New Jersey Approves $300M Annually to Rescue Nuclear Industry
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy alongside lawmakers at a solar array in central New Jersey also signed a measure aimed at strengthening the state’s renewable energy goals. The nuclear measure will be funded by ratepayers; the cost of the renewable energy legislation is unclear.
The nuclear legislation stems from a request from Public Service Enterprise Group for financial assistance for its three nuclear plants, which supply about 40 percent of the state’s electricity. PSEG says the given other cheaper fuels. The company’s president and CEO, Ralph Izzo, also points to the nearly 2,000 jobs that would be at stake if the plants shuttered.
Project Would Push MidAmerican Energy to 100 Percent Renewables
MidAmerican Energy Company’s proposed 591-MW Wind XII project isn’t just big – it would allow the company to become the to generate renewable energy equal to 100 percent of its customers’ usage on an annual basis.
The company announced the $922 million development the same day it formally filed for approval with the Iowa Utilities Board. If approved, the project would be finished by late 2020.
Salt River Project, AES to Build Standalone Energy Storage Project
The 10-MW project will be built in Chandler and incorporate energy storage technology provided by Fluence. When finished, it will provide peaking capacity for the grid.
Additionally, SRP officials hope to use the project to learn more about energy storage to prepare to implement in the future. Arizona regulators are currently evaluating steps to transform its energy infrastructure, including proposals for as much as 3GW of energy storage by 2030.
Southern Power Acquires Tenth Wind Project
The facility is under development in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, and is expected to enter operations in the fourth quarter of 2019.
RES will continue to provide construction duties with Vestas contributing 29 turbines.
Power generated will be sold to the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation.
Wildhorse Mountain will be Southern’s fourth wind development in Oklahoma and tenth nationwide.
Fossil Fuel Use for Power Generation Falls to Lowest Level Since 1994
Total petroleum, natural gas and coal use fell to 22.5 quadrillion BTUs last year.
Coal represented the majority of the decline, as its use fell to its lowest level since 1982. Though petroleum use represents a relatively small portion of power generation, its use declined even more to the lowest since at least 1949, the earliest year for that data.
Settlement Ends Lawsuit with Illinois Coal Plants
The six NRG plants have been shut down, cleaned up or converted to burn natural gas, The Chicago Tribune reported. The company tentatively agreed earlier this year to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois $500,000 each in fines.
The legal settlement made official May 10 adds a federal court order to ensure the shuttered plants stay closed and the operational ones have pollution-control equipment installed.
Great Plains, Westar Merger Approved
The combined company will be known as Evergy, which blends “ever” and “energy,” according to the companies. Evergy will serve 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri and own once the merger closes in early June.
For now, Evergy will continue to operate Westar Energy and Kansas City Power and Light from its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.
Originally, Great Plains Energy proposed a $12.2 billion purchase of Westar, which was estimated to be $4.9 billion more than the total value of Westar’s assets.
Utility to Modernize Unit, Retire Other
The refurbishment will install combined-cycle technology to Unit 1, bringing that unit’s capacity from 445.5 MW up to 1,090 MW. Unit 2, which also has a capacity of 445.5 MW, will be shut down in 2021.
The move, as well as the addition of 10 new solar projects, will significantly alter Tampa Electric’s energy mix from its current 67 percent natural gas, 24 percent coal and nine percent other sources.
By 2023, that mix will be 75 percent natural gas, 12 percent coal, sevent percent solar and six percent other sources.
Caterpillar Expands G3500-H Series with Lower-Cost Generator
Caterpillar said the G3512H offers electrical efficiency of up to 44.6 percent/60Hz and 44.9 percent/50Hz and decreased maintenance costs. Recent product developments – including cuffed cylinder liners, updated valve stem sealing, and increased valve train lubrication – have minimized the number of maintenance events and reduced oil consumption over previous levels.
Additionally, the new model features an open combustion chamber design, which allows use of a low-pressure fuel system (1.5 to 5 psi/ 10.2 to 34.5 kPa) that facilitates maximum performance on pipeline natural gas. The major overhaul period of the G3512H is 80,000 hours with an in-frame maintenance interval at 40,000 hours.
DOE Seeks Research on Improving Coal Plants
The RFI seeks to improve the efficiency, reliability and flexibility of existing coal facilities, with the stated objective of leading research and technology development that promotes the advancement of coal-fired power plants. The DOE hopes to achieve higher efficiency, better operational flexibility and lower emissions.
The end goal of the RFI is to enable wide-scale retrofits of generating units.
NTE Energy Completes Middletown Energy Center
“We chose MHPS as our technology provider for Middletown because they have the most reliable fleet of advanced-class gas turbines and a great reputation in our industry,” said Seth Shortlidge, NTE’s president and CEO. “Due to our power plant’s outstanding fuel efficiency, the electricity we produce will be some of the lowest cost in the PJM regional transmission authority. This project has created over 600 jobs, contributing to the tax base of Middletown, and helping power economic growth in the State of Ohio.”
Dominion to Help Fund GE Hitachi’s SMR
Dominion’s seed money will help fund further work that could lead to commercializing the technology, though the company does not plan to build an SMR at any of its nuclear stations at this time.
“Engaging customers is critical to product development, and we are thrilled that Dominion will invest in our new SMR to advance its commercialization,” said Jon Ball, executive vice president of Nuclear Plant Projects for GEH. “The BWRX-300 represents a significant improvement in the economics of new nuclear, an imperative for the long-term viability of the industry. It is more efficient, simpler, safer and needs a fraction of the footprint compared to the current fleet of light water reactors.”