Author Archives: Aaron Larson

storm-preparedness

Hope for the Blue Sky, Plan for the Storm

Organizations operating within a mission-critical environment must adopt appropriate technology to mitigate potentially life-threatening problems. As we acknowledge National Preparedness Month this September, we need to remember what is important to electric power customers. They expect to be kept safe, to be heard, and to receive realistic estimated restoration times—especially when a power line is […]

FERC-Federal-Energy-Regulatory-Commission

FERC’s LaFleur Decries Partisanship and Politicization

“I hate to see things going out along party lines,” Cheryl LaFleur, outgoing commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), told POWER during an exclusive interview. “During my 35 years of watching FERC, that has not been the pattern.” During the early years of the Obama administration, “we didn’t think of ourselves as [partisan],” […]

Vogtle-nuclear-power-plant

Southern Nuclear Adds New Power Plant Simulators

GSE Systems said it has delivered and commissioned three additional full-scope simulators for Southern Nuclear’s new Operations Training Centers. The simulators are for the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant, and the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant. Simulators provide efficient hands-on learning for power plant operators. While power plants of […]

State Agencies Object to Xcel Energy, Southern Power Deal

Xcel Energy’s effort to purchase a 760-MW natural gas combined cycle facility in Mankato, Minnesota, from Southern Power, a wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, is meeting resistance from two state agencies. The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General (OAG) recommended the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission […]

HRSG-DrumPlus

Next-Generation HRSGs Start Fast and Reduce Emissions

Today’s heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) are suffering reliability problems, mainly because they’re being operated in the cycling mode instead of the baseload mode for which they were designed. The good news is HRSG suppliers are adapting to the market demands and are designing the next generation of HRSGs to have cycling-friendly—also called fast-start—features. One […]

the-power-podcast

How Nevada Is Leading the Renewable Energy and Battery Storage Charge [PODCAST]

Renewable energy and battery storage are hot topics in the U.S. today. Lawmakers throughout the country debated various new energy policies during the 2019 legislative session. Nevada is among the states leading the way forward. Several new laws were passed in the state that will affect power companies and consumers for years to come. Curt […]

vogtle-nuclear-construction-july-2019

Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Unlikely to Meet Aggressive Schedule Deadline

A team that reviewed Southern Nuclear Company’s (SNC’s) April 2019 Vogtle Units 3 and 4 Re-baseline of Forecast Schedule and Cost said it believes the working schedule predicated on commercial operation dates of May 23, 2021, and May 23, 2022, for the respective units, is unachievable. Furthermore, the reviewers said the regulatory-approved schedule from the […]

1949-belle-isle-gas-turbine_ASME

The POWER Interview: What Drove the Gas Turbine Technology Leap at GE Over the Past 70 Years

On July 29, 1949, at 2:15 p.m., General Electric’s (GE’s) first gas turbine at the Belle Isle Station in Oklahoma City began delivering power to Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.’s distribution system. The 3.5-MW GE Frame 3 machine reportedly had an efficiency of about 17%. Since the Belle Isle machine (Figure 1) started up seventy […]

NuScale-small-modular-reactor-smr

Positive Developments for Small Modular Reactors

NuScale Power, Rolls-Royce, and China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC)—three companies working on different small modular reactor (SMR) technology—recently announced positive developments for their respective designs. NRC Makes Progress on NuScale Design Review Portland, Oregon-based NuScale said on July 22 that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed the second and third phases of its SMR […]

the-power-podcast

Worried About Climate Change? Save Nuclear Plants [PODCAST]

Nuclear power advocates suggest there are many benefits associated with nuclear energy. They point to high-paying jobs; billions of dollars in economic activity for plant-hosting communities; and secure, reliable, baseload electricity. But the most-important benefit of nuclear power may be that it emits no greenhouse gases, and therefore does not contribute to climate change. According […]