O&M, Reactors, Solar

Industry News

Issue 2 and Volume 121.

New York Governor, Entergy Agree to Close Indian Point Nuclear Plant

Entergy announced it will close the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point Energy Center in 2020 and 2021.

The closure was announced as part of a settlement with New York State, which will drop legal challenges against the plant. Additionally, the state will support renewal of operating licenses for Indian Point.

The shutdown will complete Entergy’s exit from its merchant power business due to low wholesale energy prices.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed the deal Monday.

The deal was an agreement between Entergy, the governor’s office, the office of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and environmental group Riverkeeper, TheNew York Times reported.

Entergy noted that low energy prices, lower power generation costs for other sources and increased operating costs, including $200 million already invested for license renewal contributed to the decision

Duke Energy Announces Florida Solar Facility

Duke Energy announced it will soon break ground on an 8.8-MW solar power station on 70 acres near Live Oak, Florida.

The company hopes to bring the Suwannee Solar Facility online by the end of 2017. Duke will be the owner and operator.

Duke Energy Florida also owns and operates the Perry Solar Facility in Taylor County and the Osceola Solar Facility in Osceola County.

Babcock & Wilcox Acquires Universal Acoustic & Emission Technologies

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. announced the company has acquired Universal Acoustic & Emission Technologies Inc., a Wisconsin-based provider of custom-engineered acoustic, emission and filtration solutions.

Universal AET will be renamed Babcock & Wilcox Universal, and become part of B&W’s industrial operating segment. The deal has an estimated value of $55 million.

The renamed company will continue to provide custom-engineered acoustic, emission and filtration solutions — including gas turbine inlet and exhaust systems, custom silencers, filters and custom enclosures — to the natural gas power generation, mid-stream natural gas pipeline, locomotive and general industrial end-markets.

ABB Wins $100 Million Order for HVDC Upgrade

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has awarded ABB a $100 million contract to modernize the Sylmar HVDC converter station in California.

The station, commissioned in 1970 north of Los Angeles, is a key part of the electricity link between the Pacific Northwest and southern California.

The Sylmar converter station is the southern station of the Pacific Intertie, a 1,360 kilometer HVDC link that connects to the Celilo converter station near the Columbia River, Oregon. The Pacific Intertie transmits electricity from the Pacific Northwest to as many as three million households in the greater Los Angeles area.

NextEra to Build 300-MW Wind Project in North Dakota

NextEra will build a 300-MW wind facility dubbed Emmons-Logan in south-central North Dakota.

The development comes as part of a power-purchase agreement with Great River Energy, a wholesale energy provider to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota.

Construction on Emmons-Logan will begin in 2019 and the 133 GE turbines will be in place and commissioned at the end of that year.

When Emmons-Logan is completed, Great River Energy’s wind capacity will surpass 700 MW.

The energy provider already purchases 151 MW of energy from two NextEra’s wind energy centers in eastern North Dakota and northwest Iowa.

Two Gas-Fired Plants Totaling 1,900 MW Slated for Ohio

Clean Energy Future are developing two additional gas-fired power plants to go along with two other gas plants the company has already revealed, all in Ohio.

The two planned plants are a 940-MW facility in Lordstown and a 960-MW facility in the town of Oregon, the Columbus Business First reported.

Clean Energy Future indicated the two new facilities will both be located next to facilities already under construction, with the 940-MW first phase of the combined cycle Lordstown plant to begin operations next May and the 960-MW first phase of the Oregon plant under construction for an unspecified commissioning date.

New York Governor Calls for 2.4 GW of Offshore Wind Power by 2030

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called for the development of 2.4 GW of offshore winddevelopment in the second major power generation move to come from his office this week.

The first step in the ambitious development slate would be a 90-MW offshore wind project 30 miles southeast of Montauk, which Cuomo urged the Long Island Power Authority to approve. The Authority has already said contract negotiations are nearly complete, and the project will come up for a vote in January.

The full 2.4 GW would be developed by 2030, enough to power 1.25 million homes. The governor’s office called it the largest commitment of its type in U.S. history. Full details of what the office is calling the Offshore Wind Master Plan are slated to be finished by the end of this year.

TVA Names New Senior VP, Chief Nuclear Officer

The Tennessee Valley Authority has named Mike Balduzzi its senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.

He will report to Joe Grimes, executive vice president of generation, and oversee the operation and optimization of TVA’s nuclear fleet.

Balduzzi has 34 years of experience in the nuclear industry with numerous leadership roles in operations, maintenance and oversight activities at facilities such as Vermont Yankee, Nine Mile Point and Pilgrim. He joined TVA as senior vice president of nuclear operations in January 2014.

Southern Power Acquires 276-MW Bethel Wind Energy Center

Southern Power announced it has acquired the 276-MW Bethel Wind Energy Center from Invenergy Services.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Blattner Energy constructed the facility, and Invenergy Services will operate it when it’s officially commissioned later this month.

Including Bethel Wind Energy Center, Southern Power now owns more than 3,200 MW of renewable energy sources across 36 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction.

Southern Energy, the parent company of Southern Power, has completed or is developing 6,500 MW of renewable generation since 2012.

LG&E and KU Energy Names New President and COO

LG&E and KU Energy have announced that Paul W. Thompson has been named president and COO of the companies. Victor A. Staffieri remains the chairman and CEO.

Under the new structure, Staffieri will continue to report to Bill Spence, PPL chairman, president and CEO. Thompson will continue to report to Staffieri.

Thompson joined LG&E in 1001 in Business Development and has held a number of leadership roles. In his current role, he is responsible for all operational areas including generation, energy supply and analysis, electric distribution and transmission, gas distribution and storage, and customer service.

Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago.

Duke Energy Sells Latin America Assets for $1.2 Billion

Duke Energy announced it has completed the sale of 2,300 MW of power assets in six Latin America countries for $1.2 billion.

The hydroelectric and thermal assets in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and Argentina were sold to I Squared Capital. Additionally, Duke seeks to sell assets in Brazil to China Three Gorges Corp.

“We are pleased to have closed this transaction so quickly,” said Duke Energy chairman, president and CEO Lynn Good. “The sale of the Brazilian assets is expected to be completed in the near future.”

GE, APR Energy Renew Alliance With Mobile Gas Turbines

GE and APR Energy have jointly announced they have renewed their strategic alliance in the gas-fired turbine market.

Under the agreement, APR Energy has global exclusivity as the rental provider of GE mobile gas turbines under 50 MW.

As part of the agreement, APR Energy will acquire new Generation 8, GE TM2500+ mobile turbines as part of its ongoing efforts to upgrade and standardize its fleet.

Additionally, the two companies will collaborate on leads for customers looking for interim or rental power solutions as they work to more permanent power solutions.

“We are very pleased to continue our partnership with APR Energy,” said Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE.

“We have been impressed with their high level of customer service and ability to deliver turnkey power generation projects in remote locations all around the world.”