POWER [December, 1 2012]

Cover Stories

TOP PLANT: Alamosa Solar Project, San Luis Valley, Colorado

As the largest solar plant of its type in the world, the 30-MW Alamosa Solar Project is currently enjoying its place in the sun. The innovative project consists of 504 concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar trackers, each featuring a CPV solar cell panel assembly mounted on a support column. The modular design of the assembly allows the project to easily accommodate future improvements in cell technology.

TOP PLANT: Coca-Cola/Mas Energy Trigeneration Facility, Atlanta, Georgia

By taking a waste product and converting it into a fuel source, the 6.5-MW Coca-Cola/Mas Energy Facility became the first U.S. operational trigeneration project fueled by landfill gas. Since March, the new system has provided electricity, steam, and chilled water to the adjacent Coca-Cola Syrup Plant, satisfying most of the plant’s energy requirements and reducing its long-term energy costs.

TOP PLANT: Gujarat Solar Park, State of Gujarat, India

Set up by the Gujarat government, the Gujarat Solar Park is actually a group of solar parks that provide dedicated common infrastructure for photovoltaic-powered projects owned and operated by numerous individual companies. When construction at all the parks is completed by the end of 2013, the Gujarat Solar Park is projected to reach a combined capacity of almost 1,000 MW, which will make it the world’s largest solar energy generation installation.

TOP PLANT: Stillwater Solar-Geothermal Hybrid Plant, Churchill County, Nevada

The Stillwater hybrid facility is the world’s first renewable energy project that pairs geothermal power’s baseload generation capacity with solar power’s peak capacity. Inaugurated in May, the 26-MW solar plant is integrated with the adjacent 33-MW geothermal plant, which began operations in 2009, and provides energy to run the geothermal plant’s auxiliary loads.

TOP PLANT: Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze River, Hubei Province, China

After nine years of construction, installation, and testing, the Three Gorges Dam is now complete. On May 23, 2012, the last main generator finished its final test, increasing the facility’s capacity to 22.5 GW and making it the world’s largest capacity hydroelectric power plant.

TOP PLANT: Walney Offshore Windfarms, Irish Sea, UK

Officially commissioned in February 2012, the two Walney Offshore Windfarms—Walney 1 and Walney 2—together have 102 wind turbines with a total capacity of 367.2 MW. With their combined capacity, the windfarms qualify as one of the world’s largest offshore wind energy facilities and provide clean electricity to approximately 320,000 UK households.

Features

China Leads the Global Race to Cleaner Coal

Coal used for power generation has been the cornerstone of economic development, social progress, and a higher quality of life around the globe and is now fueling the 21st-century economic miracle rapidly unfolding in China. Meanwhile, China is leading the world in coal-fired plant efficiency and the deployment of clean coal technologies.


Distributed Solar Challenges Utilities, Markets, and Regulation

Electricity produced from solar energy is being added to the grid—before and after the meter—in greater amounts each year. The uniqueness of this resource is pushing utilities, developers, users, and regulators to develop new and innovative interconnection rules and to rewrite some old rules that balance the costs and rewards among stakeholders.


Is Shale Gas Shallow or the Real Deal?

The de facto U.S. energy policy is to burn more gas, much of it produced using “fracking” technology. Huge volumes of low-priced natural gas have caused coal plant shutdowns, slowed renewable development, and undercut new nuclear plant development. Using more gas has also sent the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions into a downward spiral. Is the glut of natural gas too good to be true?


LIDAR and 3D Modeling Produce Precise Designs

Retrofit projects are often very time-consuming, both for the engineers who must take numerous field measurements to produce drawings and for the contractor that must fabricate each assembly on site. A more cost-effective approach is to begin with a highly accurate set of as-built 3D models produced by laser scanning technology.


Mercury Regulations Up in the Air

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency efforts to regulate mercury emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants have spanned nearly two decades. In February of this year the agency promulgated the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, but changes to the standards continue.


MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility: Turning Swords into Plowshares

The U.S. Department of Energy contracted Shaw AREVA MOX Services LLC to design, construct, and operate a Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at its Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The MFFF will convert depleted uranium and excess weapons-grade plutonium stockpiles, equivalent to approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons, into MOX fuel assemblies that will be used in U.S. nuclear power plants by 2018.


Renewable Energy Development Thrives During China’s 12th Five-Year Plan

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan calls for expanding the use of renewable energy in all forms throughout the country. From solar and wind to biomass gas and briquettes, China has a true “all of the above” renewable energy policy.


