POWER [December 1, 2014]

Cover Stories

Top Plant: Agua Caliente Solar Project, Yuma County, Arizona

The western Arizona desert has become a popular location for constructing large solar projects. The sunshine is plentiful and there are large tracts of non-prime farmland available that make building

Top Plant: Ashta Hydropower Plant, Shkoder, Albania

Like many small countries, Albania is dependent on a specific generation type for the majority of its electricity. In the case of this mountainous nation of 3 million people, it’s hydropower. Roughly 98% of

Top Plant: Hometown BioEnergy, Le Sueur, Minnesota

We’ve all heard the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Hometown BioEnergy (HTBE) offers a case in point. The plant uses vegetable-processing waste and livestock manure in an

Top Plant: London Array Offshore Wind Farm, Outer Thames Estuary, UK

In 2001, the year that the world’s largest offshore wind farm was conceived, the outlook for offshore wind was foggy. A paltry 95 MW of capacity had been installed worldwide—mostly in Denmark—and a

Top Plant: Solana Generating Station, Maricopa County, Arizona

The Solana Generating Station ( solana in Spanish means “sunny spot”) is built on a 1,920-acre site near Gila Bend, about an hour’s drive west of Phoenix. According to Abengoa, which owns the facility

Features

Assessing and Prioritizing Structural Repairs to Material-Handling Systems

Material-handling systems at coal-fired power plants operate nearly continuously in harsh conditions for decades. Temperatures, moisture, overload conditions, and collisions from equipment can take a toll on

Coal-Fired Power Plant Heat Rate Improvement Options, Part 2

In recent years several EPRI projects have explored different aspects of heat rate improvements. This article, following Part 1 in the November 2014 issue of POWER , reviews results of implementing heat rate

Construction Considerations Are Key in Closure Planning for Coal Ash Ponds

Closure and remediation solutions for coal ash ponds, or impoundments, vary greatly. Assuming the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgates the expected proposed Subtitle D regulations, technical

Tricky Business: Taking Down Old Coal Plants

Austin, Texas, is one of the hottest real-estate markets in the U.S. One of the prime new properties in the Texas capital is Seaholm, a $130 million project on some eight acres of prime downtown land

Wind Turbine Generator Maintenance: What to Expect and Why

Over the past few years, wind generation projects have become prominent features of the North American landscape and of the utility infrastructure. In spite of their variable production load onto the grid

Departments

Commentary

Nuclear Power's Present and Future

William D. Magwood, IV, formerly head of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy and commissioner at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and current director-general of the Organisation

Legal & Regulatory

The NRC's Collision Course

When Allison MacFarlane, the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), abruptly announced her retirement in mid-October—leaving with almost four years left on her term—her stated

Focus on O&M

Inspecting Aberrant P91 Components for Integrity

Many utilities around the world have been discovering abnormal or aberrant P91 base and weld metal microstructures in their plants, leading to, or with a potential to lead to, early cracking and failure in

Global Monitor

Australia's Direct Action Plan Set to Replace Carbon Trading Scheme

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan, the policy mechanism proposed to replace the coal-rich country’s now-defunct carbon trading program, cleared the Senate despite staunch

Floating Solar Arrays Take Shape in the UK, Japan, and India

Solar power has taken many forms in recent years—from giant concentrated solar power installations and solar towers spread out across deserts worldwide, to rooftop photovoltaic (PV) installations in urban

France Moves to Bid Adieu to Nuclear Dependency

France, which counts on nuclear energy for roughly 75% of its power needs and is a leading nuclear technology exporter, has embarked on an energy transition to substantially diminish its reliance on nuclear

POWER Digest (December 2014)

EU Adopts Energy, Climate Targets for 2030. European Union (EU) leaders on Oct. 23 endorsed a binding target that will require all of the bloc’s 28 members to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at

Reforms on the Horizon for India's Beleaguered Coal Sector

Recent months have seen a violent shakeup of India’s coal supply sector and may result in the end of a 40-year-old government monopoly on mining and selling coal. The development could be a boon for


Speaking of Power

Nuclear Power Pivot Points

“Pivoting” is a popular business buzzword, particularly in the context of startups, which often quickly change strategic direction. The global nuclear industry isn’t exactly a startup, but it is at or

GBR Reports