Gas, O&M, Renewables

Industry News

Issue 1 and Volume 121.

GE Power Announces $660 Million in Orders at POWER-GEN

General Electric on Dec. 13 announced more than $660 million in orders for GE Power, including equipment for the gas-fired Riverside power plant expansion project in Wisconsin. This new business was announced in conjunction with Power-Gen International 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The orders include a new F-class gas turbine project in Wisconsin and continued customer adoption of GE’s Operations Optimization and Asset Performance Management suites of digital solutions. The Dec. 13 announcements include more than $450 million in orders from GE’s Power Services business, providing customers with other OEM service capabilities and enhanced upgrades.

Block Island Offshore Wind Facility Begins Operation

Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm has become the first offshore wind farm to deliver energy to the United States.

The company officially commissioned the five turbine, 30-MW development this month. Energy produced will be transmitted by National Grid’s new sea2shore submarine transmission cable system.

Block Island was built with the help of GE Renewable Energy, which also supplied the project’s wind turbines. The testing period ran four months, though one of the turbines encountered a minor technical problem.

Crew for the facility’s two-year development were transferred via the vessel Atlantic Pioneer.

The project’s investors include Deepwater Wind’s principal owner, an affiliate of the D.E. Shaw group, Citi, and GE Energy Financial Services, along with lenders Societe Generale, KeyBank, HSBC, SMBC, Cobank, and La Caixa.

Deepwater estimated the full offshore wind potential in the United States could be as much as four times the generating capacity of the current grid.

Southern Company Commissions 200-MW California Solar Facility

Southern Company announced its subsidiary, Southern Power, and Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar, officially began commercial operations of the Garland Solar Facility.

The 200-MW development, built on 2,000 acres of land in Kern County, California, began construction in November 2015.

Southern Power has announced, acquired or is constructing more than 2,700 MW of renewable generation ownership with 33 solar, wind and biomass projects. The Southern Company system has added or announced more than 4,000 MW of renewable energy projects since 2012.

Recurrent Energy currently has 1,000 MW of utility-scale solar projects under construction.

Energy from Garland Solar is under long-term power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison.

Burns & McDonnell Acquires AZCO

Burns & McDonnell Inc. announced the acquisition of industrial contractor AZCO Inc.

The acquisition will create a comprehensive environmental, engineering, procurement and direct-hire construction and fabrication company, as AZCO also operates a 71,000 square-foot fabrication center that produces carbon steel, stainless, chrome-moly and exotic alloy pipe and metal fabrication.

A purchase price was not disclosed.

Alabama Power RFP Results in 200 Renewable Project Proposals

Alabama Power announced the company has received 200 renewable energy project ideas through an RFP that recently closed to bidders.

The company is now reviewing the proposals to determine which, if any, will be suitable for construction. The projects will be narrowed to a short list by next April, and surviving projects will undergo a more detailed analysis.

Most of the proposals involved solar energy, with some hydro and biomass projects submitted. Individual projects had to range between five and 80 MW and be located in Alabama. The projects could be owned by Alabama Power or owned by third parties with a power purchase agreement with the utility.

The target date for submitted projects to enter operation is March 31, 2019.

Plans for Carlsbad Energy Center Upheld by Appeals Court

The First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled it will let stand a ruling by the California Public Utilities Commission clearing the way for a new power plant to be constructed by NRG Energy.

The move clears the way for development on NRG’s natural gas-fired, 558-MW, $2.2 billion Carlsbad Energy Center, reported the Los Angeles Times.

NRG’s original plans were to bring the center online at the end of 2017 to compensate for the retirement of the Encina Generating Station. Power will be purchased by San Diego Gas & Electric.

A number of environmental groups sued to try to stop the construction of Carlsbad, claiming it violated California’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

However, the court ruled the California Public Utilities Commission was “just and reasonable” in its decision to award a contract for construction of the plant.

Dominion Virginia Power Breaks Ground on Natural Gas Plant

Dominion Virginia Power held its official groundbreaking on its natural gas-fired Greensville County Power Station.

The $1.3 billion, 1,588-MW plant is expected to be the largest gas-fired combined-cycle facility in North America when it begins operations near the end of 2018, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Greensville County Power Station follows in the footsteps of Dominion’s 1,358-MW Brunswick County power station, which came on line earlier this year. The two have a combined development cost of $2.5 billion.

Greensville County officials hope to use the plant as a draw to attract large businesses into the area, including international companies. Dominion expects the station to generate $8 million in property taxes and $36 million in annual economic benefits.

Alberta Okays Change for 98-MW Peace River Project

The Alberta Utilities Commission on approved a Nov. 16 application from Peace River Power GP Ltd. for the alteration of a 98-MW natural gas-fired plant in Northern Sunrise County, with the alteration needed to support future plant expansion.

Peace River Power has an Aug. 31 approval from the commission to construct and operate this 98-MW natural gas-fired plant, located approximately 40 kilometers northeast of the town of Peace River.

Peace River Power requested approval to alter the type of transformers at the power plant.

The project would consist of two 49-MW simple cycle General Electric LM6000-PH gas turbine generators.

Peace River Power stated that the plant would utilize conventional sales and associated gas from the existing production wells in the vicinity of the project site.

The power will be exported to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System.

Siemens Announces U.S. Leadership Changes

Siemens Corporation announced Eric Spiegel, chief executive officer of Siemens in the U.S., will leave the company at the end of the year.

Lisa Davis has been appointed Chair and CEO of Siemens Corporation, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Judith Marks has been appointed Siemens CEO U.S., effective the same date.

Marks began her career at Siemens in 2011 as President and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies Inc., where she led the company’s approach to the federal market.

Before coming to Siemens, she spent 27 years with Lockheed Martin and its predecessor companies.

She will assume the CEO U.S. role, in addition to her current position as executive vice president at Dresser-Rand, a Siemens business.

Siemens has been in the U.S. for more than 160 years and has 50,000 U.S. employees and 75 manufacturing sites.

NRC Approves Transfer of Susquehanna Nuclear Plant Licenses

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission today announced approval of the indirect transfer of operating licenses for Units 1 and 2 of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Berwick, Pennsylvania. The licenses will pass from Talen Energy to Riverstone Holdings as part of Riverstone’s proposed acquisition of Talen.

The Susquehanna plant has two boiling water reactors and a dry cask spent fuel storage installation. Units 1 and 2 are licensed to operate through July 17, 2042 and March 23, 2044, respectively. The plant is operated by a subsidiary of Talen, Susquehanna Nuclear, which owns a 90-percent stake in the plant and will continue to oversee operations at the facility.

The “indirect” nomenclature used to describe the transfer refers to a change in the holding company of a nuclear license.

NRC Renews Operating License for Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced today it has renewed the operating license for Unit 1 of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Mississippi. The license clears the way for the plant to operate into 2044.

GGNS is a boiling-water reactor operated by Entergy in Port Gibson, about 20 miles southwest of Vicksburg. As part of the re-licensing process, the NRC reviewed the plant’s safety, publishing an evaluation in October. In November, it also published a supplemental statement concerning the reactor’s environmental impact.

The GGNS license brings to 86 the number of commercial nuclear reactors with renewed licenses in the country, though three of these plants have since shut down. Renewal applications for another nine nuclear reactors are currently under review.