March’s top stories: China plans space power station, E.ON to shut German plants

6 April 2015 (Last Updated July 30th, 2020 20:59)

China intends to develop a solar power station in space as part of its efforts to cut down greenhouse gases and tackle energy shortage, and E.ON plans to take two of its gas-fired power plants in Germany offline due to unprofitability. Power-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March 2015.

March’s top stories: China plans space power station, E.ON to shut German plants

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China plans to build solar power station in space

China intends to develop a solar power station in space as part of its efforts to cut down smog, greenhouse gases, and tackle energy shortage.

This plan is similar to the idea floated by Isaac Asimov in 1941 in a short fiction titled 'Reason' in which a space station could collect and transmit energy drawn from sun with the help of microwave beams, PTI reported, citing China's state news agency Xinhua.

If this plan materialises, it will even surpass the Apollo project and the International Space Station in terms of scale.

E.ON and owners announce shutdown of two gas-fired power plants in Germany

German power utility E.ON plans to take two of its gas-fired power plants in the country, Irsching 5 and Irsching 4, offline citing reasons of unprofitability.

The ownership consortium for the Irsching 5, including E.ON, HSE, Mainova, and N-ERGIE, has notified the German Federal Network Agency and network operator TenneT about shutting down the plant.

Similar notification for shutting down the Irsching 4 plant has been forwarded to the German Federal Network Agency by its sole owner E.ON.

Reliance Power turns 3,960MW power project operational in Madhya Pradesh, India

Reliance Power commissioned a 660MW unit at the 3,960MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Madhya Pradesh, a state in India.

This marks the sixth and final unit installation for the facility, which is located at Sasan.

The facility is developed by Sasan Power, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Power. The resource had five previous unit installations within a year, each having a capacity to generate 600MW of power.

The Indian power developer has completed the project 12 months ahead of the power purchase agreement (PPA) schedule.

Ecotricity receives £70m financing for renewable energy projects

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Ecotricity secured £70m finance from Aviva Investors, which will help the former to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

The UK-based company presently is in charge of 60MW of operational wind and solar power projects in 19 locations.

The investment is expected to help the green energy developer speed up its development pipeline for new projects in the country.

ABB partner with Samsung SDI for micro-grid system development

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ABB formed collaboration with Samsung SDI to jointly set up microgrid systems, which will include power storage solutions.

According to the global commercial alliance signed between the Switzerland power technology firm and the South Korean Samsung, the companies will develop modular and scalable microgrid solutions, using lithium-ion batteries.

The firms will also work together to sell off the new invention in energy markets.

Russia to build 2,000MW nuclear power plant for Jordan

Jordan signed a $10bn energy deal with Russia to set up a 2,000MW nuclear power plant in the country.

Once built, the facility will be the first in the country to generate nuclear power, reports Reuters.

Under the terms of the deal, Russia's nuclear power corporation Rosatom will construct a two-unit facility at Amra in north Jordan by 2022.

Nordex wins order for 111MW wind energy project in South Africa

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Nordex was awarded a turbine delivery order for a 111MW wind power project in South Africa.

The South African subsidiary of the German wind equipment manufacturer has won the deal through competitive bidding.

Nordex Management Board member Lars Bondo Krogsgaard said: "The establishment of a local company in 2012 marked an important strategic step forward in our efforts to position ourselves in the emerging South African market. In this way, we are able to handle local projects more swiftly and competently."

The name of the project and its developer have not been disclosed by Nordex, however, the delivery order may be for Enel Green Power's Gibson Bay wind farm, reports ReNews.

EDF Energy signs PPA for 104MW of renewable power in UK

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EDF Energy will receive 104MW of renewable energy from existing solar farms in the UK.

The London-based power firm signed a 15-year power purchase agreements (PPA) with the owner of the solar projects, Primrose Solar, according to which the firm will buy energy at an inflation-linked guaranteed minimum price.

The deal between the companies is in line with Primrose Solar's intention to raise capital against the solar projects.

Gus Wood of Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co had been the advisor for Primrose during the deal.

PIC invests $1.8bn for two solar projects in South Africa

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) invested ZAR22bn ($1.8bn) to acquire stakes in two solar power projects in South Africa.

PIC, which is the biggest pension fund in the African country, has acquired 20% stakes in the Ilanga and Xina power developments, reports Reuters.

Both the projects, located in the Northern Cape province, are expected to generate 200MW of power, which will be connected to the national grid.

PIC will also allow a loan of ZAR600m ($48.4m) for the Ilanga project, it said.

Areva to divest assets and cut jobs to cope with 2014 losses

Energy and electrical engineering firm Spie is looking to acquire assets from Areva, in response to the latter's announcement for divestment in the previous week.

The French state-controlled nuclear group Areva intends to sell assets worth more than €450m between this year and 2017, in order to keep up with the recent losses, reports Reuters.

Spie chief executive Gauthier Louette was quoted by the news agency as saying: "They are looking to reduce costs, so we are attentive to that."