POWER [April 1, 2015]

Cover Stories

Doing More with Less: New Solutions Help Address Power Plant O&M Staffing Difficulties

Studies and surveys have predicted a future shortage of skilled workers in the power industry for many years. Unfortunately, the future is here. When qualified workers are difficult to locate,…

Keeping Pollution Control Devices Online with Good Operating Practices

In order to comply with the Clean Air Act and subsequent regulations covering emissions, coal-fired utilities have installed multiple pollution control devices. Understanding key operating aspects of this equipment can…

Wind Power Projects Must Be Managed as Electrical Generation Plants

Wind turbine blades, gearboxes, and generators get most of the attention both within and beyond the power industry. The focus is often on increased capacity and blade lengths, as well…

Features

Are Simple Cycles or Combined Cycles Better for Renewable Power Integration?

It’s been called “filling the duck pond,” and it’s the increasingly common challenge worldwide of balancing supply and demand when variable renewables are not feeding power to the grid. Gas-fired…

Balancing Risk, Reliability, and Safety at Plants Slated for Retirement

When the decision is made to retire a power plant, the work of getting there is just beginning. Maintaining safe and reliable generation requires strong leadership, clear communications, and heightened…

Leveraging Generation Synergies with Hybrid Plants

Everyone loves efficiencies. Combining generation technologies can create a plant that’s more than the sum of its parts, but engineering challenges mean these projects are not for the faint of…

NextEra Energy: A Tale of Two, and Maybe Three, Companies

NextEra Energy consists of a traditional, vertically integrated electric utility with a heavy reliance on nuclear and natural gas—Florida Power & Light—and an aggressive foray into renewable energy outside of…

Proposed Ozone Rule May Be the Most Costly Regulation Ever

Estimates vary widely, but even the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that lowering the ozone standard will cost billions. How will it affect power companies? It could make approval of new…

Seismic Hazard Resiliency at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Since the beginning of the U.S. commercial reactor industry, regulatory agencies have required that nuclear power plant designs take into account the potential threats posed by natural hazards such as…

The State of U.S. Mercury Control in Response to MATS

As this month marks the compliance date for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), it’s a good time to take a step back from the many months of concern…

Understanding Electrical Fire Hazards at Electric Generating Stations

Minimizing the impact of electrical fires in power plants requires a combination of prevention, compartmentalization, detection, and suppression strategies. But first, everyone in a plant needs to understand the hazard.…

Departments

Commentary

The Export-Import Bank's Role in Supporting Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is on the rise, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is playing its part to support American renewable exporters in the global marketplace. Global…

Legal & Regulatory

The "Dark Side" of Reliability Regulation

Reliability of the bulk power system may not be as sexy as news of “got-rich-quick” energy traders and alleged insidious market manipulation. But for those on the ground balancing the…

Focus on O&M

Innovative Pipe Conveyors: Effective, Efficient, and Environmentally Friendly

Transporting household and industrial waste as well as sewage sludge from a treatment plant to a power station can be a messy business. The utility company Linz AG found that…

Global Monitor

China's Hualong One Reactor Design Gets Argentine Boost

Argentina’s Ministry of Federal Planning in early February signed an agreement with the National Energy Administration of China and China National Nuclear Co. (CNNC) to build Argentina’s fourth nuclear reactor,…

One Step Back, One Step Forward for U.S. Offshore Wind

Though offshore wind is becoming increasingly important in Europe, with many hundreds-of-megawatts projects in service, the sector has stagnated in the U.S., with no operational facilities—and some

Palo Verde Nuclear Station Sets U.S. Production Record

The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station led the U.S. in electrical generation in 2014, as it has done for 23 consecutive years, with a total output of 32.3 million MWh.…

POWER Digest

$1.9B Pan-African Renewable Energy Platform Launched. Renewables company Mainstream Renewable Power and private equity firm Actis on Feb. 17 launched a pan-African renewable energy platform dubbed Lekela Power, with ambitions…

Study: Perovskite-Silicon Tandems Provide Big Boost to Solar Efficiency

Stacking perovskites, a crystalline material, onto a conventional silicon solar cell may dramatically improve the overall efficiency of the cell, scientists from Stanford University concluded in a new study. “Right…


Two Years Later, S. Korea Finally Puts Shin-Wolsong 2 Online

In South Korea, the second unit at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power’s (KHNP’s) Shin-Wolsong reactor (Figure 3) was finally connected to the grid in late February. 3. Finally connected. Korea…

Speaking of Power

In a Word, Storage

What turns a trend from trendy to established? In the energy industry it can be any number of things, from a technology breakthrough, to a new market, to forces of…

GBR Reports