POWER [October 1, 2015]

Cover Stories

TOP PLANTS: Columbia Energy Center, Portage, Wisconsin

Alliant Energy and its co-owners are investing $900 million to modernize the Columbia Energy Center with a new suite of air quality control equipment and plant improvements that will increase…

TOP PLANTS: Manjung Unit 4, Perak, Malaysia

Owner/operator: TNB Janamanjung Sdn. Bhd. Ultrasupercritical technology is the current gold standard for coal-fired plants, but Malaysian national utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad had some unique requirements for its newest, most…

TOP PLANTS: Ottumwa Generating Station, Ottumwa, Iowa

Owner/operator: Interstate Power & Light Co. (a subsidiary of Alliant Energy) and MidAmerican Energy Co. (a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy) / Alliant Energy Alliant Energy recently completed a major…

TOP PLANTS: Ramagundam Super Thermal Power Station, Karimnagar, Telangana, India

Owner/operator: NTPC Ltd. One of NTPC’s first coal-fired facilities, the 2.6-GW Ramagundam plant, is aging well, delivering noteworthy performance metrics that distinguish it from other plants in the state-owned generator’s…

TOP PLANTS: Shanghai Waigaoqiao No. 3, Shanghai, China

Owner/operator: Shenergy Company Ltd. In a nation seeing breakneck growth in its power sector and a drive toward cleaner, more efficient generation, coal remains the backbone. That means hard work…

TOP PLANTS: Spiritwood Station, Spiritwood, North Dakota

Owner/operator: Great River Energy Recent news has focused on the decline of the coal-fired power industry, but this highly efficient combined heat and power plant offers one template for keeping…

Features

Diesel Gensets Aim at the Future

Though newer distributed generation options like microturbines, solar, and batteries have grabbed the headlines, diesel remains the go-to option because of its established technology and reliability. But growing competition and…

Gas-Fired DG Showdown: Microturbines, Fuel Cells, or Reciprocating Engines?

If you’re looking to generate distributed power with gas, your options are broader than ever, with a range of efficient, clean-burning technologies to chose from. Knowing which option is the…

Geothermal Energy: Is New Technology Resetting the Agenda?

After years of stressing the conventional virtues of geothermal power production—reliable, baseload renewable energy from geological sources—the geothermal industry and the U.S. government are looking at ways technology can change…

Hydropower Innovations Make Some Noise

Hydropower is booming, but unless you live in China, Latin America, or Africa, you may have missed it. Global installed capacity of hydroelectric generation has grown by more than 25% over the past decade

Ludington Pumped Storage Plant Increases Efficiency to Provide Greater Grid Support

Utility-scale energy storage in the form of pumped water storage has a long history. One of the oldest U.S. plants found itself in need of an upgrade after 40 years…

Outside-the-Box Renewable Energy Microturbines

Rooftops with arrays of tiny wind-powered microturbines and hydro microturbines generating power as water flows through municipal drinking water systems or the outflow of municipal sewage treatment systems?  They’re real.…

The Shifting Fates of Coal Markets, Coal Mining, and Coal Power

Despite media headlines and coal industry hand-wringing, reports of coal’s death have been greatly exaggerated, to adapt Mark Twain’s famous (but misquoted) comment. What’s more, some of the coal sector’s…

Departments

Commentary

The Clean Power Plan Is Final: Time to Find the Candles?

On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a much-anticipated suite of regulations, featuring the final Clean Power Plan’s guidelines for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power…

Legal & Regulatory

California’s Bold Move Toward Default Time-of-Use Rates

Rate design is sexy again. On July 3, 2015, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its long-awaited decision altering California’s residential rate structure. Most of the focus on the…

Focus on O&M

High-Performance Synthetic Rope Allows Craneless Wind Turbine Blade Replacement

Replacing blades on a wind turbine is not a simple task. Blades range from 40 to 60 meters in length and can weigh 16 tons or more. Combined with hub…

New 3-D Printing System Creates Precision Shaft Collars

Shaft collars are used as stops or locators on shafts in a wide variety of applications. There are two basic types. One uses a setscrew to lock the collar in…

Global Monitor

First Unit of Long-Delayed, Behemoth Medupi Coal Plant Inaugurated

Power-strapped South Africa on Aug. 30 celebrated the inauguration of its first new power plant in 20 years, putting online Unit 6 of Eskom’s long-delayed 4.8-GW Medupi facility. Construction of…

Kuwait to Inject $9.9B into Power Sector to Alleviate Electricity Shortages

Kuwait’s government in August approved the construction of several power plants and desalination facilities to boost its capacity by 3,580 MW. Like its oil- and gas-rich neighbors in the Gulf…

Largest OTEC Facility Inaugurated in Hawaii

One of the world’s largest facilities that harvests energy from ocean temperature gradients began operation this August in Hawaii. The 100-kW ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) facility’s inauguration at the…

Plans for Giant UK Offshore Wind Farms Reconsidered 

In the UK this August, two massive offshore wind developments were thrown into tumult. A consortium that secured the UK government’s approval in early August to build an array of…

POWER Digest

Russia and Vietnam Ink Deal for First Ninh Thuan Nuclear Unit. Russia’s nuclear group Rosatom and Vietnam’s state-owned power company Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) on July 30 signed a general framework


World's First Substation with Eco-Efficient Gas-Insulated Switchgear Commissioned

ABB in August commissioned the world’s first high- and medium-voltage gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) bays that use a new “eco-efficient” gas mixture instead of sulfur hexafluoride, the greenhouse gas that is…

Speaking of Power

Power Industry Policy Flip-Flops

When I started working in the energy industry in 1999, I had a conversation one day with Adam, a researcher who was writing a report for utilities that were marketing…

GBR Reports