Archive: Renewables

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Global Monitor (October 2006)

First live superconducting cable / Biggest CO2 storage project / Largest hydrogen-fueled plants / Record run for fuel cell cogen system / Largest PV plant still in Bavaria / Luz returns to U.S. / POWER digest

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Renewable contracts merit longer terms

The length of term allowed for power sales contracts is a critical determinant of the ability of states to meet their increasingly ambitious renewable power targets. Many utilities advocate limiting terms to 10 or perhaps 15 years for renewable energy contracts, emphasizing the "flexibility" that shorter terms offer. In contrast, contract terms of 20 or […]

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Global Monitor (September 2006)

Demand records fall nationwide;
GE’s ABWR to be STP’s edge; Entergy buys Palisades plant; Dithering over desert disposal; Tourist trash-to-energy plant;
Brooklyn says "Yo!" to microturbines; POWER digest

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1-MW fuel cell cogeneration project, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, California

Beer drinkers know and love Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s dedication to bottling premium beers, and that commitment has earned it numerous tasting awards. But it would also win awards on the basis of using clean, high-tech brewing technologies. Sierra Nevada has chosen to minimize its environment footprint by investing in a reuse/reduce/recycle beer-making process. The company has found a way to make its "closed-cycle brewery" a good corporate citizen without compromising bottom-line results.

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Bavaria Solarpark, Germany

The world’s largest solar electric system was dedicated in June 2005 in Mühlhausen, Germany. The 10-MW system comprises three separate but interconnected photovoltaic parks in different cities that use an innovative sun-tracking system to maximize their outputs. After one year of operation, all three parks are still going strong—as you’d expect, due to their dearth of moving parts.

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NYPA Astoria Project, Astoria, New York

New York City has an insatiable appetite for power, but supplying that power from plants inside the city’s five boroughs (where 80% of its peak demand must come from) is tough. So it’s nothing short of miraculous that a 500-MW combined-cycle plant in Astoria, Queens, began commercial operation at the end of 2005. What did it take to bring this plant on-line? The largest state-owned power organization in the U.S.—The New York Power Authority.

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Kannagawa Hydropower Plant, Japan

With the commercial debut of the first of six planned 470-MW turbines in December 2005, the time has come to pay homage to the sheer size (2,820 MW) and longevity (13 years and counting) of TEPCO’s Kannagawa Hydropower Plant. By the time Unit 2 is commissioned in 2010, and Units 3 through 6 go on-line "in and after 2016," two generations of engineers, technicians, and builders will have worked on the "pure" pumped-storage project since its inception. As if those stats weren’t impressive enough, Kannagawa marks the debut of "splitter runners" for pump-turbines. They increase the effective head of the plant to the highest in the world: 2,142 feet, at a flow of 135,000 gallons/second. That’s a very large pump-turbine, indeed.

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Currant Creek Power Plant, Mona, Utah

Commercial operation of PacifiCorp’s first new power plant in more than 20 years coincided with the company’s acquisition by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company this past March. Currant Creek treads lightly on the environment, provides needed power to PacifiCorp’s eastern control area, and has demonstrated its commitment to be a good corporate citizen of the local community. By any account, Currant Creek is a model for how to develop a power project.

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Global Monitor (July/August 2006)

Russia’s new nuclear navy;Russia’s old nuclear navy; First LMS100 fired up by Basin Electric;More Jenbacher gensets to Hungary; A baseload-size wind farm?; EEI bestows Edison Awards; POWERnotes
 

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Saguaro Solar Power Plant, Red Rock, Arizona

We tend to forget that today’s super-sized power plant designs began life as small prototypes that grew in size only as fast as technology and economics allowed. Arizona Public Service, a long-time leader in solar energy development, has invested in the development of one such technology that is compatible with the sunny Southwest and certain to become more cost-competitive in the near future. This successful demonstration of a 1-MW concentrated solar power, trough-style energy system is the first to have put power on the grid since 1988. But it certainly won’t be the last.