January's top stories: Longroad Energy's solar acquisition and China's renewables investment

Longroad Energy acquired a 3GW solar development portfolio in the US from 7X Energy and China is planning to invest CNY2.5 trillion ($361bn) in the renewable energy sector by 2020. Power-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from January, 2017.


Longroad Energy purchased 7X Energy’s 3GW solar portfolio in US

Utility-scale renewable power company Longroad Energy acquired a 3GW solar development portfolio in the US from 7X Energy.

The acquired portfolio covers a wide range of solar projects across the country in several of Longroad Energy’s target markets. Chief information officer Charles Spiliotis said: “We are pleased to be working together with 7X Energy to bring these projects to market and excited to accelerate our solar platform.

“7X is bringing in-depth market knowledge and an accomplished team that can get these deals done.”

China plans to invest $361bn into renewable energy generation by 2020

China is planning to invest CNY2.5 trillion ($361bn) in the renewable energy sector by 2020 in an attempt to substitute its coal usage with cleaner alternatives.

Reuters cited a blueprint document created by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which said investments in renewable fuel are expected to create more than 13 million jobs in the next five years.

Further details about where the investment is planned to be spent have not been disclosed.

Peel Environmental’s £700m flagship energy site for Protos scheme opened in UK

UK Minister for Northern Powerhouse Andrew Percy officially opened Peel Environmental’s £700m flagship energy destination, Protos.

The new energy hub is located on 134-acre site near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, north-west England.

As part of Phase One infrastructure, Protos is open for business with a 21.5MW biomass facility in construction, a 19-turbine windfarm in operation, and plots ‘shovel-ready’ for development.

UK Government-commissioned review backed £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay

A review commissioned by the UK Government backed plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay following planning consent in 2015.

The plant could provide the country with reliable and clean electricity, offering a secure supply at competitive prices in the long-term.

Construction of the 320MW project is expected to take five years to complete. It will feature 16 hydro turbines and a six-mile breakwater wall. Once in operation, the facility will be able to produce enough power to supply electricity to 155,000 households over the following 120 years.

DONG and Macquarie to buy stake in Swancor’s Formosa 1 wind project

Danish company DONG Energy and Australian investment firm Macquarie Capital signed an agreement to acquire 35% and 50% ownership interest respectively in the 128MW Taiwanese offshore wind project, Formosa 1.

The two companies will purchase their shares in Formosa 1 offshore wind project from local Taiwanese developer Swancor Renewable, which will hold the remaining 15% stake in the project.

The three owners will work in close collaboration to complete the development and construction of the offshore wind facility.

Entergy to shut down 2,000MW Indian Point nuclear plant in New York by April 2021

The New York State Government entered into an agreement with energy company Entergy to shut down the 2,000MW Indian Point Energy Centre by April 2021.

Located 25 miles north of New York City, the plant posed several threats to the safety of more than 20 million residents in the area and has proved hazardous for the region’s environmental health.

Entergy agreed to stop all operations at the plant, closing the facility’s Unit 2 reactor in April 2020 and the Unit 3 reactor in April the year after. These units will close at least 13 years earlier than estimated under the anticipated federal relicensing terms.

First turbine installed on UK’s Dudgeon offshore windfarm

The first turbine of the 402MW Dudgeon offshore windfarm was successfully installed in Norfolk, UK.

The £1.5bn project is owned by Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil, as well as renewable energy companies Masdar and Statkraft.

Danish company A2SEA’s jack-up vessel Sea Challenger and its crew installed the first of 67 6MW turbines developed by German company Siemens. Over the next few months, the A2SEA vessel will deploy the rest of the turbines, which will be shipped from Green Port Hull in the UK.

Duke Energy completed sale of Brazilian assets

Duke Energy completed the sale of its international business in Brazil to China Three Gorges for approximately $1.2bn.

Duke Energy decided to quit the Latin American market to concentrate on its business in the US. The company announced the sale In October 2016, while its business in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Argentina were acquired by I Squared Capital. The transaction with I Squared Capital was completed in December.

The company's transactions with China Three Gorges Corp and I Squared Capital are expected to generate cash proceeds of around $1.9bn. This excludes transaction costs and subject to working capital adjustments, which will be used to reduce Duke Energy's debts. Existing federal tax attributes will not lead to immediate US tax impacts.

Bladt Industries to construct 96 transition pieces for UK’s 1.2GW Hornsea Project One

Danish steel contractor Bladt Industries signed a contract with Dong Energy to develop 96 transition pieces for offshore windfarm Hornsea Project One in the UK.

Of the total 96 transition pieces, 56 will be built at the facilities of Offshore Structures Britain (OSB) in Teesside. The remaining 40 will be constructed at the company’s production plants in Aalborg, Denmark.

Located off the coast of Yorkshire, Hornsea Project One will have a total installed capacity of 1.2GW. Being the world’s first windfarm to generate more than 1GW of energy, the project will be able to supply enough renewable electricity to meet power demands of more than one million UK households.

UAE FANR issued two licenses for Abu Dhabi’s Barakah Nuclear Power Plant

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) issued two licenses for the Barakah nuclear power plant in the western region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The first regarded the transportation of unirradiated nuclear fuel to the plant, while the second focused on the handling and storage of materials at Unit I of the facility.

Unirradiated fuel supplied at Barakah will be the first of its kind for the UAE.