Droughts, unreliable gas imports, and protests against proposed projects have hampered the Chilean power sector and its largest economic driver, the copper-mining industry. Recent policies designed to foster more reliable supplies are a move in the right direction, but remaining obstacles are formidable.
Glow Energy’s 382-MW Glow Phase 5 power plant in Thailand exceeded early expectations by packing into a tightly constrained space more capacity than anyone thought possible. The plant’s engineering feat earns it recognition as a POWER Top Plant for 2012.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is known for its large fleet of coal-fired plants. With TVA’s renewed emphasis on nuclear power and gas-fired generation, the organization will soon fulfill its new goal: “to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost cleaner energy by 2020.” Construction of the 880-MW John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant puts TVA one step closer to achieving that goal.
The natural gas and electricity industries have entered into an increasingly codependent relationship as coal-fired electricity gives way to natural gas–fired generation. Both industries are firmly committed to providing reliable service, although each goes about its business in different ways. Utilities, regulators, and stakeholders are searching for ways to align interests and expectations.
Faced with the need to begin generating its own power after decades of relying on larger regional suppliers, and impending renewable portfolio standard requirements, the Lea County Electrical Cooperative had to get creative. Its choice of a highly flexible gas-fired engine plant that will work together with a nearby wind farm makes this a POWER Top Plant.
Set to begin commercial operation on Sept. 17, 2012, the 280-MW Lodi Energy Center is the first “fast-start” combined cycle power plant in the U.S. The advantages of the gas turbine’s shorter startup capabilities are reduced fuel costs, lower emissions, and the versatility to effectively partner with intermittent renewable energy sources. The new power plant is located next to the city of Lodi’s municipal wastewater treatment plant and uses its treated wastewater for cooling purposes.
As part of the University of Iowa Research Park’s efforts to promote renewable energy use, the new campus power plant’s engine generators are designed to operate primarily on landfill gas when the pipeline from the Iowa City Landfill is completed, with natural gas as a secondary fuel source. To make it more efficient, the plant’s waste heat recovery system captures waste heat from the gas engine generator’s cooling and exhaust systems to produce hot water for heating, or chilled water for cooling, campus facilities.
The widespread transition from coal to natural gas for new generation is exemplified by the morphing fleets of some of the biggest U.S. generators. Figures show the amount of power generated by each company using coal (top) and natural gas (bottom). Sources: POWER, NextEra, Duke Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Southern Co., American Electric Power […]
Several major power plants around the world began operations over the past months.
The 1,309-MW Claus C power plant showcases the successful repowering of an existing steam power plant by upgrading it and adding a highly efficient combined cycle plant that doubles the original plant’s power output for just a 35% increase in fuel consumption. In addition, the newly retrofitted plant is cutting CO2 emissions by 40% compared with a simple-cycle gas-fired plant of equal capacity.