Too Dumb to Meter, Part 6

As the book title Too Dumb to Meter: Follies, Fiascoes, Dead Ends, and Duds on the U.S. Road to Atomic Energy implies, nuclear power has traveled a rough road. In this POWER exclusive, we present the eighth, ninth, and 10th chapters, “Flightless Birds and Flying Elephants,” “The Devil Flies Nukes,” and “Flatulence in Space,” the concluding chapters of the “Up in the Air: Flights of Radioactive Fancy” section.

Departments

Commentary

Navigating a Sea of New Regulations

A convergence of new environmental regulations and practical realities is creating a boatload of challenges for power producers.

New Products

Electric Screen Vibrators

Martin Engineering introduced a new family of electric screen vibrators for regular duty and hazardous environments. Designed to deliver up to 16,500 pounds of centrifugal force for efficient material separation,…

Pipe Clamp for Vibration Sensing

Fauske & Associates LLC (FAI) recently patented a specialized pipe clamp to seat vibration-sensing equipment. A beam attached to the clamp protrudes through the pipe insulation. The beam is partially…

Rotary Peristaltic Pump

The new portable, nonmetallic Flex-I-Liner rotary peristaltic pump from Vanton Pump and Equipment Corp. evacuates drums and totes containing acids, caustics, salts, chlorides, and reagent grade chemicals, without corrosion of…

Legal & Regulatory

CleanPowerSF: Political Correctness Trumps Energy Policy

In 2002, California enacted legislation authorizing municipalities to establish Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs. In September 2012, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted “CleanPowerSF” to be the CCA program available for city residents. Its supporters describe CleanPowerSF as “a 100% renewable energy alternative.” Supervisor David Campos exalted that CleanPowerSF “will stimulate the local economy, create jobs and most importantly secure our independent, clean energy future.”

Focus on O&M

Conference Report: 12th ICS Cyber Security Conference

The 12th ICS Cyber Security Conference was held at Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) October 22–25, 2012. There were approximately 150 attendees from multiple industries, universities, government, and vendors as well as consultants from the U.S., South America, Europe, and Asia.

Users Return to Fogging on Frame 7FAs

It has been a decade since an R0 compressor blade was liberated on one of the eight Frame 9FA combustion turbines at CLP Power Hong Kong’s Black Point Power Station. This catastrophic failure eventually led to GE’s recommendation that operators severely limit or cease using online water wash (OLWW), inlet fogging, wet compression, and evaporative coolers on F-Class turbines.

Global Monitor

14-MW Solar PV Plant Completed at Naval Station

The U.S. Navy in late October saw the completion of its largest solar generation system, a 13.78-MW (DC) solar photovoltaic (PV) power system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS China Lake) in California.

Largest Wastewater Treatment Fuel Cell Plant Goes Online

In October, Canadian biogas power producer Anaergia opened a 2.8-MW fuel cell system powered by cleaned and conditioned wastewater biosolids at a municipal water treatment facility in Ontario, Calif.

Modernization of Century-Old Hydro Facility Yields Rich History

When the Boulder Canyon Hydroelectric Facility was built in the steep, forested mountains between Boulder and Nederland, Colo., in 1910, it was the highest head hydroelectric facility in the western U.S.

Note on the Oconee Top Plant

Note on the Oconee Top Plant Some of our readers may have been confused by the wording of a press release about our November issue’s nuclear Top Plants, the table…

Of Giant Turbines and Rotor Blades

Offshore wind turbine technology experienced a brief gust in October as Siemens Energy began field testing of its new 154-meter (m) rotor for the 6-MW offshore wind turbine, and Norwegian technology company Sway Turbine unveiled a 10-MW offshore turbine.

POWER Digest (December 2012)

Georgia Power Completes 2,500-MW Coal-to-Gas Conversion. Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power on Oct. 28 put online the third and final 840-MW natural gas combined cycle unit at Plant McDonough-Atkinson in…


Vanadium Flow Battery Juices Onion Plant

An emerging flow battery technology got a major boost earlier this year when Gills Onions, one of the largest fresh-cut onion processing plants in the world—began operating a 3.6-MWh vanadium redox battery (VRB) energy storage system (ESS).

Speaking of Power

Under Siege

As I write this column on Election Day 2012, the polls are still open and both presidential candidates are predicting victory. The next dozen hours or so will prove only one candidate correct. Regardless of the outcome, wind power remains a loser.

GBR Reports