POWER Digest – February 2019

BHEL Completes India Coal Plant in 46 Months. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) in January said it successfully built and commissioned the single-unit, 800-MW Kothagudem Thermal Power Station (KTPS), in what the company said was a record time of just 46 months for a thermal plant by any developer in the country. The plant is operated by Telangana State Power Generation Corp. (TSGENCO). BHEL had the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the project. Equipment for the plant was manufactured at eight BHEL facilities. TSGENCO also has awarded BHEL the EPC contracts for two other projects currently under construction: the five-unit, 4,000-MW Yadadri project and the four-unit, 1,080-MW Bhadradari plant. BHEL also is executing the steam generator package at the two-unit, 1,600-MW Telangana Super Thermal Power Project for India’s National Thermal Power Corp. That project represents the first two units of a planned 4,000-MW coal-fired plant in Ramagundam.

TEPCO Planning 1-GW Offshore Wind Farm. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) in January said it is planning a 1-GW offshore wind power plant and would begin construction this year. The company said a possible location is off Choshi, in Chiba Prefecture. The company plans to spend about ¥1 trillion ($9.2 billion) to install about 200 wind turbines offshore, using fixed bottom turbines where the foundation is placed into the seabed. Each turbine would have generation capacity of about 5 MW. TEPCO would sell the electricity through a feed-in tariff system, where the government buys power at fixed prices. Current prefecture law allows occupancy of a given offshore location for just three to five years, but a law to promote offshore wind power, which will take effect this spring, will allow occupancy for up to 30 years. TEPCO wants to increase its portfolio of renewable energy to offset its idled nuclear power plants. All the company’s reactors have been offline since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, leaving TEPCO to rely on its thermal fleet, which is mostly powered by imported and costly liquefied natural gas.

Chinese Solar Farms Connected to Grid. Two 500-MW solar power plants were connected to the grid in China in late December. The Golmud project, developed by China’s Three Gorges Group, said it would sell its power for 0.316 yuan ($0.05) kWh, which is less than the 0.325 yuan benchmark price for coal in China. Both projects are in Qinghai province and are part of a demonstration program in the Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi. They are managed by the state-run National Energy Administration, which is responsible for developing and delivering China’s energy policy. Although China in May 2018 said it would limit its support for large-scale solar facilities, projects that are part of the so-called Top Runner scheme for advanced technology and system design, as well as plants built as part of the Poverty Alleviation scheme, will continue to get support through 2019.

Battery Project Coming Online in Australia. The Cape York Battery Power Plant project in Queensland, Australia, is ready to begin commercial operation as the “first fully integrated, grid-connected large dispatchable solar peaker in Australia if not the world,” David Green, chairman of Lyon Group, said in a recent news release. Lyon Group is an independent developer of integrated utility-scale battery storage and renewable generation projects. It developed and sold Australia’s first grid-connected, large-scale solar photovoltaic and battery storage project. The Cape York Battery Power Plant is adjacent to the Lakeland Solar and Storage project, which was built by Lyon and came online in early 2018 as a 13-MW solar power and 1.4-MW battery storage pilot project. The project was Australia’s first grid-connected project combining large-scale solar and battery storage. Lyon Group said the Cape York facility is a $150 million project, with a 20-MW/80-MWh Fluence battery-based energy storage system plus 55-MW solar generation that “will dispatch firm, clean energy through a single connection point, using a single power plant controller,” according to Green. ■

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