrains, battery design and assembly, battery management, fuel cell and hydrogen generation.

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