Batteries, Coal, Gas, Renewables

ACCIONA supplies wind turbines for Texas project

Issue 10 and Volume 118.

ACCIONA Windpower will supply one hundred AW 116/3000 wind turbines for a wind power project in Texas.

The wind turbines will be installed at the 300-MW Green Pastures wind complex, which is located on more than 18,000 acres in Baylor and Knox Counties in North Texas. They will be equipped with 116-meter-diameter rotors and will be mounted on 92-meter-high steel towers.

The first phase, with a capacity of 150 MW, is expected to reach operation in March 2015. Capital Dynamics, who will manage the project, and Prudential Capital Group previously completed the financing for the first phase. ACCIONA Windpower will also provide operation and maintenance services for 10 years.


SaskPower successfully captures carbon dioxide, delivers to oilfield


The $1.35 billion Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage (CCS) project has successfully completed its CCS chain by piping captured carbon dioxide to a nearby oilfield.

The project, which integrates a coal-fired power unit with amine capture technology, has been capturing CO2 since late September, but now sees the start of operations to pipe the greenhouse gas to Cenovus Energy’s oilfields for use in enhanced oil recovery operations – thereby completing the CCS chain.

Project backers said large-scale demonstration projects, such as Boundary Dam, are needed to prove the viability of CCS to policymakers, investors and the public alike.

The Boundary Dam project will capture around one million tons of CO2 annually from the power plant’s Unit 3. Any CO2 not used in enhanced oil recovery will be stored at the Aquistore project, a CO2 storage research and monitoring project in southeast Saskatchewan.


CHP projects using GE technology receive EPA award


Two combined heat and power (CHP) facilities that utilize GE Power & Water’s power generation technology have been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the ENERGY STAR CHP Award.

The recipients, Eastman Chemical Company’s Kingsport, an industrial campus in Tennessee, and Merck’s West Point in Pennsylvania, were announced Tuesday, Sept. 30.

The CHP system at Eastman’s Kingsport site consists of 17 boilers, which produce steam to support manufacturing processes, meet the space heating/cooling needs of 550 buildings and drive 19 engines, including 17 GE steam turbine generators. At its Kingsport industrial campus, Eastman manufactures specialty chemicals, fibers, and plastics.

Merck’s CoGen3 CHP system at its West Point facility is powered by a 38–MW GE 6B heavy-duty gas turbine and recovers heat to produce steam that heats, cools, and dehumidifies nearly 7 million square feet of manufacturing, laboratory, and office space.


More than 360 MW of grid-scale energy storage launched, announced


360 MW of grid-scale energy storage

Navigant Research has released a new report, “Energy Storage Tracker 3Q14,” finding that 362.8 MW of power, spread throughout 91 new grid-scale energy storage systems, were launched or announced between January 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.

The most popular energy storage system technology for the past year has been lithium ion (Li-ion), with 168.6 MW announced or launched, and 236.3 MW to date. The second leading energy storage technology is sodium sulfur batteries.

The report includes a database of 697 projects, encompassing 1,160 systems, and tracks the country, region, market segment, capacity, status, technology vendor, systems integrator, applications, funding, investment, and key milestones for each project.


NRG Energy acquires Pure Energies Group


NRG Energy has successfully acquired Pure Energies Group, a residential solar company.

Pure Energies completes the residential solar capabilities NRG has been working to assemble and complements NRG’s acquisition earlier this year of Roof Diagnostics Solar, which is involved with home solar direct sales and installation, and NRG’s own Residential Solar Solutions, which has focused on the financing and business operations associated with solar power leasing.

Pure Energies and its customer acquisition process will help NRG Home Solar reduce customer acquisition costs while providing a simplified solar power adoption process. Pure Energies’ online capabilities also are expected to provide a valuable sales channel for NRG’s Goal Zero line of portable solar and energy storage products and NRG’s retail businesses (NRG, Reliant, and Green Mountain).

