POWER [June 1, 2016]

Cover Stories

Managing Multiple Generations Across a Smooth-Running Fleet

Power generators have always had to make afetyome changes as each new generation enters the sector, but today’s new workers are bringing with them attitudes and skills that challenge traditional…

New Thinking on Old Safety Issues

Human workers are imperfect, which is why there’s no magic bullet that will give you a safe workplace. But new research on human behavior and how that translates into safety…

Supporting Coal Power Plant Workers Through Plant Closures

Coal-fired power plants around the U.S. are closing—rapidly. It’s a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future as dozens more units are slated for closure in the next few years. According to a

Training the Next Generation of Electric Utility Workers

New worker training has traditionally meant classroom instruction and wading through a big pile of printed materials. But videos can offer deeper and more rapid understanding of critical issues, especially…

Features

Coal Combustion Residuals Rule Compliance Strategies

The Environmental Protection Agency’s rule to regulate the disposal of coal combustion residuals as solid waste went into effect last fall. After evaluating the available solutions and technologies, here’s what…

Disruptive Digital Technologies Are Key to Power Industry’s Future

An industry rooted in tradition is facing unprecedented changes and challenges, and meeting them requires “thinking big” and embracing disruptive technologies that will change how we think about electricity generation…

Executive Roundtable Addresses the New Face of the Power Industry

The annual panel discussion by high-level leaders from diverse power companies is a cornerstone of the ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition, and it has been consistently emblematic of the state of the

How the Power Industry Is Making Sense of an Environmental Quandary

This year’s much-awaited Environmental Mega Session at the 18th annual ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, La., on April 19 was titled “Navigating Clean Power Plan Compliance”

Is There a Market for Small Modular Reactors?

The nuclear industry has been expecting big things from small modular reactors (SMRs) for a long time, but to date, no SMRs have reached commercial construction phase. That may change…

Risk-Based NERC Compliance: Assessing Risk to Bulk Power System Generation

Ensuring the reliability of the power system is the responsibility of many industry participants. In this POWER exclusive, one regional reliability entity, the Midwest Reliability Organization, explains its role. In…

Departments

Commentary

Learning from the Clean Air Act’s Tragic Flaw

“Why are you picking on the Clean Air Act?” That’s a question we’ve heard more than once while traveling the country to talk about our new book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on

Legal & Regulatory

The Perils of Second-Guessing FERC

It’s axiomatic that state governments believe they can manage their own affairs better than the federal government. But our system reserves certain bailiwicks for federal oversight, and one of those is the

Focus on O&M

Ultrasonic Diagnostic Tool Detects Leaks, Bearing Wear, and Corona Discharge

Air leaks cost money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), over $5 billion per year is spent on energy to power compressed air systems. The DOE estimates that optimizing these systems could

Use Near-Miss Incidents as a Preventive Tool

Broadly put, today’s power plant operations are a mix of automated operations and manual or procedural steps. A plant may have hundreds of control loops, interlocks, permissives, and safety systems. In

Global Monitor

A Power Famine for Colombia But a Feast for Brazil, Paraguay

Droughts attributed to the El Niño phenomenon have gripped Venezuela’s neighbor Colombia. Bogotá in April prepared to ration power and instituted mandatory reductions in consumption, warning that

China’s New Five-Year Plan Bolsters Climate, Environmental Measures

China unveiled its 13th Five-Year Plan this March. The official proposal that will guide the country’s economic and social development from 2016 through 2020 lays out targets and other measures…

GE-Hitachi Exits Nuclear Laser-Based Enrichment Venture

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy is pulling out of Global Laser Enrichment (GLE), a company that in 2012 got the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) unprecedented approval to build and operate a full-scale…

POWER Digest

Ghana Starts Up Key Gas-Fired Power Unit. Ghana has inaugurated the first of two 180-MW units of a natural gas–fired power plant that it is banking on to boost the…

Proposal for Offshore Wind Battery Storage Launched

Plans are under way to install a pilot 1-MWh lithium battery–based storage system in 2018 at the world’s first floating wind farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The “Batwind” system, to be installed at


Venezuela Faces Existential Power Troubles

Oil-rich Venezuela is gripped by a power crisis so debilitating that the government has instituted four-hour daily blackouts across most of the country, forced hotels and malls to generate their own power, and

Speaking of Power

Power Work Shifts

For most of the history of the power industry, utility jobs were secure and long-tenured. Though they continue to offer greater stability than many other comparably paid jobs, forces on both sides of the

GBR Reports