POWER Digest (March 2015)

TIC to Build First U.S. J-series GT Plant. The Industrial Co. (TIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kiewit Corp.,was recently awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction contract to build a gas turbine (GT) power plant for the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA), Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility. The 495-MW Grand River Energy Center Unit 3 will feature the first U.S.-installed Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas Inc. M501J-series GT. Construction will begin in early 2015 in Chouteau, Okla. The new plant will help GRDA meet new emissions regulations by reducing its dependence on coal-fired power generation. The project is scheduled to become operational in May 2017.

South Africa to Develop Continent’s First CSP Project. The South Africa Department of Energy awarded preferred bidder status for a 100-MW concentrating solar power (CSP) project to a consortium led by SolarReserve,a global developer of utility-scale solar power projects, and International Company for Water and Power Projects,the Saudi water and power developer, owner, and operator. The Redstone Solar Thermal Power project is scheduled to achieve financial close later in 2015 and commence operations in early 2018. It will be the first of its kind in Africa and will feature SolarReserve’s molten salt energy storage technology in a tower configuration, providing 12 hours of full-load energy storage. The project also features dry cooling to minimize water use.

Saudi Arabia Plans First CSP-Combined Cycle Plant. The Green Duba project will integrate 50 MW of parabolic trough concentrated solar power (CSP) in a combined cycle plant with a total capacity of 600 MW. Saudi Electricity Co. selected General Electric to supply the gas turbine–based plant, to be built in the western Red Sea port of Duba. Project completion is expected by 2018. The technology provider for the CSP component was not named.

Morocco Adds Solar Thermal Capacity. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) has selected a consortium including SENER to construct the 200-MW Noor 2 and 150-MW Noor 3, which represent phases 2 and 3 of the country’s largest solar complex, located in Ouarzazate, in southern Morocco. SENER will perform the engineering, construction, and commissioning of the two solar thermal power plants, which make use of different technologies: Noor 2 will use SENERtrough parabolic troughs (designed and patented by SENER), while Noor 3 will use a central tower and an array of heliostats. Noor 4, for which a contract has not yet been awarded, will use photovoltaic technology.

B&W to Design and Manufacture Equipment for Vietnamese Plant. The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (B&W) subsidiary Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc. has been chosen to design and manufacture a supercritical coal-fired boiler and selective catalytic reduction system for the Duyen Hai 3 Extension power plant in Vietnam. The selection was made by Japanese prime contractor Sumitomo Corp., which will build the 688-MW plant for Power Generation Corporation 1, a subsidiary of Electricity Vietnam. It will be B&W’s sixth steam generator in Vietnam. B&W has received a full notice to proceed, engineering is under way, and the plant is scheduled for commercial operation in mid-2018.

Siemens Delivers Three F-Class Gas Turbines to Peru. Siemens has received an order for three SGT6-5000F dual-fuel gas turbines from Peruvian utility EnerSur. The turbines will be used for the Nodo Energético del Sur–Planta No. 2 Región Moquegua project in the port of Ilo, in the Moquegua region of southern Peru. They will power three simple cycle plants with a combined capacity of 600 MW. Commercial operation is scheduled for March 2017.

Construction Begins on UK Biomass Plant. Ground was broken on Jan. 20 for the Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant—a 44.2-MW straw-powered biomass plant—located in Norfolk County, England. Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) will oversee the construction process and will own the plant in partnership with a Danish infrastructure fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners A/S.

The project was originally developed by Iceni Energy Ltd., with renewable energy project developer Eco2 Ltd. later joining forces to take the project forward to financial close. The plant is expected to be operational by mid-2017. BWSC will be in charge of the operation and maintenance of the plant for a 15-year period and has contracted for supply of straw for the next 12 years.

This is the second biomass power plant the group is constructing in the UK. The other is the Brigg Renewable Energy Plant in Lincolnshire, further north in England.

Novel Wind Power System to Be Tested in Florida. SheerWind —an energy technology company based in Chaska, Minn.—will design, manufacture, and commission its unique INVELOX wind power system at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, Fla. While the system utilizes conventional wind power equipment, the design is completely different. Wind enters an omnidirectional intake area at the top of the structure and is funneled down to a venturi, where it is concentrated and further accelerated. Turbine generators are placed inside to take advantage of the velocity increase and convert the wind to electrical power. A diffuser section on the outlet slows the wind speed prior to exiting the system at the bottom.

One of the advantages of the INVELOX solution is that turbines and rotors are installed at ground level for easier, safer, and cheaper operation and maintenance. The system is capable of operating in a wide range of wind speeds (from 2 mph to over 100 mph) and is said to pose no harm to birds or other animals. Multiple turbines can be installed in series to increase output capacity from each tower. A 200-kW system will be installed this year as a pilot project. If the technology is proven to be viable following collection of sufficient data (expected to take from six to eight months), Tampa Electric may consider purchasing a utility-scale 1.8-MW INVELOX system.

Another Massive Coal Plant Planned for India. Hong Kong–based China Light & Power Holdings Ltd. is planning a 2,000-MW coal-based power plant in Gujarat, India, at a projected investment of $2 billion. The new plant would join to its existing 600-MW gas-fired power plant in the state and will most likely be fueled by imported coal. ■

Thomas W. Overton, JD; Aaron Larson; and Gail Reitenbach, PhD