The lifeblood of the combined cycle plant is its water chemistry program. This is particularly true for plants designed for high pressures and temperatures as well as fast starts and cycling. Even though such plants are increasingly common, no universal chemistry program can be used for all of them.
A rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directs 36 states to revise their Clean Air Act State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to eliminate exemptions for excess emissions of air pollutants at power plants during startup, shutdown, or when the plant malfunctions.
Boosted by President Obama’s inaugural address commitment to mitigate climate change, congressional Democrats have initiated several more climate measures. A legislative packet that seeks to mitigate climate change by enacting a carbon "fee" of $20 per ton of emitted carbon or methane equivalent was introduced last week by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). In the House, as several Democratic amendments for climate change hearings were voted down, more than 40 lawmakers urged President Obama to create a panel that would help communities deal with climate change events.
President Obama outlined a number of key energy-related measures in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, urging Congress to pursue legislation to mitigate climate change and calling for an expansion of clean energy and reduced red-tape for natural gas and oil permits.
A newly announced resource strategy could require Duluth, Minn.–based Minnesota Power to convert its 110-MW Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., to a natural gas peaking facility in 2015, install environmental upgrades at its 558-MW Clay Boswell Energy Center Unit 4 in Itasca County, and retire one of three coal-fired units at its 225-MW Taconite Harbor facility in Schroeder.
Citing low natural gas prices, Duke Energy announced on Feb. 1 that it would shutter its 1920s-built Buck and Riverbend stations two years before the coal-fired plants were slated for retirement. The company had chosen to retire the plants just before April 2015, which is the compliance deadline for recently enacted federal environmental rules.
The electricity industry is being transformed by the so-called “shale gas revolution” in the United States. Production of natural gas from shale rock using hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has boosted supply and reduced prices, making gas-fired power competitive with coal-fired power on price. Historically, coal-fired electricity generation has dwarfed generation from gas-fired plants in the U.S. […]
Improper layup practices are a major contributor to boiler tube failures and to steam turbine pitting and cracking in U.S. fossil plants. EPRI’s research into identifying damage mechanisms, utility best practices, and innovative new methods to protect plant equipment during outages will aid plant operators in achieving a successful layup.
Average spot natural gas prices in New England have surged to $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) higher than natural gas prices at the Henry Hub since November, driven up by supply constraints from natural gas pipelines that haven’t kept up with demand, high international prices, and declining production in eastern Canada, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says in a report released last week.
Wisconsin Energy nearly doubled its natural gas burn for power generation in 2012, from 23.9 billion cubic feet (bcf) in 2011 to 46.5 bcf in 2012. Gale Klappa, CEO, said during a January 30 earnings conference call that natural gas units at the company’s 1,150-MW Port Washington generating station operated at a 46% capacity factor in 2012. This compares with a 23% capacity factor in 2011.