Pure Energies advises homeowners on residential solar systems and home conservation products to help them save money and make a difference in their communities.

Through an online platform, Pure Energies is able to identify and provide a detailed analysis of the customer’s home solar feasibility versus their energy needs.


EPA blames rise in 2013 CO2 emissions on coal plants


While greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants have decreased significantly since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blames a 2013 uptick in coal plant use for an emission increase last year.

EPA released its fourth year of Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data, detailing GHG trends and emissions broken down by industrial sector, geographic region, and individual facilities.

In 2013, reported emissions from large industrial facilities were 20 million metric tons higher than the prior year, or 0.6 percent, driven largely by an increase in coal use for power generation, EPA said in a Sept. 30 news release.

Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and other sources has pointed to a rise in coal plant utilization during 2013, in part because of higher natural gas fuel prices.

Over 8,000 large-emitters reported direct greenhouse gas emissions to the program in 2013, representing approximately 50 percent of total U.S. emissions, EPA said.

EPA also reported that 92 facilities of some type reported injecting CO2 underground.


GE sells first HA gas turbines in US market


In a deal worth half a billion dollars, GE announced it has contracted to provide four 7HA gas turbines, two D600 steam turbines and six generators to energy corporation Exelon.

The deal targets the fast growing, high-efficiency market segment and represents the first HA turbines to be sold in the US.

Exelon will take delivery of the turbines in 2016, and begin operating them by mid-2017. Each turbine will have an output of 330 MW and a net combined-cycle efficiency rating that exceeds 61 percent. The turbines also feature modular constructability for shorter installation schedules. GE currently has orders for nine other HA turbines in France, Russia and Japan.

The HA turbines are the largest and most efficient in the world and build on GE’s previous H-class technology, which was launched in 2003 and has now accumulated significant operating time. Unlike the previous H-class turbines which relied on steam cooling, the new HA turbines rely on air for temperature regulation.

HA turbines have the lowest heat rate and emissions in the world. Much of this efficiency is due to the H-class’ firing temperature. Compared to E-class turbines which fire at 2000-3000 degrees, and to F-class turbines which fire at 2300-2600 degrees, H-class turbines fire at 2600-2900 degrees, which results in a more efficient system.

The new turbines are also extremely flexible, able to operate at less than 100-percent base load in order to complement renewable or other intermittent generative models.

HA turbines can transition from zero to full power in ten minutes. When combined with steam turbines in a combined-cycle plant, they can be at full power in 30 minutes.


Panda Temple combined cycle plant up and running


Panda Temple

Panda Power Funds dedicated its Panda Temple combined-cycle power plant at an inaugural celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony in Temple, Texas. The installation is now completely operational and serving the Central Texas region.

The 758-MW facility is the first flex plant in Texas. As one of the cleanest natural gas-fired plants in the U.S. fleet, the facility operates at 57.5 percent overall efficiency and can synchronize to the grid in ten minutes, reach an emissions-compliant 60-percent baseload in 20 minutes, and arrive at full power in an hour.

The facility was delivered as a turnkey system in a project that brought together the efforts of EPC giant Bechtel and global OEM Siemens. Designed as a power island, all major components of the plant’s power block including turbines, boilers, and generators were supplied by Siemens, thereby providing for a composite installation that is highly integrated.

The plant relies on two Siemens SGT6-5000F turbines with shaping power, followed by a newly-designed heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) which can utilize all but 185 degrees of the turbines’ waste heat to generate secondary energy completely emissions-free.

Shaping power allows each turbine to increase overall production by 20 percent, effectively providing built-in peaking capacity that can be called upon during hot conditions or other high-demand times. When combined with newly-designed boiler technologies that allow the plant to start more quickly, these innovations make the plant highly responsive to grid demand and market opportunities.

An identical plant-Temple II-is now being constructed adjacent to the current facility. When it becomes operational in 2015, it will double the plant’s capacity.

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