Industry News

Issue 6 and Volume 121.

Global Orders for Wind Turbines Continue to Increase

Wind turbines totaling nearly 15,000 MW in capacity were ordered for wind projects worldwide in the second half of 2016, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

The orders came from projects in 24 countries and 11 vendors.

Vestas extended its lead from other wind manufacturers with more than 6,445 MW of capacity delivered, which was almost 3,000 MW more than the first half of the year.

Gamesa came in second with just over 2,000 of orders. Asia Pacific lead among the regions with 1,800 MW of new capacity thanks to strong showings in India and Australia. North America and Europe were second and third, respectively.

Construction Begins on Largest Solar Power Project in the Americas

Construction has begun on a 754-MW solar power park in Mexico that will be the largest in all of North and South America when it becomes operational next year, CleanTechnica reported.

A subsidiary of Enel Green Power is developing the Villanueva Solar Park in North Mexico. Firmer will supply over 600 of its R 11015 TL 1500V inverters for the project, while NEXTracker will supply single-axis trackers.

NEXTracker noted the key drive and electrical components of its trackers are sealed to prevent penetration by sand and dust, which is critical for the project’s desert climate.

The plant will deliver power to 1.3 million households and offset 780,000 tons of CO2.

ERCOT Predicts Sufficient Summer Generation Resources Through 2022

ERCOT released a report indicating it will have sufficient power for each summer through 2022 through most weather scenarios.

The system, which represents 90 percent of Texas’ electricity load, indicated it will have a reserve margin of 18.9 percent in 2018, though that margin will fall to 16.8 percent in 2022.

Total ERCOTer summer generation is estimated at 82,000 MW this year, which includes 2,500 MW of planned gas-fired generation and 800 MW of new wind and solar additions.

ERCOT estimates its planned resources will increase to nearly 16,000 MW by summer 2019, including plans to mothball one unidentified plant indefinitely, with a capacity reduction of 840 MW starting in 2019.

Canada Now Generates Two-Thirds of its Electricity from Renewables

The Canadian government announced a full 66 percent of the entire country’s electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2015, up from 60 percent in 2005.

Only Norway, New Zealand, Brazil, Austria and Denmark have similar or larger shares of renewable energy.

Hydro generation accounted for 60 percent of Canada’s generation, though wind power grew twenty-fold over the last decade, according to a report from Canada’s National Energy Board. The report noted the intermittent nature of wind generation is an obstacle to more widespread use, though it suggested trading electricity with neighboring jurisdictions as a solution.

Biomass accounted for two percent of Canada’s electrical generation, and solar was largely restricted to Ontario, home to 98 percent of the country’s solar capacity due to the provinces’ feed-in tariff programs.

Siemens Introduces 38-MW Aeroderivative Gas Turbine

Siemens has launched the SGT-A35 RB, its newest gas turbine designed for the oil and gas industry.

The lightweight, aeroderivative gas turbine can generate up to 38 MW and is integrated into a compact, lightweight Dresser-Rand package, which is up to 30 percent smaller and lighter than its Industrial RB211 predecessors.

Siemens indicated the new turbine is suited for offshore applications, including floating production, storage and offloading vessels that have become increasingly popular for oil and gas production in harsher deep-sea environments.

The SGT-A35 RB gas turbine is based on the Industrial RB211 and Industrial Trent 60 gas turbines, built with Rolls-Royce Aero Engine technology. This turbine family has more than 800 installations worldwide exceeding 37 million operating hours.

The SGT-A35 RB gas turbine is available in 34 and 38 MW variants to match a range of application requirements.

United States Records Fastest First Quarter Wind Growth Since 2009

In the first quarter of 2017, more wind turbines were installed in the U.S. than in any other first quarter since 2009.

Wind companies installed 908 utility-scale turbines with a combined 2,000 MW of capacity, the American Wind Energy Association reported.

The association said that while turbine installations spanned the United States, Texas had the most installations at 724 MW, bringing its total capacity to 21,000 MW.

Kansas had the second-most first-quarter installations at 481 MW.

North Carolina became the 41st state to host an operational wind farm with the activation of Amazon Wind Farm US East.

That facility is also the first wind farm to come online in the southeast in 12 years.

Companies now have 4,466 MW of wind facilities either under construction or in advanced development, with a near-term pipeline of 20,977 MW.

Block Island Now Generating Electricity From Offshore Wind

The Block Island Power Company announced it is now providing its 2,000 customers on the island with electricity generated from offshore wind.

Though the 30-MW Block Island Wind Farm began generating electricity in December, Block Island itself had to be connected to the facility with a new cable, the Boston Globe reported.

Block Island Power has now deactivated its diesel generators. The company had begun looking for an alternative to diesel generation more than a decade ago when the cost of fuel drove electrical costs above 60 cents per KW/h.

Block Island, developed by Deepwater Wind, also provides power for the mainland grid.

Power Generation’s Share of Total Carbon Emissions Plunges

Though the power generation industry’s share of carbon emissions was traditionally the second highest in the U.S., a plunge in emissions has dropped it to the second-lowest in 2016.

The study by the Energy Information Administration showed power generation emissions has dropped from a near-steady 60 kg CO2/MMBtu since the 1990s to 48 kg CO2/MMBtu last year.

Electrical generation emissions began dropping in 2008.

Only the industrial sector had less emissions with 44 kg CO2/MMBtu due to the use of biogenic fuels and the capture of some carbon in the form of plastics and other non-energy products.

The EIA said carbon intensity of the electric power sector has fallen due to the shift away from coal and to natural gas and renewable sources.