POWER Digest (June 2012)

ABB to Refurbish Generators at Two Swiss Hydro Plants. ABB on April 20 said it had received $20 million of orders from two power utilities managed by Axpo, a leading Swiss power utility, to refurbish the generators at two of its hydroelectric power plants. The plants are located in the mountainous canton of Wallis (Valais) in southern Switzerland, bordering France and Italy. The Mattmark and Mauvoisin power plants have a capacity of 680 MW and represent around 15% of the canton’s installed power generation capacity. ABB is already executing a $120 million order to provide turnkey electrical, automation, and control solutions for the Linth-Limmern high-capacity, pumped-storage hydropower station being installed in an underground cavern in the Linthal valley, located in the canton of Glarus, in eastern Switzerland.

Ameren, Westinghouse Push for Federal Small Reactor Funding. Ameren subsidiary Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric Co. on April 19 entered into an agreement to support the nuclear equipment vendor’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology development and to support Westinghouse’s application for the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) SMR investment funds of up to $452 million. Should Westinghouse be awarded DOE investment funds, Ameren Missouri will be the first utility in the country to seek a combined construction and operating license for a Westinghouse 225-MW SMR, it said. The company’s SMR technology is based on the AP1000 pressurized water reactor, a design that has already been licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Eight AP1000 units are currently being constructed: four in China, with the first unit expected to come online in 2013, and four units in the U.S., the first of which is expected to come online in 2016.

Neyveli, Odisha PSU to Build 2-GW Coal Plant. Neyveli Lignite Corp. (NLC) on April 22 said it would build a 2,000-MW coal-fired power plant in Odisha state, India, in a joint venture with government-owned Odisha PSU. The $1.9 billion plant will be built near NLC’s allocated coal blocks, Talabira-2 and Talabira-3, situated under the command area of Mahanadi Coalfields. It is expected to come online by 2013.

Green Planet Group Secures First-Round Funding for Pumped Hydro Plant. Arizona-based Green Planet Group on April 18 said it had completed the first round of financing for a planned 800-MW pumped storage hydroelectric plant in Arizona. Porter Capital Corp. will provide the funds to establish a security deposit for its planned $1.2 billion plant, which would trigger two additional, large investments culminating in a total investment of $240 million. These investments represent approximately 20% of the total estimated cost to complete construction of the plant.

AES Gener, AES Energy Storage Complete Hybrid Battery Storage Project. AES Gener and AES Energy Storage on May 3 announced the commercial operation of the second energy storage project in Northern Chile, integrating 20 MW of advanced battery-based energy storage with a 544-MW thermal power plant. The project owned by AES Gener will operate through its subsidiary, Empresa Eléctrica Angamos S.A. (Angamos). The Angamos energy storage system was designed, built, and became operational in just 15 months. It builds on the success of an initial partnership between the two companies, both subsidiaries of AES Corp., to develop a 12-MW energy storage system integrated with AES Gener’s Norgener power plant. Located at an electrical substation 172 kilometers from Antofagasta, Chile, the Los Andes Battery Energy Storage System has been delivering similar reliability service since 2009.

NAES to Provide O&M for Singapore Gas Plant. NAES Corp. in late April said it has executed an operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement for a 400-MW combined cycle power plant being constructed in Tuas, in the west of Singapore. Owned by Tuaspring Pte Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyflux Ltd., the power plant is located adjacent to a seawater desalination facility also being constructed by Tuaspring Pte Ltd. The power plant will provide energy to the Tuaspring Desalination Plant, with excess power to be sold commercially in the National Electricity Market of Singapore.

Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.