POWER Digest (September 2009)

News items of interest to power industry professionals.

Hitachi Power Systems to Supply Boiler Systems for Meigs County Project. American Municipal Power (AMP) on July 13 awarded a contract for the design and supply of two supercritical, coal-fired steam-electric generating power blocks to Hitachi Power Systems America for the American Municipal Power Generating Station (AMPGS) project under development in Meigs County, Ohio. Each power block consists of a pulverized coal boiler powering a steam turbine generator and the associated nitrogen oxide emission control equipment. The boiler systems will also utilize Hitachi’s selective catalytic reduction technology. The contract was awarded following an extensive bid and analysis process that included AMP staff, Bechtel Power (the EPC contractor for the project), R.W. Beck (the project’s owner’s engineer), and Burns & Roe (an independent consultant reviewing the contract and bid evaluation).

The AMPGS facility will also use Powerspan’s ECO-SO2 emission control technology for the control of sulfur dioxide (SO2), with co-benefits for the control of mercury and particulate matter. The project will be the first large-scale commercial deployment of the technology, which, in addition to controlling SO2 at best available control technology standards, shows promise for the efficient capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the future. Powerspan’s CO2 control technology is currently being tested with a commercial pilot at FirstEnergy’s R.E. Burger plant in Shadyside, Ohio.

GLE to Evaluate Laser-Based Uranium Enrichment Technology. Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) on July 30 announced the start-up of a test loop to evaluate the laser-based uranium enrichment technology that GLE is developing to increase the U.S. supply of enriched uranium for nuclear power plants worldwide. GLE, a business venture between GE Hitachi Ltd. and Canadian uranium producer Cameco, plans to use the test loop’s results to determine whether to commercialize laser-based enrichment technology at a full-scale enrichment facility in Wilmington, N.C. GLE anticipates gleaning sufficient data from the test loop by the end of 2009. Start-up of the test loop comes less than a month after GLE announced it had completed its license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build the full-scale facility. The NRC’s estimated 30-month application review process officially begins once the agency formally dockets, or accepts, the GLE application.


Acciona Inaugurates 50-MW Parabolic Cylinder Plant in Spain. Spanish energy firm Acciona in late July inaugurated a 50-MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Alvarado, Spain. The €236 million plant uses parabolic cylinder technology — the same as Acciona’s Nevada’s Solar One CSP plant, which has been in operation since June 2007. The Alvarado I CSP plant covers more than 130 hectares. Solar energy is reflected by 184,320 mirrors aligned in rows to 768 solar collectors with a total length of around 75 km. Construction of the plant began in February 2008 and involved shifting more than a million cubic meters of earth. An average of 350 people worked throughout the 18-month construction period. A team of 31 will make up the plant’s operation and maintenance team.

Fluor Corp. to Conduct FEED Work for Scottish and Southern Plant in England. Fluor Corp. on July 21 said it had been selected to conduct front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for a nitrogen oxide reduction program at the Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station in Warrington, Cheshire, England. Fluor is currently performing preliminary engineering and construction planning services for selective catalytic reduction of emissions at Scottish and Southern Energy’s (SSE) four-unit coal-fired power plant as well as providing client technical support and project cost estimation. Fluor began a feasibility study in late 2008; FEED work is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2009. SSE is competitively bidding the EPC contract for this clean air initiative.


Wärtsilä Wins Power Plant Orders from Greece and Cyprus.
Wärtsilä on July 20 said it won €40 million in separate orders to supply power generation equipment to the island of Lesvos, Greece, and to Cyprus from the Greek state-owned Public Power Corp. The contracts, representing a total of 72 MW, are for an extension to an existing power plant, with the extra 22 MW capacity needed to meet the huge increase in demand that occurs during the tourist season. In addition, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), a public utility, has ordered a power plant with three Wärtsilä 18V46 engines, with a capacity of 50 MW. The new plant is located in Dhekelia, near the town of Larnaca, in Cyprus.

SCE&E Picks Shaw, Westinghouse for Nuclear Plant Maintenance and Engineering. The South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G), the principal subsidiary of SCANA Corp., on July 28 awarded the Shaw Group’s power group and Westinghouse Electric Co. a long-term alliance contract. The group will provide nuclear maintenance, modification, refueling outage, and design engineering services to SCANA’s V.C. Summer Nuclear Station Unit 1, in Jenkinsville, S.C. The contract is an extension of the relationship established by Shaw and Westinghouse to provide EPC services for two new AP1000 nuclear power units — V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3, operated by SCE&G and the South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper).


UK Government Grants Vestas £6 Million for Wind Energy R&D.
The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change on July 27 said Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems would be granted over £6 million for research and development work on the Isle of Wight. The grant is made under the UK government’s £1 billion program to set up onshore wind farms in the next three years. More than £3 million of Vestas’s total grant will come from the South East England Development Agency. The sum will be paid out to the unit Vestas Technology UK Ltd., which runs an R&D center on the Isle of Wight. The Danish company will receive the subsidy despite its decision to close its wind-blade factory on the small island, which generated large media attention and protests against more than 600 job losses there.

— By Sonal Patel, POWER’s senior writer.