Archive: Distributed Energy

CHP: A Rocky Path for a Promising Approach

Combining electric power production with use of steam for heating, cooling, and industrial processes is an old idea that had a brief boom in the U.S., kicking off the rise of non-utility generation. Since then, combined heat and power, or cogeneration, has become a niche market player. What happened? In the late 1990s, the University […]

Optimizing Combined Heat and Power in China

As it struggles to grow its economy while improving air quality in urban areas, China is updating its energy delivery infrastructure. A key part of that plan is switching from coal-fired to gas-fired combined heat and power plants. To push efficiency even further, some plants are turning to synchronous clutches. The developed world has done […]

The Outlook for Small Hydropower in China

As the global electric power industry continues to develop clean, high-quality energy capacity for sustainable development, the position of small hydropower has changed. In the past few decades, small hydropower development in China has experienced positive momentum, but there are still problems to be solved. To solve these problems, various relationships within the small hydropower […]

Power Industry Sees Pigs Fly

“When pigs fly” is a figure of speech used to express disbelief that a particular situation will ever come to pass. For the power industry, several recent and emerging developments are the equivalent of

Pilot Launched to Convert Olive Oil Waste to Power

A pilot plant in Andalucía, Spain, built by a consortium of multinational European partners, is converting toxic waste from olive oil production into electricity using an innovative three-part process

How U.S. Power Generators Are Preparing for 2015

In mid-November, members of the POWER Generating Company Advisory Team responded via email to the following set of questions. Their comments have been edited for style. POWER: What changes in your fleet’s

[UPDATED] Viewpoints on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan Abridged

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed carbon rules for existing power plants amassed more than 1.6 million remarks before the public comment period ended on Monday. Here’s a snapshot of what states, regulators, industry groups, and environmental alliances told the agency about its Clean Power Plan.  States Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, […]

SCE Signs Contracts for Record Amount of Energy Storage

Southern California Edison (SCE) signed contracts for more than 260 MW of energy storage resources on Nov. 5, among them what will be the largest grid-connected battery system in the world, a 100-MW facility supplied by AES Energy Storage. Under its mandate from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), SCE was required to sign contracts […]


Before the polar vortex earlier this year, several severe cold weather events had presented comparable power generation operational challenges. POWER ranks those events here in terms of loss of generation capacity. Common themes observed in both severe and lesser cold weather incidents involve constraints on natural gas fuel supplies to generating plants, and generating unit […]

MHI Develops High-Efficiency 2-MW Gas Engine

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in August revealed that it had developed a 2-MW 16-cylinder high-speed gas engine that potentially offers a power generation efficiency (lower heating value) of more than