POWER Digest (November 2010)

TVA’s 550-MW Combined-Cycle Plant Starts Operations. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on Sept. 30 officially began operating the Lagoon Creek Combined Cycle Plant, a 550-MW natural gas–fired plant, near Brownsville, Tenn. The federal utility said that the new plant, the first new power generation source built by TVA since 2002, would provide power during days of high power demand along with simple-cycle combustion turbines already operating at the site. About 30 employees will manage the plant. The TVA has two other combined-cycle plants—Caledonia and Southaven—both located in Mississippi.

Alstom Wins Major Supply Contracts for Three Chinese Nuclear Projects. Alstom on Sept. 27 said it had won an order for close to €100 million from Chinese industrial group Dong Fang Electric Ltd. (DECL) to supply equipment and services for six 1,000-MW steam turbine generator packages for three nuclear power plants in China. The power plants are NingDe Phase II (Units 3 and 4), FuQing Phase II (Units 3 and 4), and TianWan Phase III (Units 5 and 6). The order comes after Chinese energy utilities China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co. (CGNPC) and China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) signed an agreement with DECL for the design, manufacture, and supply of the steam turbine generator packages. The Alstom model selected for the three projects is based on the first unit of Ling Ao Phase II (Ling Ao 3). The turbine generator package includes the GIGATOP 4-pole turbogenerator, moisture separator reheater, condenser, low-pressure heater, and ARABELLE half-speed steam turbine, all designed by Alstom and supplied in partnership with DECL.

Beacon Power and DOE’s Advanced Research Arm to Develop Flywheel Storage. Beacon Power Corp. on Sept. 27 said it had signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) to develop critical components of a highly advanced “flying ring” flywheel energy storage system over a two-year period. The project seeks to store four times the energy at one-eighth the cost per kilowatt-hour compared with Beacon’s current Smart Energy 25 (Gen 4) flywheel system. The Massachusetts-based company said that the DOE was particularly interested in applying the technology to “ramp up” support for renewables. Its goal was to provide an hour of flywheel storage as an energy-balancing resource for intermittent wind or solar power assets, reducing the amount of fossil-based backup power needed. Beacon will contribute 20% of the $2.8 million program total.

GE Joins Indonesian Partnership to Develop Renewables, Cleaner Coal. GE and Indonesia’s agency for the assessment and application of technology ( Badan Pengkajian Dan Penerapan Teknologi) signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly study and develop renewable energy, cleaner coal, and energy efficiency projects in that country, GE announced on Sept. 30. Indonesia, the world’s third-fastest-growing economy, claims energy demand is increasing about 7% a year. Planning to increase the country’s power generation capacity by 29 GW over the next 10 years (through rural electrification programs—a third of Indonesians have no electricity), the government is offering tax incentives to spur development of renewable energy projects.

Doosan Wins Project to Build 2,400-MW Saudi Thermal Plant. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction on Sept. 9 announced it had won a project to build the Rabigh 6 Thermal Power Plant from the Saudi Electricity Corp. (SEC). The US$3.44 billion project constitutes the largest single project for power plant construction that a Korean company has ever secured overseas, Doosan said. The Rabigh 6 project involves Phase-6 expansion of the thermal power plant in the Rabigh region, 150 kilometers north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city. The project entails power generation capacity of 2,800 MW (700 MW x 4). After officially signing the contract, Doosan plans to carry out the entire project over 50 months, placing orders worth nearly $860 million with a number of small and midsize South Korean companies. SEC is reportedly planning to order similar projects amounting to around 20,000 MW over the next five years.

Rolls-Royce Awarded $200M in Orders from Around the World. Rolls-Royce announced on Sept. 8 that it had been awarded orders worth over $200 million for electrical power generation equipment from customers in Australia, Bangladesh, Spain, Venezuela, and Yemen. The new orders consist of 25 Bergen diesel engines, five Bergen gas engines, and six Trent 60 gas turbines, which in total are capable of producing over 560 MW of electrical energy for the five new customers, the company said.

NRG First to Buy Siemens’ Flex Plant Technology. Siemens Energy on Sept. 9 said it had been awarded its first order for the supply of two SCC6-5000F Flex-Plant 10 combined-cycle power islands. The order for the Flex-Plant 10 power islands in El Segundo, Calif.—each with a capacity of 300 MW that can be fired up within 10 minutes—is from NRG Energy. According to Siemens, at the heart of the Flex-Plant 10 is the SGT6-5000F gas turbine, integrated with a single-pressure, non-reheat bottoming cycle. Along with an air-cooled heat exchanger for steam condensing, the Flex-Plant 10 provides a net efficiency of nearly 49%, the company said. The 560-MW El Segundo gas plant is slated to come online in 2013. Siemens also will provide engineering services and commissioning for the plant.

Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.

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