Using Fossil-Fueled Generation to Accelerate the Deployment of Renewables
It may seem counterintuitive, but the strategic coupling of simple- and combined- cycle technologies with renewable generation could establish the conditions necessary for adding more renewable megawatts to transmission grids around the world.
A Level Playing Field No MoreFERC has surrendered jurisdiction over station power in California, putting merchant generators nationwide at risk of disadvantage to utility generators.
Charting the Wind: Where the Sector Is HeadedPerhaps the most echoed sentiment at the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA's) WINDPOWER 2011 Conference & Exhibition, which took place May 22 to 25 in Anaheim, Calif., was the call to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC), the industry's policy driver, before it expires at the end of 2012. But that wasn't the only theme. The throngs of companies and organizations that are shaping the rapidly emerging sector around the world had different notions of the factors that help or hinder the growth of wind power, and POWER was there to listen to their perspectives about everything from grid integration, to offshore energy, to technology innovation.
Consolidation, Market Distortions Underlie Remarks by Industry Executives
If you needed additional proof that the power industry is changing, the ELECTRIC POWER keynote and panel discussions over the past few years have provided it—top-of-mind issues have been significantly different each year. For the 2011 keynote speaker and panelists, the challenges of reliability, regulatory compliance, financing, and getting the fuel mix right took center stage. In the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis, safety also featured prominently.
Defeating Concrete Reinforcing Steel Corrosion
Four concrete cooling towers at a coal-fired electrical generation plant exhibited reinforcing steel corrosion that was causing concrete deterioration. This case study follows the repairs to those towers—how the corrosion control solution was selected, how repairs were made, and how follow-up tests found the repairs to be effective three years later.
FERC Surrenders Jurisdiction over Station Power in California
In a surprising decision, a federal agency surrendered some of its regulatory authority—and parts of the industry don’t approve. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declined to defend its jurisdiction over station power in the California power market, potentially giving an economic advantage to utility generators nationwide and putting merchant generators at a disadvantage.
Hydro: The Forgotten Renewable Rebounds
When President Obama unveiled his “clean energy standard” in the 2011 State of the Union address in February, and again when he spoke of his administration’s energy policy in late March, one form of electrical energy was conspicuous by its absence: hydropower. Hydro is the forgotten form, the politically incorrect renewable, the invisible generation. To borrow the complaint of comedian and Caddyshack movie star Rodney Dangerfield, hydro projects “don’t get no respect.”
Modernizing the Grid, Modernizing Our Industry
David K. Owens, executive vice president, Business Operations Group for the Edison Electric Institute, comments on the progress U.S. utilities are making toward a smarter electrical power grid.
Nuclear Power in the Shadow of Fukushima
Risk, risk management, and the specter of Fukushima ran through the nuclear track at May’s ELECTRIC POWER Conference in Chicago. The reality of risk, driven home by the horrendous events in Japan, was a recurring theme in many presentations, in questions to speakers, and in the conversations among delegates during informal moments.
Solid Fuels: Moving Material and Managing Emissions
In today’s solid-fueled power plant, managing emissions and moving materials more defines the task than the traditional work of making megawatts. That’s the message that emerged from the coal and solid fuels track at this year’s ELECTRIC POWER.
Sunny Days Ahead for Solar
In the U.S., developers of thermal and photovoltaic solar plants face a number of challenges in their efforts to deploy more utility-scale solar power. Some trends, however, are helping solar proponents move this renewable energy source closer to becoming a mainstream generating option.
The Better Environmental Option: Dry Ash Conversion Technology
After the 2008 incident involving the failure of a large surface impoundment containing wet coal ash, the EPA began investigating all coal-fired power plants employing this wet coal ash management method. Now a new dry ash management technology offers coal-fired power plants an environmentally suitable alternative for handling coal ash that also increases energy efficiency.
Titanium Tubing Still Going Strong After 40 Years
Since 1972, titanium-tubed power plant surface condensers have been providing corrosion-free service. Recent process advances are making the material suitable for even more applications.
Underground Coal Gasification: Another Clean Coal Option
Underground coal gasification (UCG) is the gasification of coal in-situ, which involves drilling boreholes into the coal and injecting water/air or water/oxygen mixtures. It combines an extraction process and a conversion process into one step, producing a high-quality, affordable synthetic gas, which can be used for power generation. Still in the early stage of commercialization, UCG is poised to become a future major contributor to the energy mix in countries around the world.
Utilities Increase Renewable Energy Capacity
Driven by state RPS requirements and the desire to diversify their energy sources, U.S. utilities continue to add more renewable power to their generation portfolios. As a result, they must deal with a number of important issues, including resource availability that varies geographically.