POWER [April 1, 2016]

Cover Stories

Leveraging Drones and Robots for O&M Savings

If you’re still thinking of drones and robots as more toy than tool, think again. The drones now working in the power sector have gone far beyond remote-control hobbies and now resemble something closer to

New Plant Design Options Expand Geothermal Power Operations

Geothermal technology, though over a century old, is constantly changing. Developments in mapping techniques have improved exploratory practices. Plant adaptations, such as hybrid technologies and the

Risk Management: Using Resilience Engineering to Develop a More Reliable Workforce, Part 2

In the January issue, I introduced the concepts of highly reliable organizing (HRO) and resilience engineering with a promise to address the remaining principles. As a quick review of the first article

Solar PV O&M Best Practices in a Rapidly Changing Market

In 2000, the world had installed just 1 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity (in DC terms—see the sidebar, “AC or DC?”), a number that had surged to 39 GW by 2010 and 176 GW in 2014. Fueled by

Weighing Costs and Benefits in Hydropower Maintenance and Upgrade Decisions

Although other renewable sources of energy may be growing at a faster rate, more electricity continues to be generated in the U.S. by conventional hydropower than by wind, solar, and geothermal power combined


Communication Was Essential to Alliant Energy's Successful Handling of Emissions Monitoring

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is obligated to review many different federal environmental standards on a recurring basis and update them if the agency deems it necessary for the protection of

Entergy Sheds Uneconomic Merchant Nuclear Plants to Focus on Regulated Business

Entergy Corp., a dominant investor-owned utility in the middle south, hugging the Mississippi River drainage area from New Orleans to Memphis (including a piece of Texas), faces what may be a unique generation

Maximizing Coastal Power Plant Resiliency

Entergy Tests Fiber Optic Cables to Slash Copper Use A unique pilot under way at a substation in New Orleans, La., uses fiber optic cables in a way that could help utilities reduce the use of copper wire. But

Rigorous Turbine Validation Process Produces Sustained Reliability Exceeding 99%

Why would one want to validate a turbine design? The answer is that actual operation of new and more advanced gas turbines can reveal issues that are very difficult to predict on the drawing board. As a

The Global Nuclear Power Industry Faces Localized Outlooks

Shamelessly adapting the great British novelist Charles Dickens, for the global nuclear industry, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times; it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness; it is



Radical Energy Breakthroughs—Without the Risk

Among the greatest revolutions of the modern world is one that most of us take for granted: electrification. When we flip on the light switch, turn on the TV, or plug in our cell phones, power is there, 99.99%

Legal & Regulatory

The Road to Distributed Generation: How to Avoid the Bumps

Distributed generation (DG) is receiving much attention as a resource that can facilitate the development of a smarter, more resilient, and more sustainable electric grid. Several jurisdictions, including New

Focus on O&M

Covered Piping Systems O&M Programs for CCGT Plants

A great level of risk is present when operating pressurized systems. Over the years, industry safety concerns have increased with the occurence of catastrophic events. To help prevent further loss and damages

New Quality Assurance Program Launched for Wind Turbine Blades

Blades are probably the most delicate part of a wind turbine and the most susceptible to accidental damage. Some estimates suggest that greater than 90% of wind turbine blades are damaged to some degree while

Global Monitor

China Overtakes EU's Wind Installations

China has edged past the European Union (EU) in terms of total installed wind capacity, with 145.1 GW to the EU’s 141.6 GW. This means that China, which erected a stunning 30.5 GW in 2015—nearly half of

Commission Backs Plan to Store World's Nuclear Waste in Australian Outback

A nuclear power plant in Australia—a country that harbors the world’s largest resources of uranium but uses no nuclear power—wouldn’t be economical, but building a nuclear storage and disposal facility

First Turbine Deployed at French Tidal Power Farm

The first of two 500-kW OpenHydro tidal turbines has been successfully deployed at French utility EDF’s much-watched Paimpol-Bréhat tidal project, which is under construction in North Brittany, France. When

POWER Digest

Saudi Arabia Mulling Privatization of State-Owned Utility. State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) is to be split into four power generation firms by the end of 2016 to increase efficiency, Abdullah

Vattenfall Completes World's First Decommissioning of an Offshore Wind Farm

Vattenfall has dismantled five offshore wind turbines—with a total capacity of 10 MW—at the Yttre Stengrund wind farm in Kalmar Sound, Sweden. The month-long decommissioning project was the first in the

Vietnam Reconsiders New Coal-Fired Power Plants

Vietnam, which has long been a coal exporter, is considering a hiatus in licensing new coal-fired power plants because it says domestic coal reserves won’t be enough to feed generators starting in 2020

Why Russia's Largest Independent Power Company Built a Solar Facility in Siberia

One of Russia’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities has been grid-connected in Abakan, located in the Republic of Khakassia. The Khakass capital in central Russia just north of Mongolia, historically

Speaking of Power

When Technology Tails Wag Power Dogs

When you hear “drone,” do you think, toy, military craft, dangerous device, or useful tool? Depending on the type of unmanned aircraft system (aka, drone) we’re talking about, any of those descriptors

GBR Reports