POWER Digest [December 2022]

Qatar Inaugurates the Country’s First Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant. With Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari, president of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corp. (Kahramaa); Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy CEO; and Ahmad Saeed Al-Amoodi, executive vice president of QatarEnergy in attendance, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, inaugurated the Al Kharsaah solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant on Oct. 18, 2022. Al Kharsaah has a generating capacity of about 800 MW, making it one of the world’s largest—and Qatar’s first—utility-scale solar PV parks. Hitachi Energy delivered the facility’s grid connection solution. The company said it provided “an engineered package that collects all the power generated by the plant’s 1.8 million solar modules and transfers it into the national transmission system safely and reliably.” The plant is located about 80 kilometers west of Doha.

HVDC Cables and Grid Infrastructure Sourced for 1.4-GW Offshore Wind Farm. Vattenfall signed a contract in early October with Siemens Energy and Aker Solutions AS to deliver grid connection infrastructure for the Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm. The project is located 47 kilometers (km) off the Norfolk coast in southeast Britain and will have an installed capacity of 1.4 GW. Norfolk Boreas is the first phase of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone. It will deliver its first power in 2027. Siemens Energy and Aker Solutions will be responsible for engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of the high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) onshore and offshore substations, and connection to National Grid. Meanwhile, Vattenfall also signed a contract with LS Cable and System Ltd. and DEME Group to deliver the export cables that will connect the wind farm to National Grid. That contract includes the design, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, and testing of about 360 km of HVDC export cables and fiberoptic cables including the offshore installation and onshore jointing. Vattenfall said choosing HVDC cables allowed the company to cut the size of the cable route by a third, reducing the impact on the local area and making the project more sustainable.

New Nuclear Plants Contemplated in Finland and Sweden. Fortum launched a two-year feasibility study in mid-October to explore prerequisites for new nuclear. As part of the study, the company will examine commercial, technological, and societal—including political, legal, and regulatory—conditions for both small modular reactors (SMRs) and conventional large reactors. The study’s geographic focus is Finland and Sweden. Fortum said with the current uncertainty in the energy market, ventures in the nuclear industry will most likely involve partnerships. The company said it may form partnerships with nuclear generating and district heating companies, industrial off-takers of power and heat for whom competitive energy supply is of increasing strategic importance, start-up companies, and established utilities with nuclear competence. The feasibility study will also explore the potential for service business offerings for new projects in Europe and hydrogen for industrial applications.

Israeli Desalination Plant Refit with Dual-Fuel Engines. MAN Energy Solutions will supply two MAN 14V51/60DF and five 18V51/60G engines to the refit of a seawater desalination plant in the Israeli city of Ashdod. The two dual-fuel engines will drive two 15-MW seawater pumps, while the five gas engines—as gensets with a total capacity of 99 MW—will ensure the plant’s off-grid power supply. As required, the gensets will also be able to feed into the national grid. The power plant is located about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean coast and has been in operation since 2015. With an annual output of some 100 million cubic meters of seawater, the plant is responsible for around one-sixth of the total volume of water desalinated in Israel. The Ashdod desalination operation is owned by Shapir Engineering and Marine Ltd. and GES Global Environmental Solutions Ltd. The new set-up replaces the facility’s former eight electrical pumps and significantly lowers its energy consumption while maintaining the original capacity.

Companies Will Investigate Co-Firing Indonesian Power Plants with Hydrogen, Biomass, and Ammonia. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI), and PT. PLN Indonesia Power, a sub-holding of Indonesia’s state-owned electricity provider PT. PLN (Persero), concluded a memorandum of understanding to commence three feasibility studies on co-firing less-carbon-intensive fuels at power plants owned and operated by Indonesia Power. The three studies will be conducted jointly by Indonesia Power and MHI with support from its power solutions brand, Mitsubishi Power. The first two studies will use the Suralaya coal-fired power plant as the reference plant. One will examine the technical and economic feasibility of co-firing up to 100% biomass at the facility, while the other will investigate co-firing of ammonia produced by existing ammonia plants in Indonesia. The third study will evaluate technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen co-firing in an M701F gas turbine at the Tanjung Priok gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) facility. MHI completed construction of the plant’s Unit 2 GTCC system in 2019 as part of PLN’s plans to build an 880-MW plant under the Jawa-2 Project.

Angola Explores Ways to Decarbonize Its Economy. A delegation from Angola’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry visited Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in October to participate in a four-day workshop hosted by Blue Carbon, a company recently launched to create environmental assets and nature-based solutions, as well as support carbon removal projects worldwide. Angola has forests spread over 69.3 million hectares of land—55.6% of its total territorial area—with 68.9 million hectares of native (natural) forests and 61,000 hectares of planted rainforests. Angola has significant potential to fight the negative effects of global climate change by preserving its forests. Blue Carbon serves as an enabler of blue and green economy operational frameworks that sets the agenda for the implementation of international climate agreements.

Low-Voltage Infrastructure Maintenance Contract Awarded for Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm. Sembcorp Marine Ltd., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Sembmarine SLP Ltd., has been awarded the planned preventative maintenance (PPM) contract by Ørsted A/S for the Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm, one of the world’s largest wind farms located 89 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast in the UK North Sea. The PPM contract involves the maintenance and servicing of the low-voltage and ancillary systems on both the offshore substation and reactive compensation station with provisions for further service extension. This exclusive contract marks the first sole supplier maintenance award for Sembmarine SLP and aligns with the company’s strategic transition from fabricator to service provider in the offshore renewable space.

Greece’s First Virtual Power Plant Inaugurated. Protergia, the power and gas unit of MYTILINEOS S.A., and emsys VPP GmbH, a German technology service provider, on Oct. 21 officially inaugurated the first virtual power plant (VPP) in the Greek energy market. Protergia contracted emsys VPP to provide its software combined with solar and wind power forecasts for its aggregator unit. In close collaboration with Protergia, emsys VPP customized and implemented the VPP, including plant connection and integration of solar and wind power forecasts provided by emsys VPP’s partner company energy & meteo systems GmbH. Equipped with this complete software-as-a-service solution for aggregators, Protergia has digitally connected its portfolio of own and third-party solar and wind power plants to monitor, forecast, control, and trade their variable electricity production in real time. emsys VPP continues to provide support during the operation of the VPP, including the flexible connection of additional assets.

Aaron Larson is executive editor for POWER.

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