Archive: Gas


TOP PLANTS: LCEC Generation Plant, Lovington, New Mexico

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.

Lodi Energy Center

TOP PLANTS: Lodi Energy Center, Lodi, California

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.


TOP PLANTS: University of Iowa Research Park Tri-Generation Power Plant, Iowa City, Iowa

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 […]


New Gas-Fired Technology Gains Backers

A new gas-fired power generation technology that uses an oxyfuel, high-pressure, supercritical carbon dioxide cycle and produces pipeline-ready carbon dioxide for sequestration or use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), without reducing plant efficiency, garnered the interest of three new partners in June.

Wind Energy Blown Away by Natural Gas

The environmental push for renewables and mandates to force them into existence are rightly facing some serious headwinds. The American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011 foundered in Congress, and more states are experiencing significant power rate increases to cover renewable energy production costs. While renewables are generally not ready for prime time in large quantity on today’s power grid, that doesn’t mean environment concerns ought to be trashed, especially when a more effective off-the-shelf solution is available.


Innovation Required as Gas Displaces Coal

Panelists at the ELECTRIC POWER Keynote and Roundtable Discussion in Baltimore in May wrestled with a range of issues. But despite calls for a “balanced portfolio,” an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, and predictions of “more changes in the next 10 years than in the last 100,” the focus of attention appears to be the decidedly mundane displacement of coal by natural gas.


Performance-Based Cooling Water Treatment

A West Coast combined cycle plant that uses reclaimed water found that cycling 300 times a year caused disruptions to the plant’s cooling water chemical treatment program. The solution was a performance-based monitoring and control system that uses available plant operating data plus algorithms to measure corrosion rates and fouling factors, which in turn allows the plant to trim chemical feed rates so they correlate with a specified corrosion rate, rather than a suggested chemical residual.