Signing of a £18 billion contract for electricity offtake from the Hinkely Point C nuclear project is burdening rate-payers with higher costs than new gas power stations would have done, the UK government had to admit. Analysts at Barclays Bank estimated EDF will generate a 7.2% rate of return – even if the project would come in 25% over budget and was completed four years late (by 2029).
Japanese utility Tepco Fuel & Power has signed an accord with engineering firm Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) to jointly work on improved efficiency for thermal power plants at home and abroad. In focus are improved equipment solutions and O&M services.
SaskPower has awarded an engineer-procure-construct (EPC) contract to Burns & McDonnell for the new Chinook Power Station. The 350 MW combined-cycle facility will be built on a greenfield site near Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
German grid operator 50Hertz is installing phase shifters to raise electrical resistance that stops excess renewable power supply from spilling over into Poland’s PSE grid zone – causing diplomatic spats. Electrical current normally takes the path of least resistance, but if Germany’s north-south routes are congested e.g. by ample wind power supply – this excess supply sometime takes a detour through neighbouring countries.
Though imported cost of coal and LNG has declined, power prices in Japan keep rising. According to data from Japan's 10 major utilities, the average retail electricity price rose for four consecutive fiscal years (2011–14). LNG prices fell by 37% and coal prices fell by 19% in fiscal 2015 but Japan's retail electricity price eased of by merely 2%.
Incentives have spurred a surge in biogas production that is injected into the gas transmission network in countries like Germany. However, gas quality and volume of the grid-injected biogas needs to be closely monitored to ensure its computability and safe use as a fuel for power generators. Elster has developed such a monitoring system.
Doreen Power, a privately-run utility in Bangladesh, has contracted MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply three 18V 48/60TS engines for a 56.7 MW baseload power plant near Dhaka. “48/60’s can be retrofitted to 51/60s without any major effort,” a MAN spokesman said, but cautioned about Bangladesh’s current gas supply constraints.
Siemens, in partnership with Hangzhou Steam Turbine Co (HTC), has secured a long-term service program (LTP) order from Golden Concord Power Group for two Siemens SGT-800 gas turbines at the Kunshan GCL Blue Sky distributed energy project. This is Siemens' first industrial gas turbine LTP order in China, the company pointed out.
Ten judges on the US Court of Appeals in Washington have heard supporters and opponents clash during a 7-hour hearing on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) – a controversial cornerstone of President Obama’s legacy on environmental law. Facing opposition from Republican-led states in the Senate, he was using federal administration such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to drive through his climate agenda.
Shale oil and gas production from the Appalachian Basin's Utica play has hit 3.5 Bcf/d this June, jumping from very low levels of 0.1 Bcf/d in December 2012. The surge in output from the vast Utica play keeps a lid on US natural gas prices and incentivise more power station operators to shift from coal to gas. The capacity factor for CCGTs has risen to 56% and is expected to increase further.
Unit 4 of Tepco’s LNG-fuelled Futtsu power station will be retrofitted with GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) system under an accord, signed by the two companies, to roll-out APM software throughout the Tepco’s thermal power plant fleet.
The government of Afghanistan has signed an accord for Ghazanfar Group to develop the country’s first gas-fired power plant Mazar-e-Sharif. The 50-megawatt facility will be realised on a build, own, and operate (BOO) basis – all electricity will sold to the national power grid on a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
Scientists at Japan's Kyoto University have tested various compositions of molybdenum silicides for use at turbine blades, improving the strength of the material at temperatures around 1,400 degrees Celsius. Research shows that adding tantalum to the composite helps boost material resilience.
Harrison County Community Improvement Corp (CIC) has been working with the Texan village of Cadiz to make Houston-based EmberClear advance its 1,000 MW combined-cycle power project. CIC said it would help EmberClear with obtaining necessary permits, with the CCGT set to be fuelled with low-cost shale gas from nearby resources. Financial close and start of construction is scheduled for Q3-2018.
Outcome of a court ruling could determine whether the Obama administration’s plan to curb power plant emissions by 32% by 2030 will become a reality. Republican-led states and the coal lobby filed various lawsuits – a key decision will be made by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday.