New technology and advanced software controls are changing the ability for gas plants to respond flexibly to demand and harness waste heat driving renewed profitability for operators. “As plant performance improvements are more and more often optimized through smarter software our solutions are increasingly focused on the integration of hardware and software across the plant,” Andreas Pickard from Siemens told Gas to Power Journal.
Unit 1 of the Big Sandy Power Plant has started to supply up to 268 MW of gas-generated electricity to PJM Interconnection. Operator Kentucky Power, part of the investor-owned electric utility AEP, had opened the plant back in 1963 and operated it on coal until November last year, when conversion works to natural gas commenced.
Varying gas composition impacts performance and component lifetime of internal combustion engines, gas turbines and fuel cell-based machines. By measuring the optical fingerprints of C1-C5 alkanes, the Precisive 5 Gas Analyser enables real-time and high-accuracy fuel gas analysis, according to the firm’s founder and president, Vidi Saptari.
Uncertainty abounds after Britain voted for Brexit amid concerns over implications on foreign direct investment, not least in the UK energy sector. The very future of the Hinkley Point nuclear power project is up in the air, as observers warn that the departure of UK prime minister David Cameron might give EDF a pretext to pull the plug on financing.
Already one of the least carbon-intensive regions, the US Northeast is anticipated to further reduce its power sector carbon intensity from 1,037 pounds of CO2 per megawatthour last year to 986 lbs CO2/MWh in 2030. CO2 prices in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) fell to $4.53 per metric ton at the latest auction in June – 40% below their previous peak value.
Poland's state-owned gas supplier, PGNiG, has signed a two-year contract to supply fuel to a cogeneration project in Torun, to be operated by EDF. The French utility has started to dismantle the existing coal CHP and is set to replace it with a new natural gas-fuelled CHP in the first quarter of 2017.
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Russia’s Gazprom have agreed to form a joint venture for gas-fired power generation and underground gas storage in China. The MoU was signed on Saturday after detailed discussions on Russian gas supplies via the western route – the so-called ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline is already under construction.
Banks are reassessing collateral required from power project developers as they seek higher potential returns, according to Gints Sorokins, board member at OS Energy. This tends to delay new-builds and risks to derails a number of projects.
Industry group COGEN Europe has positively acknowledged Stadtwerke Kiel’s 190-MW combined heat and power project. Construction of the flagship plant is imminent. The new J920 FleXtra gas engine-driven plant set to replace a hard coal-fired CHP, which has been in operation for 40 years. Kiel's new gas CHP is slated to start up in October 2018.
Implementation of heat exchange and storage systems attached to CCGTs is delivering greater demand-response for plant operators, delegates at PowerGen heard. The Italian utility IREN uses heat storage tanks at three gas power plants around Turing – optimizing between the sales of electricity and district heating.
Change, not only to technology, but more so to the role of the client and electricity offtaker, has sparked a “new wave of innovation in the power sector.” Falling margins increase the urgency for gas power operators to adapt to the needs of offtakers and grid operators. Letting small firms develop innovative solutions and snapping them up once the solutions are proven is one way, often adopted by large and more risk averse players.
Two new 18.5-megawatt MAN 48/60 engines have been commissioned at the Grand Cayman power plant, joining join five existing MAN engines onsite. The retrofit increases the plant’s overall capacity to 90 MW and was carried out in partnership with the Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC).
A “remarkable technical success” is how Chuck Goodson, Eastman Chemical Company’s utilities maintenance area manager describes PSM’s FlameSheet combustion system conversion, implemented on two 7F gas turbines at the Longview combined heat and power plant in Texas.
Immediately after receipt of an air permit, Dominion Virginia Power has begun construction on its 1,588-MW Greensville County Power Station, a combined-cycle gas power project that comes with a price tag of $1.3 billion.
Cross-border electricity flows need better TSO coordination, as do capacity measures set by national policymakers, if Europe wants to achieve its energy security policy objectives. As Fabien Roque, senior vice president for Compass Lexecon Energy put it: “We will only be able to address issues of coordination in capacity markets if we can deal with simultaneous scarcity situations.”