Archive: Renewables

Saguaro Solar Power Plant, Red Rock, Arizona

We tend to forget that today’s super-sized power plant designs began life as small prototypes that grew in size only as fast as technology and economics allowed. Arizona Public Service, a long-time leader in solar energy development, has invested in the development of one such technology that is compatible with the sunny Southwest and certain to become more cost-competitive in the near future. This successful demonstration of a 1-MW concentrated solar power, trough-style energy system is the first to have put power on the grid since 1988. But it certainly won’t be the last.

Currant Creek Power Plant, Mona, Utah

Commercial operation of PacifiCorp’s first new power plant in more than 20 years coincided with the company’s acquisition by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company this past March. Currant Creek treads lightly on the environment, provides needed power to PacifiCorp’s eastern control area, and has demonstrated its commitment to be a good corporate citizen of the local community. By any account, Currant Creek is a model for how to develop a power project.

Bavaria Solarpark, Germany

The world’s largest solar electric system was dedicated in June 2005 in Mühlhausen, Germany. The 10-MW system comprises three separate but interconnected photovoltaic parks in different cities that use an innovative sun-tracking system to maximize their outputs. After one year of operation, all three parks are still going strong—as you’d expect, due to their dearth of moving parts.

Combined Cycle Users’ Group completes another successful year

The third annual meeting of the Combined Cycle Users’ Group (CCUG) was held May 2–4 in Atlanta at Electric Power 2006, in cooperation with the ASME Power Division Combined Cycles Committee and other industry groups. The CCUG’s leadership (Figure 1) drives the group to address issues involving the major components of a combined-cycle plant and […]

Greener than thou

U.S. wind power is on a roll, with wind farms sprouting like weeds. But in the near future, utilities may end up paying higher prices for wind capacity because state regulators are, in effect, imposing an artificial floor on national demand for generation fueled by renewable resources. At last count, at least 20 states had […]

Global Monitor (May 2006)

Nuclear hot streak continues/Who’s winning in U.S. wind power?/ Canadian wind picking up too/ Brazilian port powers itself/ Biomass meets CHP in Sweden/ Power surfing from Scotland to Germany

Gas turbine "refueling" via IGCC

The jury is still out on the economic and technical feasibility of burning gasified coal to generate electricity. Gasification technology has yet to be proven on a utility scale, especially with Powder River Basin coal as the feedstock. And on the generation side, there are more questions than answers about the capital cost and availability of integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plants. But with natural gas prices high and rising, it’s definitely worth examining whether it would be economically and technically feasible to convert the existing U.S. fleet of gas-fired combined-cycle plants to burn gasified coal.