Beacon Power to Supply Flywheels for Hybrid Alaska Energy Storage Project. Beacon Power on May 26 said it will supply flywheels for a hybrid energy storage project in Anchorage, Alaska, as part of an agreement with Chugach Electric Association, the state’s largest utility. Under the project, Beacon Power’s flywheel energy storage technology will be integrated with an existing lower-duty-cycle conventional electrochemical battery for use during periods when additional energy is needed. This advanced hybrid energy storage resource combines the benefits of fast-responding flywheels with longer-duration batteries to help manage and stabilize variable output from renewable energy sources. The 320-kW system will be installed at a substation next to Chugach headquarters and is expected to go into operation later in 2015. The companies will then test the system to determine if the new storage solution can be scaled up in the future to enable increasing amounts of renewables to interconnect with remote system utilities along with the Alaska Railbelt. This will be the third utility installation of Beacon’s modular 160-kW flywheel energy storage system, which is the next generation of the 100-kW flywheels in commercial operation at its 20-MW plants in New York (NYISO market) and Pennsylvania (PJM market).
TVO Scraps Olkiluoto 4 Plans. Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) decided not to submit a license application for the proposed Olkiluoto 4 EPR before the decision-in-principle made by the Finnish government and approved by parliament expired in June 2015. The utility’s board of directors made the decision on May 13, owing to delays and cost overruns with the first EPR, currently under construction in Finland. Olkiluoto 3 is nine years behind schedule, and estimated costs have nearly tripled from $3.6 billion to $9.5 billion.
Botswana Suffers Power Shortages on Morupule B Coal Plant Failures. South Africa’s power troubles have left neighboring diamond mining powerhouse Botswana bereft of electricity. After years of delays blamed on alleged mismanagement by contractor China National Electric Equipment Corp., the country in 2014 put online the $1.1 billion Morupule B coal-fired power plant, but the four-unit, 600-MW facility immediately suffered breakdowns. At the end of May, while national power demand peaked at 560 MW with a deficit of 125 MW, only Units 1 and 2, with an output of 290 MW, were operating. The country has also been hit by water rationing that left the Gaborone Dam about 2% full on May 22.
TEPCO, Mitsubishi to Build Power and Desalination Plant in Qatar. Japanese firms Mitsubishi Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced on May 25 that they had won a tender to build and run a 2.4-GW integrated water and power plant in Qatar. The companies agreed with Qatar General Electricity and Water Corp. (Kahramaa) on a 25-year power and water purchase agreement. The power and water facilities—which will use reverse osmosis membrane and multi-stage flashing to produce 590,000 cubic meters of water per day—will be 30% owned by the Japanese firms, with the remainder owned by Kahramaa and two more Qatari state-backed entities. Operations at the site are due to start in 2017. TEPCO said the project would enhance its business base and increase operating revenues in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. As the world’s third-largest producer and exporter of natural gas, Qatar’s real economic growth averaged 12.8% per year from 2007 to 2013, a rate it is expected to maintain, TEPCO predicted. Due to this high economic growth, the demand for power generation and water desalination has been rapidly growing in recent years.
Major Tender Awarded for $1.53B UK Tidal Lagoon Project. British construction firm Laing O’Rourke is the preferred bidder for a£200 million ($306 million) contract to deliver a 410-meter turbine house and sluice structure block for the proposed£1 billion ($1.53 billion) Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. The job will require 500 workers at peak construction. Concrete, reinforcing, and other materials will be sourced from South Wales. Laing O’Rourke has named Arup as its lead design and engineering partner for the contract. The firm says that following advanced works and value engineering, a fixed price contract will be signed later this year for the main build. Project owner Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc has also run tenders for the project’s marine works package and for a package to provide public realm ancillary works. The results of these tenders will be announced soon. Further tenders for the construction of a turbine assembly plant in Wales, and for the lagoon’s public realm and buildings work will proceed through the summer, it said.
AFC Energy Signs MOU for 300 MW of Fuel Cells in Dubai. Fuel cell firm AFC Energy on May 2 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence that provides a framework for the assessment and potential deployment of an estimated 300 MW of fuel cell generation capacity in Dubai by the end of 2020. This would be the largest single fuel cell deployment program in the world. Dubai Carbon and AFC plan to form a joint venture that will be responsible for the deployment of future commercial projects. In addition to power, the initiative hopes to monetize water byproducts from the fuel cell catalytic process.
BHEL Wins $2.8B Contract for Indian 4-GW Coal Project. India’s Telangana State Power Generation Corp. Ltd. in early June awarded Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) a $2.8 billion engineering, procurement, and construction contract for a proposed 4,000-MW coal-fired supercritical power project at Damaracheria in Nalgonda district in Telangana. ■
—Sonal Patel and Thomas W. Overton JD, associate editors