POWER Digest [August 2020]

Utility Expects New Schedule for Olkiluoto 3 Reactor. Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said it expects to soon receive the revised schedule from the Areva-Siemens consortium for the commissioning of the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR. Fuel loading of the reactor, which was planned for June, has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. TVO in April said that protocols enacted at the nuclear plant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 “may have significantly added uncertainty to the progress of the project.” The Areva-Siemens group has said the delays could impact commercial operation of the plant, which was scheduled for March 2021. The OL3 plant supplier consortium includes Areva GmbH, Areva NP SAS, and Siemens AG. Construction of the reactor began in 2005 and was scheduled for completion in 2009, but has been delayed for years by various issues. Finland’s government issued TVO an operating license for the plant in March 2019.

Floating Power Plants Could End Blackouts in Libya. A Turkish company that runs a fleet of floating power generators has sent a team to Libya to explore supplying power to the blackout-prone western region of the country. Karadeniz Holding said if Libya agrees, the company could begin supplying power to western Libya within a month. Western Libya was split from the eastern part of the country during a civil war when then-leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Karadeniz Holding specializes in producing and selling electricity from ships anchored off the coasts of more than 10 countries, including Lebanon and other African nations that cannot meet their own power demands from their onshore facilities. Turkish officials in June visited Libya to discuss the two countries’ cooperation in energy, construction, and banking. Karadeniz Holding operates 25 floating plants with combined generation capacity of about 4,100 MW. A company official said the group could supply power through the ports of Tripoli West, al-Khoms, and Misrata. Floating power plants plug into electricity grids after berthing. Karadeniz Holding said the plants could use Libyan-produced diesel or natural gas as a fuel source.

Japan Telecom Giant Enters Renewable Energy Market. Japanese telecommunications group Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) in late June said it will enter the country’s market for renewable energy, investing more than 1 trillion yen ($9.3 billion) by 2030 to boost capacity and establish its own electricity transmission network. Nikkei Asian Review reported that NTT plans to generate as much as 7.5 GW of electricity from renewables by the end of the decade, an amount that today would equal about 12% of Japan’s renewable energy capacity. NTT is the first national company in Japan to enter the country’s power distribution market since Japan deregulated the industry in 2016. NTT has said it will sell electricity directly to customers, using its 7,300 telephone exchanges as what it calls “mini generators,” which will include batteries to store energy from renewable power projects. The company plans to develop large solar farms, and offshore wind power installations, through its NTT Anode Energy group.

Norwegian Fund Will Support Projects in India. Italian global renewables giant Enel in July said it would join with Norfund, a development group in Norway, to finance, build, and operate renewable energy projects in India. The two companies in a statement said the deal matches Enel’s development expertise with Norfund’s ability to support growth in the clean energy sector. Norfund under the agreement has the right to invest and become an equity partner in Enel-developed projects in India. Enel recently announced it was awarded a 420-MW solar project in a tender from the Indian government. The company currently has 172 MW of wind assets in India. The company has said it wants to increase its footprint in Asia, growing in Vietnam and Australia in addition to India.

Canadian Company Buys U.S. Wind Projects. Cordelio Power, a Canada-based producer of renewable energy, in July announced it had purchased two wind projects in Mason County, Illinois, with a total generation capacity of more than 350 MW. Cordelio purchased the Glacier Sands project, scheduled to come online in 2021, and the Moraine Sands project, set for operation in 2022, from U.S.-based developer Swift Current Energy. The Glacier Sands project has a 14-year power purchase agreement for a portion of its output. Swift Current will still have a role in the projects under a development services agreement. Cordelio manages a renewable energy portfolio with a combined generation capacity of more than 1,000 MW, including 396 MW of wind and solar in Ontario province, which the company owns directly.

German Transmission Operator Sets Renewables Target. 50Hertz, the transmission system operator responsible for all of Eastern Germany, including Berlin and Hamburg, the country’s two largest cities, in July announced it wants its grid to be integrated with 100% renewable energy by 2032. The company said the share of renewables in its territory was about 60% in 2019. Germany as a whole received about 56% of its power from renewables in the first half of 2020, a record level helped in part by lower demand for electricity during the coronavirus pandemic. 50Hertz said it will align its corporate strategy with the “From 60 to 100 by 2032” plan, including implementing new approaches to system operation, more digitalization related to the integration of renewables onto the grid, and participating in efforts to generate heat and produce hydrogen from renewable power. The company said its strategy is also aligned with the European Union’s target to become climate neutral by 2050. It said the effort is supported by Belgium’s Elia Group, the majority owner of 50Hertz.

Thai Group Acquires Stake in German Offshore Wind Farm. Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development, the country’s second-largest power producer, in early July said it had bought a 50% ownership stake in Germany’s Borkum Riffgrund 2 Offshore Wind Farm, also known as the BKR2 Project, for about €558 million ($631 million). The project has a generation capacity of 465 MW. Gulf Energy subsidiary Gulf International Holding entered into a share purchasing agreement with Global Infrastructure Partners on July 3. The other 50% of the project is owned by Ørsted. The wind farm features 56 MHI Vestas V164-8.3 MW turbines with two different types of foundations—monopiles with bolted transition pieces, and suction bucket jackets. The farm was fully commissioned in November 2018 and officially inaugurated in June 2019. Gulf Energy earlier this year said it wanted to expand its renewable energy business, and also recently purchased a 100-MW wind project in Vietnam. The group is not limiting its growth to just renewables, though; it also recently increased its stake in a gas-fired power project in Oman. The company in March began operation of its first biomass power plant, the 25-MW Gulf Chana Green Power Plant Project.

Darrell Proctor is associate editor for POWER (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).

SHARE this article