February’s top stories: South Korea renews Wolseong nuclear license, Iberdrola to buy UIL Holdings

1 March 2015 (Last Updated March 1st, 2015 18:30)

South Korea has renewed the operating licence of unit 1 of the Wolseong nuclear power plant until 2022, and the US unit of Iberdrola has signed a $3bn deal to buy UIL Holdings and create a new publicly-traded entity. Power-technology wraps up the key headlines from February 2015.

February’s top stories: South Korea renews Wolseong nuclear license, Iberdrola to buy UIL Holdings

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South Korean nuclear regulator approves Wolseong plant restart

Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) in South Korea renewed the operating licence of unit 1 of the Wolseong nuclear power plant until 2022.

The nuclear facility was established in Gyeongju city to the south of Seoul. It is the second-oldest power plant in the country.

Revival of the 32-year-old reactor had aroused safety concerns in the country and had been faced with strong opposition from residents and environmental groups.

Iberdrola acquires UIL for $3bn to form new power and gas utility in US

The US unit of Iberdrola signed a $3bn deal to buy UIL Holdings and created a new publicly-traded entity.

The acquisition entitles UIL shareholders to receive $52.75 for each of the existing shares. Out of this sum, $10.50 will be in cash consideration and the rest in stock. It also includes nearly 25% premium on UIL shares’ closing price.

UIL president and CEO Torgerson said: "The combination will be immediately accretive to UIL’s cash flow profile and includes a $10.50 cash payment for each share currently owned.

"Shareholders will also participate in the future upside prospects of the combined company, which is enabled by leveraging its balance sheet strength to pursue additional investment opportunities in the North East and across the US.

"This includes a highly attractive renewable energy development portfolio."

NTPC gets approval to develop 15,000MW solar plants in India

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The Indian Government approved 15,000MW of grid connected solar power projects in the country as a part of the National Solar Mission.

The projects will be developed over three phases by the state-owned NTPC.

NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) will execute the projects, which are likely to reduce the burning up of kerosene and diesel.

The cabinet release stated: "Successful completion of additional 15,000MW capacity of grid-connected solar photo voltaic power generation projects, mainly in the private sector, with largely private investment, under the National Solar Mission would accelerate the process of achieving grid tariff parity for solar power."

Siemens wins turbine supply order for combined cycle power plant in US

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German manufacturer Siemens received an order from Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) to deliver two gas turbines and one steam turbine at the combined cycle power facility, Holland Energy Park, in Holland, Michigan, US.

The Holland Energy Park is being transformed into a fuel-efficient power producing facility by the local utility HBPW. It was previously a coal-fired plant.

Under the deal, Siemens will supply two of its SGT-800 gas turbine models for the facility along with one SST-400 steam turbine.

Wpd offshore awards turbine delivery contract to Senvion for German offshore wind project

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Wpd offshore awarded a contract to power equipment manufacturer Senvion for the supply of 18 wind turbines, which will be installed at its 111MW Nordergründe offshore wind farm in the German North Sea.

According to the contract terms, the German wind turbine manufacturer will deliver, install, and commission 18 of its 6.2M126 models for the offshore facility.

The plant is situated in up to 10m of water depth within the 12-sea mile zone at around 40km to the north-west of Bremerhaven.

First Solar and SunPower considers joint Yield Co formation to boost solar power assets

US-based renewable power developers First Solar and SunPower plan to form a joint venture (JV), to which they will contribute some of their solar power generating assets.

The companies are in advanced talks for a ‘Yield Co’ formation, the time frame for which has not yet been decided.

Once the master formation agreement is signed, the firms plan to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) of limited partner interests in the Yield Co.

Both the plans for Yield Co formation and IPO await approval from each company’s board and regulatory authorities.

SunEdison starts operations at 81.6MW Regulus solar PV plant in California, US

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US-based renewable energy developer SunEdison has initiated operations at the 81.6MW Regulus solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which is located in Kern County, California, US.

The direct current (DC) solar facility has been acquired by TerraForm Power from its call right list with SunEdison.

Within 20 years of commissioning, the facility is expected to offer nearly $184m in revenue to local businesses, governments, and households.

Southern California Edison will receive the power generated from the facility according to a 20-year power purchase agreement.

GE-Andritz consortium wins €400m deal for SwanSea Bay hydropower project in UK

US-based General Electric (GE) has formed a consortium with Austrian engineering firm Andritz for supplying equipment at the power-generating hydro project in Swansea Bay, UK.

The consortium will receive approximately €400m for the project, reports The Economic Times.

Andritz will receive €250m from the deal, with the rest being shared by GE.

The hydropower facility is located in the Severn Estuary. It has been scheduled to start operations by 2019.

Adani Enterprises to set up 10,000MW solar park in Rajasthan, India

Adani Enterprises (AEL), the flagship company under the Adani Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Rajasthan, a state in India, for the development of a 10,000MW solar park.

Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RREC) will form a joint venture (JV) with AEL for the solar park construction.

The park will house generation projects and a single manufacturing unit for solar modules, parts, and equipment.

The project will be developed over the next ten years. It is expected to involve an investment of Rs400bn ($6.4bn), reports The Economic Times.

Nordex secures turbine supply contracts for two Turkish wind projects

Wind manufacturer Nordex has won two turbine delivery contracts totalling 55.3MW in Turkey for the Yahyali and Geres wind power developments.

The first contract for the Yahyali wind farm has been signed with Sancak Enerji, according to which Nordex will deliver and install 22 of its N117/2400 Generation Gamma turbine models at the facility.

The farm is situated in Central Anatolia. It experiences an average wind speed of 6.6m/s.

Once operational, Nordex will also be responsible for services at the facility, according to a five-year premium service contract.