POWER [September, 1 2012]

Cover Stories

TOP PLANTS: Claus C Combined Cycle Power Plant, Massbracht, Limburg Province, Netherlands

The 1,309-MW Claus C power plant showcases the successful repowering of an existing steam power plant by upgrading it and adding a highly efficient combined cycle plant that doubles the original plant’s power output for just a 35% increase in fuel consumption. In addition, the newly retrofitted plant is cutting CO2 emissions by 40% compared with a simple-cycle gas-fired plant of equal capacity.

TOP PLANTS: Glow Phase 5 Combined Cycle/Cogeneration Project, Rayong, Thailand

Glow Energy’s 382-MW Glow Phase 5 power plant in Thailand exceeded early expectations by packing into a tightly constrained space more capacity than anyone thought possible. The plant’s engineering feat earns it recognition as a POWER Top Plant for 2012.

TOP PLANTS: Enecogen Power Station, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Dutch utility Eneco and the Danish energy group DONG Energy recently collaborated in building the 870-MW Enecogen Power Station that has a thermal efficiency above 59% and is designed for maximum operational flexibility. As part of Eneco’s strategy to lower emissions across its fleet, the combined cycle plant is designed to quickly compensate for intermittent power produced by the utility’s wind turbines.

TOP PLANTS: John Sevier Combined Cycle Project, Rogersville, Tennessee

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is known for its large fleet of coal-fired plants. With TVA’s renewed emphasis on nuclear power and gas-fired generation, the organization will soon fulfill its new goal: “to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost cleaner energy by 2020.” Construction of the 880-MW John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant puts TVA one step closer to achieving that goal.

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.

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.


Chile’s Power Challenge: Reliable Energy Supplies

Droughts, unreliable gas imports, and protests against proposed projects have hampered the Chilean power sector and its largest economic driver, the copper-mining industry. Recent policies designed to foster more reliable supplies are a move in the right direction, but remaining obstacles are formidable.

O&M and Human Stresses Caused by Low Gas Prices

Plentiful supplies of low-cost natural gas have changed unit dispatch orders across the U.S., led to thermal stress–induced maintenance issues at cycling coal plants, and resulted in management challenges at coal and gas units alike. This scenario is unlikely to change so long as gas holds its competitive edge over coal.

Partners in Reliability: Gas and Electricity

The natural gas and electricity industries have entered into an increasingly codependent relationship as coal-fired electricity gives way to natural gas–fired generation. Both industries are firmly committed to providing reliable service, although each goes about its business in different ways. Utilities, regulators, and stakeholders are searching for ways to align interests and expectations.

Too Dumb to Meter, Part 4

As the book title Too Dumb to Meter: Follies, Fiascoes, Dead Ends, and Duds on the U.S. Road to Atomic Energy implies, nuclear power has traveled a rough road from its origin as a tightly controlled military program to civilian applications meant to benefit society as a whole. In this POWER exclusive, we present the fourth and fifth chapters, “What Friendly Atom?” and “The Atomic Chimera.”

Water and Power: Will Your Next Power Plant Make Both?

In much of the developing world, two essentials are often in short supply: potable water and reliable electricity. Some countries have invested heavily in desalination and combined cycle technologies to simultaneously solve both problems.

Water Conservation Options for Power Generation Facilities

The electric power industry is a large water user and is dependent upon reliable water supplies. Adopting new water-conserving technologies for power production can help alleviate the impact of future water shortages. Several water use reduction technologies are available, each with different benefits and costs.

Where More Is Not Merrier: The Battle Between Wind and Water in the Pacific Northwest

Bonneville Power Administration is torn between delivering the tremendous amount of inexpensive hydroelectric power produced in its region and a rapidly growing wind energy industry that has been ordered to reduce generation when hydroelectric plants are dispatched to protect fish habitats. Which renewable energy asset will win?



Fuel Diversity Is Critical in Industry Transition

Success in life and business is all about seizing the right opportunities at the right time. Opportunities abound today in the electric utility business. Our industry is in the midst…

New Products

Compact Pump Series

Thompson Pump’s new Compact pump series has all the benefits of the popular Thompson Pump JSC series but is lighter, has fewer parts, needs less maintenance, and has a lower…

Multichannel Transmitter Models

Endress+Hauser introduced the Liquiline CM44 Series, multichannel transmitter models for monitoring and controlling processes in water, wastewater, chemical, power, and other industries. CM44 models accept inputs from up to eight…

Towers Improve Aim of Dust-Suppression Equipment

Dust Control Technology launched a family of tower mounts for the company’s atomized misting equipment, which extends droplet hang time and range while providing more precise aiming capability during slag-handling,…

Legal & Regulatory

Daylight Saving: Energy Policy or Placebo?

In December 1973, President Richard Nixon explained to the American people his administration’s critical initiative to confront the “energy crisis” du jour (precipitated by the 1973–74 Arab oil embargo): “Many…

Focus on O&M

Design and Testing of a Water Treatment and ZLD System

In the following case study, Aquatech International Corp. discusses a water treatment system designed to minimize water usage and waste discharges, both liquid and solid, at a gas-fired combined cycle plant in California.

Global Monitor

EU Ruling Slackens Poland’s Coal Power Expansion Ambitions

Poland, a country that currently depends on coal power for nearly 85% of its electricity and plans to build another 11,300 MW of new coal-fired capacity by 2020, suffered a critical planning setback in mid-July as the European Union (EU) effectively blocked the country from using free carbon emission permits to build new coal-fired power plants.

Major Projects Commissioned in the U.S., Kuwait, and India

Several major power plants around the world began operations over the past months.

POWER Digest (September 2012)

Belgian Cabinet Votes to Prolong Tihange 1 Reactor Life. Belgium’s cabinet in early July approved plans by GDF Suez subsidiary Electrabel to keep the 1975-built Tihange 1 reactor operating until…

Solar-Hybrid Mini-Grid Lights Up Brazilian Island

An innovative mini-grid in April turned on the lights for about 250 residents living in Ilha Grande, a tiny island on the northwest coast of Maranhão State in northeastern Brazil.

Sumitomo Introduces Battery System

Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries in July began operation of a new power generation and megawatt-class storage system at its Yokohama Works site.


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…

Three Gorges Dam Completed Amid Technical Victories, Controversy

China in early July installed the 32nd and final turbine of its mammoth Three Gorges Dam, virtually completing the controversial 1994-initiated hydropower project on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

Speaking of Power

Perception Is Not a Science

Is your summer warmer than normal, or did your winter seem colder than in the past? We may perceive changes in weather patterns and draw conclusions, but personal experience is…

GBR Reports