Super Tuesday, Super Bowl XLII, and the nukesThe nuclear renaissance is likely to slow next year with a new tenant in the White House and many key regulatory positions in flux. Nuclear industry leaders are especially concerned that rules for construction loan guarantees will fall victim to the “wait and see” disease that infects those inside the Beltway every four years. If those rules aren’t in place before this November’s election, the nuclear renaissance may revert to the Dark Ages.
Castejon 2: Ready to reign in SpainThe new, 424-MW Castejon 2 combined-cycle plant designed and built by Alstom was recently given its provisional acceptance certificate. Alstom used its “Plant Integrator” approach to fast-track delivery of a plant just like Castejon 1, which averaged 98% availability during its first three years of operation. That kind of performance is crucial to generators operating in the Spanish merchant power market—or any market.
Developing the next generation of reactorsDozens of intrinsically safe Generation III+ reactors are expected to be deployed in the U.S. in the coming years. Today, scientists already are looking over the horizon to Generation IV reactors that will be capable of producing hydrogen and process heat as well as electricity while generating much less radioactive waste.
ELECTRIC POWER 2008 offers access to the latest products and servicesIf you enjoy POWER magazine’s New Products department, you’re going to love the ELECTRIC POWER 2008 Exhibition. You’ll be able to see and feel the latest tools of the trade and talk to the folks who provide them to the generation industry. Here’s a sneak peak at what awaits you on the exhibit floor May 6 to 8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
New coal plant technologies will demand more waterPopulation shifts, growing electricity demand, and greater competition for water resources have heightened interest in the link between energy and water. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects a 22% increase in U.S. installed generating capacity by 2030. Of the 259 GW of new capacity expected to have come on-line by then, more than 192 GW will be thermoelectric and thus require some water for cooling. Our challenge will become balancing people’s needs for power and for water.
The aging workforce: Panic is not a strategyLeaders in the utilities sector talk a lot these days about talent. On one hand, they express concern about facing a shortage of knowledgeable staff as 76 million baby boomers exit the workforce. On the other, they worry about where they’ll find enough qualified people to remain competitive in light of the fierce battle for engineering talent that globalization has created. The antidote to these worries lies in reconfiguring HR practices.
Time to get serious about securityManaging ongoing threats to power plants’ digital, telecommunications, monitoring, control, and automation systems is no longer just a good idea. It’s an essential element of superior plant operations and now a regulatory requirement as well, thanks to new critical infrastructure protection standards recently approved by FERC.
Turbine technology maturity: A shifting paradigmSelecting the right turbine(s) for a specific power project is a complex process that poses two challenges. One is understanding which field experience cited by suppliers represents proven technology; the other is evaluating whether a turbine upgrade represents an evolutionary change or a revolutionary transformation that warrants further study before deploying it in the field. Here‘s how a leading EPC contractor makes technology-neutral equipment selection decisions on behalf of its customers.
Economies of connectionThe advent of the Smart Grid will bring a new driver for value creation to the electric power industry: economies of connection. In the future, the Smart Grid may offer…
Legal & Regulatory
Regulators should stop playing the greed cardIn early February, Western GeoPower (WGP) announced its termination of a 20-year geothermal power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). A WGP press release explains that…
Focus on O&M
Focus on O&M (April 2008)
Tag-teamed seawater cleanup; New cooling towers to improve river's health; Back to school
Global Monitor (April 2008)
Tenaska proposes first new coal-fired plant with carbon capture/ Concerns raised over growth of China’s CO2 emissions/ Sandia, Stirling Energy Systems set new world record/ Indonesia orders first Wärtsilä Gas Cubes/ First wind turbines on Galapagos Islands cut oil imports/ Harnessing waste heat for electricity/ POWER digest/ Correction