Archive: Business

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Balancing people, plants, and practices

An essential ingredient in the success of any business endeavor is thorough planning. We’ve all heard the axiom "proper prior planning prevents poor performance" or a variation on that theme. Why the need for peak performance? Competition within the industry has never been as intense, with utilities combining in search of economies of scale. The […]

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Hybrid generation markets endanger competition and innovation

Competition in power generation fosters technical innovation, cleaner power plants, and downward pressure on prices. Before the 1980s, such competition was almost nonexistent: vertically integrated utilities built and operated the vast majority of U.S. plants with oversight by state regulators. The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 […]

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The 2005 Global Energy Awards

The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City was the site of the 2005 Platts Global Energy Awards (GEA). The seventh annual black-tie soiree was the most global ever. Some 400 top executives from more than two dozen countries on five continents gathered at the Roosevelt on December 1, 2005, to honor the energy industry’s "Best […]

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Catalyst regeneration: The business case

As an alternative to purchasing new catalyst, technological and economic advantages make a compelling case for regenerating rather than replacing the metal or ceramic that enables selective catalytic reduction systems to capture NOx.

Correction

In "U.S. utilities driving for a license" (November/December 2005), we wrote that Bechtel Corp. is part of the UniStar consortium. Bechtel Corp. is not a member but is working for UniStar as a contractor.

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New edition of steam plant bible

The long-awaited 41st edition of Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s (B&W’s) Steam: Its Generation and Use (Figure 5) is now available for ordering on the company’s web site, www.babcock.com. The release of the book is worth noting by power plant engineers for two reasons: The tome is the world’s longest continually published (since 1875) engineering text, […]

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Cascadia’s newest highway

The reliability of service to millions of electricity consumers from Puget Sound to Portland improved significantly with the completion of the 84-mile-long, 500-kV Grand Coulee–Bell transmission line (Figure 4). The new path removes a major bottleneck between Spokane and Grand Coulee Dam and points west.   4. Breaking the bottleneck. The Bonneville Power Administration’s 84-mile, […]

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Correction

In our January/February 2005 story "The 2004 Global Energy Awards" we incorrectly identified the award received by Constellation Energy. The correct caption follows. The 2004 Energy Company of the Year Award went to Constellation Energy. Constellation is one of the largest wholesalers of electricity in the U.S. and a leading supplier of power to large […]

Bay Area T&D upgrade

In early December 2004, the Portrero substation received an early Christmas present. It was a shiny new static VAR compensator (SVC) from ABB (Raleigh, N.C.) that will improve the stability of the grid serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The SVC, which was commissioned on December 10, will help stabilize the grid’s voltage during peak […]