March's top stories: Offshore wind predicted £2.9bn to UK economy, BHEL thermal plant operations

New report said offshore wind could bring £2.9bn to UK economy by 2030, and BHEL’s supercritical thermal power plant began commercial operations. Power-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March, 2017.


New report said offshore wind could bring £2.9bn to UK economy by 2030

A new report released by UK-based power plant consultant Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult showed that the offshore wind industry could add as much as £2.9bn to the UK economy by 2030.

Titled ‘Economic Value of Offshore Wind: Benefits to the UK of Supporting the Industry’, the new report shows the country is already benefitting from the maturing offshore wind sector.

According to the latest figures, continued cost reduction, resulting in the requirement of lower levels of public financial support, along with rising amounts of UK content in projects being commissioned and constructed will ensure a significant rise in the economic return.

BHEL’s supercritical thermal power plant began commercial operations

Government-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) in India has begun commercial operations at its 800MW coal-based supercritical thermal power plant.

The first unit was produced for the 2x800MW Yeramarus thermal power station of Raichur Power (RPCL) in the state of Karnataka. With production of the first commercial power unit, equipment manufacturer BHEL entered into the field of power generation.

Karnataka Power (KPCL) and BHEL are the main equity partners of RPCL, the owner and operator of this power plant. BHEL is responsible for design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection, and commissioning of the modern supercritical project.

Hanwha Q CELLS and Kalyon consortium to build 1GW solar project in Turkey

A consortium comprising South Korean photovoltaic (PV) solar cells manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS and Turkish firm Kalyon Enerji Yatirimlari was awarded a tender to develop a 1GW solarpower plant in Turkey.

Named Karapinar Yenilenebilir Enerji Kaynak Alani (Karapinar YEKA), the project will be located in Karapinar, which is 250km south of Ankara and the capital of the Republic of Turkey.

Hanwha Q CELLS' chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Seong-Woo Nam said: “We are excited to be a part of this historic milestone energy project in Turkey and the region.

“We will bring our leading technology and operations expertise to bring environmentally sustainable energy solutions to Turkey and to support the Turkish Government's aim to be energy independent.”

Ireland’s ESB opened new €820m power station in Carrington, UK

Ireland-based energy company Electricity Supply Board (ESB) opened a new €820m gas fired power station at Carrington near Manchester, UK.

Becoming fully operational in September last year, this 884MW plant created 40 permanent jobs on-site, supplying more than one million homes and businesses in the Greater Manchester area.

With 58% efficiency, Carrington power station generates four times more electricity than the coal plant it replaced. Based on the 884MW reliable base load electricity, the plant is expected to provide fast back-up during intermittent wind and solar generation.

Xcel Energy proposed to add 3,380MW with 11 new windfarms in US

US-based electric services company Xcel Energy proposed development of 11 new windfarms.

The new facilities will be built in seven US states, adding a combined generation capacity of 3,380MW to the company’s existing portfolio.

Having proposed for both owned farms and power purchase agreements, Xcel Energy expects to develop the projects over the next five years.

GE and Caithness to develop new combined-cycle power plants in US

GE entered into an exclusive agreement with US-based power producer Caithness Energy to develop several new HA combined-cycle power plants in the country.

The agreement stated the equipment package could exceed a total value of $1bn. It will comprise up to six high-efficiency HA gas turbines, six heat recovery steam generators, six steam turbines, and other items. The HA plants are estimated to be constructed throughout 2017 and 2018.

Caithness Energy's president Les Gelber said: “We’re thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship with GE and expand our fleet of HA power plants across the US.

“We’re currently working to bring a new HA plant on line in Pennsylvania in 2018, and with this exclusive agreement Caithness will become the owner of the largest fleet of HA gas turbines, GE’s most efficient unit, anywhere in the world.”

Siemens installed first 3D-printed part in Slovenia's Krško nuclear power plant

German company Siemens successfully completed commercial installation of a 3D-printed part in Slovenia's Krško nuclear power plant.

The new technology helps mature operating plants to continue operation and extend their working life.

Krško's 3D-printed replacement part is a metallic, 108mm diameter impeller to be used for a fire protection water pump, which is in constant rotating operation. The new printing technology is best suited for old, obsolete, and non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, as their designs can be virtually impossible to obtain.

Schneider and Engie signed MoU to digitise renewable assets

French energy management and automation company Schneider Electric signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with electric utility firm Engie to offer digital solutions to increase efficiencies in the renewable energy sector.

Under the agreement, the two companies aim to research and deploy new digital solutions that would help increase the operational efficiency of renewable assets, both wind and solar photovoltaic (PV).

New digital solutions can be explored by leveraging Schneider Electric’s Wonderware brand-powered supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and Historian and associated application software.

IFC and GIF invested $100m to support lower carbon generation in Latin America

World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the IFC Global Infrastructure Fund (GIF) jointly invested $100m in Orazul Energy Partners to promote transition to lower carbon and cleaner energy sources in Latin America.

GIF is a fund managed by the IFC Asset Management Company (AMC), while Orazul Energy Partners is an affiliate of Orazul Energy owned by I Squared Capital.

Orazul Energy acquired the power assets from Duke Energy International, an electricity generation and distribution business in Brazil. With the combined investment, Orazul Energy will be able to develop additional renewable power projects in Latin America, with an aim to balance electric system loads and help ensure continuous and reliable sources of energy.

NTE received final CPCN for its 500MW energy centre in North Carolina, US

US-based company NTE Energy affiliate NTE Carolinas II was granted its final Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the North Carolina Utilities Commission for development of its 500MW Reidsville Energy Center.

NTE Carolinas required the CPCN approval to begin construction. Located in Rockingham County, the centre is a natural gas-fired electricity generating facility.

Once in operation, the power project will serve as a source of clean and efficient electric capacity for many communities and utilities in the Carolinas.