POWER Digest [January 2022]

Israeli Group Enters JV for Renewable Energy in Poland. Israeli renewables developer Nofar Energy in late November announced formation of a joint venture (JV) with Poland’s Electrum S.P. Z O.O to develop as much as 1.25 GW of solar and wind power projects in Poland. The deal marks Nofar Energy’s entry into the Polish renewable energy market. The agreement was followed by a second transaction, with Nofar reporting it had purchased a portfolio of solar projects with total generation capacity of 185 MW from Paged Real Estate. Nofar said the moves are part of a global expansion plan that includes the recent launch of operations in the U.S., Italy, Romania, and Spain. Nofar Europe will hold an 80% stake in the new entity with Electrum, an engineering company and power producer, holding the other 20%. The JV will seek to identify opportunities for renewable energy deployment in Poland, including development of its own projects, ready-to-build schemes, and the acquisition of greenfield projects. The new entity also will look at opportunities for project maintenance. Electrum’s expertise, in addition to providing consulting and engineering services, includes initiating and operating renewable energy projects. The company also manages solar, wind, energy storage, and hydrogen installations. Poland has a goal of a 30% reduction in industrial emissions by 2030, with plans for several new solar and wind power facilities. Nofar said Poland expects to receive 21% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025, with as much as 11.3 GW of new wind and solar power generation being built in the same period. The group said an additional 14.4 GW of new renewable capacity would be built between 2025 and 2030. The projects acquired from Paged, a portfolio comprised of 14 projects ranging from 1 MW to 68 MW, are expected to enter commercial operation in 2023–2024.

Wärtsilä Supplying Brazilian and Mexican Power Plants. Wärtsilä in November announced it will supply gas engines to three power plants in Brazil and to two facilities in Mexico. The Brazil contracts call for 16 fast-starting and flexible Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas engine generating sets, with combined generation capacity of 150 MW across two existing sites—UTE Luiz Oscar Rodrigues de Melo and UTE Viana 1—and a new plant, UTE Povoação 1. The facilities are all located in Espírito Santo, a state in southeastern Brazil. Wärtsilä was awarded the contract in an October reserve capacity auction organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy. The plants will be delivered on a fast-track basis and are scheduled to be operational in the second quarter of 2022. Electricity produced by the plants will be fed to the national grid, particularly to assure system reliability during extreme weather events. Wärtsilä to date has delivered 2.7 GW of power plant capacity in Brazil, of which 739 MW are currently covered by Wärtsilä long-term service agreements. Wärtsilä has also converted 275 MW of oil-fueled capacity to run on natural gas in Brazil. In Mexico, Wärtsilä will supply state-owned electricity utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad with two large multi-fuel power plants having a combined output of 600 MW. The projects will be delivered by Wärtsilä on a full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. Jointly these projects represent the largest generating capacity EPC contract ever awarded to Wärtsilä. The projects include a 400-MW facility, the Mexicali Oriente power plant located in Mexico’s Baja California state, and the Parque Industrial plant, a 200-MW generating unit located in Sonora. The Mexicali Oriente plant will operate with 24 Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, while the Parque Industrial plant will feature 22 Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engines. The engines will operate primarily on natural gas with the capability to use liquid fuel as a backup, if required. The power plants are to be completed in phases during 2022 and 2023.

French Oil Major Signs Deals for Solar Energy. The French oil company TotalEnergies has signed agreements with Libya’s government to develop solar energy projects to help power its oil extraction activities. TotalEnergies in late November said it will build 500 MW of solar power generation capacity in Libya. The projects are in addition to TotalEnergies’ recent agreement with Chariot, a British developer, to build renewable energy projects for Africa’s mining sector. Libya currently has installed generation capacity of about 5 GW, nearly all of it from fossil fuel–burning power plants. The country’s current government has said it wants to reduce power generation from oil, and increase renewable energy to at least 22% of the generation mix by 2030. As part of that goal, Libya wants to increase electricity imports from Egypt, which is ramping up installations of renewable energy. The two countries have said they will jointly finance construction of a new power line that could facilitate the exchange of as much as 1 GW of power between Egypt and Libya in the next few years.

Ukraine Group Will Use GE Digital System. GE Digital in early December announced that its Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) will be implemented in DTEK Kyiv Grids—Distribution System Operator (DSO), part of DTEK Grids in Ukraine. GE Digital’s system will enable the utility to have a single platform to interact with its network, control work, and share information in real-time. DTEK Grids said its goal is to centralize small DSO dispatching centers and have a single unified network management system to reduce the length of power interruptions for customer. The group also wants the system to facilitate the development of new services. DTEK Grids operates in the Kyiv, Dnipro, Donetsk, and Odesa regions of Ukraine, along with the city of Kyiv. The company is implementing a fully localized version of the ADMS software, and the Kyiv implementation is the first of six sites to be completed over the next two years.

Austrian Group Will Supply Hydro Installation in India. Austria’s ANDRITZ, an international technology group, in November received an order from India’s Assam state government-owned utility Assam Power Generation Corp. to supply the complete electro-mechanical equipment for the Lower Kopili hydropower plant located on the Kopili River in central Assam, India. Start of commercial operation is scheduled for the end of 2024. The ANDRITZ scope of supply consists of plant design and engineering, along with the manufacture, supply, erection, testing, and commissioning of the complete electro-mechanical equipment, including all five turbine-generator units for the hydropower project. ANDRITZ said because the Kopili River has a high acid content at the site of the power plant, most underwater parts will be made of stainless steel. The hydropower plant will have total installed generation capacity of about 120 MW. This is the fifth project for ANDRITZ in northeastern India.

Thermal Power Barge Arrives in Cuba. A new 130-MW thermal power barge arrived in Cuba on Nov. 18. It was installed in the bay of Havana near the Tallapiedra thermoelectric plant and is delivering electricity to the national grid. The facility was the fourth of this type installed in the country, joining others operating since 2019 in the bay of Mariel, 40 kilometers west of Havana. The power barges were procured as part of an agreement signed in 2018 between Cuba and the Turkish company Karadeniz Holding. The new barge, which operates on fuel oil, will bring total barge-based capacity to 330 MW (representing about 12% of the island’s current generation) and meets all Cuban environmental rules regarding emissions, noise, and vibrations. This additional floating plant will alleviate Cuba’s longstanding power deficit that has worsened in recent months because of fuel shortages and equipment failures. According to executives, Cuba is part of a group of nine countries that have floating facilities for electric generation.

Wind Power Developer Announces Projects. A fast-growing developer of wind power projects announced plans to build new installations off the coasts of New Zealand and Australia in a partnership with other regional companies. BlueFloat Energy, based in Madrid, Spain, said the projects include the potential to produce green hydrogen. The company in a news release said projects with Australia-based Energy Estate and New Zealand’s Elemental Group would enable development of New Zealand’s “world-class offshore wind resources,” and the company has said research has shown there is the potential for as much as 90 GW of wind energy production off New Zealand’s coast. BlueFloat said it would work with Energy Estate on offshore wind projects off Australia. BlueFloat over the past year has announced plans for offshore wind projects that include hydrogen production off the coasts of the UK, Italy, and Spain.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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