POWER Digest—September 2019

Kenya Launches Africa’s Largest Wind Farm. Kenya in July began operating the 310-MW Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) facility, which the government said is Africa’s largest wind power farm. The LTWP project is a major part of the country’s goal of producing 100% renewable energy by 2020. The wind farm will increase Kenya’s electricity supply by 13%, according to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. The project is powered by the Turkana corridor wind, a low-level jet stream that originates in the Indian Ocean and blows year-round. An international consortium, including the African Development Bank, developed the $700 million project, which has 365 wind turbines. Around 70% of Kenya’s power comes from renewables, including hydropower and geothermal. State-owned power company KenGen produces about 80% of electricity consumed in Kenya and sells it to Kenya Power, the country’s main utility.

NRC Certifies Used Nuclear Fuel Transport Package. Holtec International reported that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had certified the company’s HI-STAR 100MB transport package. Holtec expects the dual-purpose (capable of transport and on-site storage) and dual-use (capable of holding both unpackaged and canisterized fuel) cask to be a workhorse for transporting used nuclear fuel from nuclear plant sites around the country to its consolidated interim storage facility in southeastern New Mexico, which is currently under licensing, or directly to a repository. Earlier in August, Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom completed functional testing of Holtec’s HI-TRAC and HI-STAR 190 containers at Unit 3 of the Rovno nuclear power plant during the VVER-1000 reactor’s scheduled maintenance outage.

Croatia Solar Park Under Development. Croatian utility Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) in early August announced plans to build a 25-MW solar park in the area of the Kršan municipality, in the eastern part of the Istrian peninsula, near the site of HEP’s Plomin coal-fired power plant. HEP operates all of the country’s power plants, most of which are hydroelectric facilities. Plomin is the only coal-fired plant in Croatia, generating 210 MW from its single unit. A second, 125-MW unit ceased operation at the end of 2018. The solar park is among HEP’s first projects to develop renewable energy resources. Construction of the plant is set to begin in early 2021. Mayor Valdi Runko of the Kršan municipality said HEP is investing about 184 Croatian kuna (HRK) in the plant (about $27.6 million). HEP in April of this year announced an investment cycle of about $111 million by 2023 to build new solar power facilities. HEP has said it wants to install at least 350 MW of solar generation capacity by 2030. The utility earlier this year announced plans for 60-MW and 35-MW solar farms, asking for environmental assessments of those sites. HEP operates 13 rooftop solar arrays on its commercial buildings, with total generation capacity of 270 kW.

Hydrogen-Powered CHP System Announced. 2G Energy AG, an international manufacturer of gas-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) systems for decentralized energy supply, in July received an order to deliver a hydrogen-driven CHP system to Siemens AG. The 2G agenitor 412 forms part of a project on the Arabian Peninsula to produce hydrogen utilizing a solar-powered electrolysis plant manufactured by Siemens. The hydrogen is then harnessed for emission-free re-generation with the 2G CHP unit. The solar power will be generated in one of the world’s largest solar parks, which will be expanded to a capacity of 800 MW by mid-2020. This is a pilot project to test how the produced gas can be stored and converted back into electricity, or how it can be utilized for transportation purposes or other industrial applications. 2G is expected to deliver and install the hydrogen CHP by the end of the year. Siemens also supplied the electrolyzer for the hydrogen CHP project for Stadtwerke Hassfurt.

Geothermal Will Power Oil and Gas Field Operations. A pilot project in Swan Hills, Alberta, Canada will combine geothermal energy with existing infrastructure to power oil and gas exploration field operations. The project is being led by the University of Alberta (UA). UA researcher Jonathan Banks said the hybrid geothermal power plant is being built in collaboration with Razor Energy. Banks said, “The idea is to retrofit geothermal energy technology onto an existing oil and gas battery.” The project plans to connect to the Alberta power grid in early 2020, generating about 21 MW of power from two sources: 5 MW to 7 MW of renewable energy from heat-to-power generation, a combination of hot water heat and heat recovered from all sources at the battery site; and 15 MW of power from natural gas-fired generation. Doug Bailey, president and CEO of Razor Energy, said the goal is not only to use renewable energy to power field operations, but also to take revenue from selling the power produced by the waste heat. The project is funded by the Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework through Alberta Innovates; Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program; and through the university’s Future Energy Systems project.

2-GW Gas Plant Set for Mozambique. The government of Mozambique said it plans to build a 2-GW gas-fired power station in Beluluane, in Boane district, about 30 kilometers west of Maputo. Beluluane Gas Co. SA received approval from the government to develop the $2.8 billion project. Beluluane will have exclusive rights for financing, constructing, operating, exploring, maintaining, and expanding infrastructure for importing, receiving, storing, treating, and exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the new plant. The project is expected to be ready for commercial operation in 2024. A spokeswoman for the Mozambique government said the project is part of the country’s plan to have at least 8 GW of generation capacity installed by 2043, including infrastructure at the port of Matola for the handling, storing, re-gasifying, and exporting LNG, with a gas pipeline linking the port to the Beluluane power station. Mozambique plans to export power generated at Beluluane to South Africa and other markets in the Southern African Development Community region. It could also supply power to the Mozal aluminium smelter, which is located in Beluluane. Also in Mozambique, Scatec Solar and its partners in late July said they have grid-connected and started commercial operation for the 40-MW Mocuba solar power plant. The plant is located near Mocuba in the Zambézia province. Equity partners are KLP Norfund Investments (22.5%), EDM-Electricidade de Mozambique (25%), and Scatec Solar (52.5%). A 25-year power purchase agreement earlier was signed with state-owned utility EDM. ■

—Darrell Proctor is a POWER associate editor.

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