POWER Digest (December 2009)

News items of interest to power industry professionals.

Wärtsilä Wins Contract for Italian Biofuel Power Plant. Wärtsilä said on Oct. 21 that it had been contracted to supply the engineering and equipment for a new biofuel power plant being built in Gorizia, in northern Italy. The 34-MW plant will generate baseload electricity for the national grid as well as provide heat to a steam turbine for further power production. The order was placed in September by Energia Pulita S.p.A of Italy, and comprises two Wärtsilä 18V46 engines running on liquid biofuel, as well as liquid biofuel auxiliaries, the control system, and radiators. Delivery of all equipment to the Gorizia power plant is scheduled for May 2010, and the plant is expected to be operational by next fall.

Wärtsilä said its power plants can operate on vegetable oils such as palm oil and oil from the jatropha plant. Earlier this year, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland successfully conducted tests demonstrating the ability of Wärtsilä engines to operate on animal, as well as vegetable-based, oils. Fish and chicken oils were found to be particularly suitable.

SPX to Install Innovative Flue Gas Discharge System at Ohio Coal Plant. SPX Corp.’s Thermal Equipment and Services segment was awarded a $47 million contract in September to install a novel flue gas discharge system and other upgrades to enhance the existing natural draft cooling tower at the 1,830-MW Cardinal Station, a coal-fired power plant jointly owned by Buckeye Power and American Electric Power in Brilliant, Ohio. Flue gas discharge technology enables better dispersion of the exhaust plume into the atmosphere, resulting in reduced local ground-level concentrations, SPX said.

Nevada Geothermal Completes 49.5-MW Blue Mountain Geothermal Plant. Nevada Geothermal Power on Oct. 22 celebrated completion of its 49.5-MW Blue Mountain Faulkner 1 Geothermal Power Plant, after the plant had been operating for four weeks. Earlier in September, the company said that the Nevada plant had completed testing requirements under the Engineering Procurement Construction contract with Ormat Nevada Inc., a subsidiary of Ormat Technologies Inc., three months ahead of schedule. The company now plans to proceed with "aggressive development" of building out Blue Mountain and three other projects — Pumpernickel and Black Warrior (both in Nevada) and Crump Geyser (in Oregon) — which are estimated to have a potential generation capacity of over 200 MW.

ABB, Alstom Hydro Win Contracts for Swiss Pumped Storage Plant. ABB on Oct. 21 said it had won a $120 million order from Kraftwerke Linth-Limmern AG to provide electrical equipment and a 380-kV gas-insulated switchgear substation for a planned 1,000-MW hydropower plant and energy- storage facility in eastern Switzerland, the Linth-Limmern high-capacity, pumped-storage hydropower station. On Oct. 28, Alstom Hydro was granted a €178 million contract for four 250-MW variable-speed pump turbines and motor generator units for the project.

Canadian Hydro Terminates Agreement for Lake Eerie Offshore Wind Project. Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. in late October said it had terminated its previously announced definitive agreement with Wasatch Wind Inc. to acquire a subsidiary of Wasatch that is developing a 4,400 MW offshore wind prospect located in Lake Erie. TransAlta Corp. acquired approximately 87% of Canadian Hydro’s outstanding common shares on Oct. 23. Canadian Hydro cited this reason for its terminated agreement with Wasatch, saying that “based on the growth opportunities available, off shore wind is not a priority at this time.”

AREVA DZ to Provide “Exclusive” Services for TVA Nukes. AREVA DZ, a joint venture between French nuclear giant AREVA and Day & Zimmermann, on Oct. 12 announced a five-year exclusive alliance with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to provide a wide range of specialized services to the TVA fleet of nuclear power plants. The company will provide boiling water reactor (BWR) and pressurized water reactor (PWR) refueling services, outage optimization, specialized non-destructive examination services, parts and materials and PWR refueling tool maintenance and steam generator services for the TVA fleet. The TVA nuclear power plants included in the agreement are Browns Ferry, Sequoyah, and the single-unit Watts Bar plant. A second Watts Bar unit, currently under construction, will also be included when it goes online. These three sites contribute a combined 6,900-MW—roughly 30%—of TVA’s total power supply.

Siemens to Provide Capture Technology for Major Finnish CCS Project. Siemens Energy on Oct. 14 said it had joined the FINNCAP-Meri-Pori Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project, a demonstration that seeks to capture 90% of emitted carbon dioxide from 50% of flue gas from the 565-MW Meri-Pori power plant at Pori in Western Finland. The demonstration will use Siemens’ capture technology, ship transportation, and a geologic storage solution. Plant owners and Teollisuuden Voima Oyj plan to apply for the European Flagship Program. First-round funding decisions are expected in 2011, with a final investment decision in 2011–2012. The plant is scheduled to be in operation in 2015.