TransCanada Corp. on Oct. 28 officially opened its C$700 million Halton Hills Generating Station. The 683-MW 2 x 1 combined-cycle plant on a greenfield site in Ontario (Figure 5) will operate under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). Construction of the peaker plant started in December 2007 and was completed on time and on budget, TransCanada said.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has begun converting a combined-cycle plant in Japan to prepare for verification testing of its long-anticipated J-Series gas turbine in February 2011—a system that the company claims has the most power generation capacity and highest thermal efficiency in the 1,600C turbine inlet temperature class (Figure 3). The work being carried out at the Takasago Machinery Works facility in Hyogo Prefecture (where the company’s G-Series gas turbines were tested) includes installation of the J-Series turbine, and it marks another major milestone in the technology’s development.
Though electricity generation has entered a key period of transition—as investment shifts to low-carbon technologies—world electricity demand is set to grow faster than any other “final form of energy,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in its latest annual World Energy Outlook.
A 9.5-MW gas engine unveiled by GE this October for decentralized, independent power producers in remote, hot, or high-altitude regions features a 48.7% electrical efficiency and promises to reduce lifecycle costs by lowering fuel consumption.
Turkey, a country that has seen rapid economic growth since the 1980s, largely spurred by a shift in governmental strategy to open up markets and increase private participation, has been actively overhauling its power infrastructure to meet soaring electricity consumption. According to grid operator Turkish Electricity Transmission Co., national consumption increased to 17 billion kWh this September—an 11% increase over the 15.3 billion kWh consumed in September 2009.
Microturbine technology has evolved from early systems of 30 kW to 70 kW to today’s systems, which can have individual ratings of 200 kW to 250 kW. Packages up to 1 MW are now available that can be assembled into multipac units for projects of 5 MW to 10 MW. These modern units are packaged with integrated digital protection, synchronization, and controls; they produce high combined heat and power efficiencies; and they are capable of using multiple fuels.
The University of California, San Diego has been accumulating awards for its savvy use of a constellation of power generation and energy-saving technologies. The campus already controls a fully functioning microgrid—including a cogeneration plant—and, as befits a research institution, is constantly looking for new ways to make its energy system smarter. This “living laboratory,” as campus leaders like to call it, demonstrates what it takes to build a smarter grid and why the effort is worth it.
The CSB has made urgent recommendations to the NFPA and the International Code Council to prohibit indoor purging and require companies and installers to purge flammable fuel gases to safe locations outdoors, away from workers and ignition sources.
The Panoche Energy Center is a 400-MW simple-cycle power plant using four of General Electric’s GE LMS100s with fast-start capability. Dispatched by Pacific Gas & Electric to meet regional power and grid stabilization needs, the project entered commercial service two months earlier than planned. Panoche is the largest LMS100 peaking facility in the U.S.
The UK grid, focused on adding valuable renewable generation, will rely on natural gas–fired generation for many years to come. One of the most recent additions is the Langage Power Plant, designed for quick response and low load “parking” at night while remaining below air emissions limits. With an extraordinary architectural design that blends into the natural surroundings, Langage is now a local landmark.