POWER Digest (March 2012)

RusHydro Inaugurates New Unit at Restored Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydropower Plant. RusHydro —a hydroelectricity company that is majority-owned by the Russian Federation—announced in mid-December that it had put its first brand new hydropower unit into commercial operation at its Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant on the Yenisei River, near Sayanogorsk in the Republic of Khakassia. Following the catastrophic accident at the plant in August 2009 that claimed the lives of 75 workers, the company in 2010 completed the first stage of reconstruction, restoring four damaged hydropower generating sets. (See “Investigating the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant Disaster” in the December 2010 issue.)

The new turbine deployed in December, part of the company’s second stage of reconstruction (and fully modernizing the beleaguered plant), is the first of six new generating sets planned for the plant that will be equipped with an advanced process safeguard system. This fifth power unit increases the plant’s generating capacity to 3.2 GW—half of the plant’s designated capacity. By 2014 the company plans to also replace the four generating sets restored in 2010. The service life of the new equipment is expected increase the 1978-built plant’s life up to 40 years.

Westinghouse Signs Agreements to Develop AP1000 for Czech Plant. Westinghouse on Jan. 20 announced a memorandum of understanding with Czech company Metrostav A.S. that will allow the two companies to cooperate on the development of a Westinghouse proposal submission to CEZ for the completion of the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant based on the AP1000 reactor. Westinghouse has already signed similar agreements with Czech firms I&C Energo and Vitkovice for construction of the new plant planned in the South Bohemian part of the country.

AREVA Submits Commercial Bid for New Finnish Nuclear Plant. AREVA on Feb. 3 submitted its commercial bid to Finnish Nuclear power company Fennovoima for construction of an EPR plant at Pyhäjoki, in North Ostrobothnia, Finland. AREVA had previously submitted a technical bid in January. The plant supplier will be selected during 2012–2013.

According to Finnish company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), for which an AREVA-Siemens consortium is building an EPR at the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, that project’s commercial startup may be postponed until August 2014. The 1,600-MW project, Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor, was originally scheduled to start operations in 2009 but has encountered repeated delays. TVO said it is also looking at options to build a fourth Olkiluoto unit, saying it would begin a bidding and engineering phase to determine preconditions before it submits a construction license application to the Finnish government.

B&W to Supply SO2 Equipment for Colo. Plant. Charlotte–based Babcock & Wilcox Co. on Feb. 3 said that its subsidiary Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group (B&W PGG) had been awarded a contract to design and supply two spray dry absorber (SDA) units and associated equipment for Xcel Energy’s coal-fired Pawnee Generating Station in Brush, Colo. The SDA systems are designed to control sulfur dioxide emissions from the single-unit, 544-MW plant. The contract scope also calls for B&W PGG to supply atomizers, a reagent preparation system, structural steel, and commissioning for the project. Material delivery is scheduled for 2013, with tie-in of the SDA units expected in the fall of 2014.

Gamesa Bags Major Contracts for New Turbine. Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa Eólica on Feb. 2 said it had secured contracts to supply 356 MW of its new newly launched G97-2.0 MW turbine by the end of 2011. Europe, specifically Spain, accounts for about 40% of those deals; China, for 28%; and the U.S., for about 26.4%. India and Canada each equally made up the remainder. Gamesa in late 2010 and early 2011 conducted the global launch of its new G9X-2.0 MW platform, which consists of a 2.0-MW wind turbine equipped with four rotors of varying diameters (80 meters [m], 87 m, 90 m, and 97 m) and multiple tower heights.

Gamesa will also continue supplying wind turbines to Iberdrola up to 2022 in accordance with a new agreement it signed with the Spanish renewable energy giant in early January. Under the agreement, Iberdrola will buy half of its wind turbines from Gamesa between 2013 and 2022, up to a maximum of 3,800 MW. Iberdrola will also award Gamesa a three-year contract to service 1,748 MW of its turbines in Spain and Portugal and will grant a one-year extension to a current maintenance contract on 2,312 MW of wind turbines.

Sasol Contracts BrightSource for South African Solar Tower. South African oil and gas company Sasol in early February selected California-based BrightSource Energy’s solar tower technology for a potential solar thermal plant in South Africa; the technology currently is being deployed at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which is slated to start up in 2013. Under the contract, BrightSource and Alstom are expected to conduct a comprehensive front-end engineering and design study for the South Africa market.

French-Russian Joint Venture to Supply Equipment for Baltic Nuclear Plant. A joint venture between French engineering group Alstom and Russian state-owned nuclear body RosatomAlstom-Atomenergomash —on Feb. 3 signed an agreement worth €875 million to provide Alstom ARABELLE steam turbines, generators, condensers, moisture separator reheaters, and auxiliary equipment to Units 1 and 2 of the Baltic nuclear power plant in Kalininigrad, Russia. The new VVER-1200 reactors are expected to be commissioned in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

Alstom and SSE Renewables Prepare for Massive Offshore Wave Farm. Alstom in mid-January signed a new joint venture agreement with marine developer SSE Renewables for the 200-MW Costa Head wave project in Scotland, a project located in ocean depths of 60 m to 75 m. According to the companies, detailed site surveys and an environmental impact assessment will be carried out by the firms to develop the site with an initial 10-MW phase. The partnership will also obtain the necessary permits and install AWS Ocean Energy’s AWS-III floating wave energy converters. That technology consists of a multi-cell array of flexible membrane absorbers, which convert wave energy into pneumatic power through the compression of air within cells that are interconnected. A full-scale prototype is planned for deployment at the European Marine Energy Center in 2014.

Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.