POWER Digest (Feb. 2011)

MHI to Continue Pre-Construction Work for North Anna Unit. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI), through Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems Inc., and Dominion subsidiary Virginia Electric and Power Co. on Dec. 27 said they had reached an agreement to continue pre-construction, engineering, and planning work in preparation for a third unit at Dominion’s North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in central Virginia. Dominion had selected MHI’s US-Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (US-APWR) as the design for its potential third nuclear power generation unit. Based on the agreement, MHI will continue to advance engineering and planning work for the project while awaiting Dominion’s decision on a construction commencement date. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to issue design certification for the US-APWR by the third quarter of 2012. The regulatory body is also expected to issue a combined construction and operation license for the project in early 2013.

Bechtel to Provide Project Management for UAE Nuclear Plant. Bechtel said on Dec. 16 that it would provide design and project management support services for the first commercial nuclear power plant in the Middle East. The plant will be one of four that a consortium headed by the Korean Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) will build and manage in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Bechtel plans to provide project support to KEPCO E&C both in Seoul, South Korea, and at the project site in Braka, which is in the western region of Abu Dhabi. The first UAE nuclear power plant is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Alstom to Rehabilitate EDF’s French Nuclear Fleet. Alstom secured orders worth €340 million to rehabilitate and maintain a part of Électricité de France’s (EDF’s) nuclear fleet in France. The company said in December that it would supply stators for 900-MW and 1,300-MW generators, rotors for 900-MW generators, and lines of rotors for 900-MW steam turbines. Alstom has designed and manufactured all the conventional islands installed in France’s nuclear power plants today, all owned and run by EDF and representing 64% of the country’s installed base and 86% of France’s total energy consumption. This contract is part of EDF’s strategy to renovate its nuclear fleet and follows the framework agreement signed by Alstom with EDF in 2008 to renovate the generators in EDF’s nuclear power plants.

Siemens Receives Largest Onshore Wind Turbine Order to Date. Siemens on Dec. 29 announced it had received an order for 258 wind turbines from U.S. utility MidAmerican Energy —the largest onshore wind order the German firm has received to date. The turbines, each with a nameplate capacity of 2.3 MW, will outfit several wind farms in Iowa. After commissioning in January 2012, the turbines will have a combined nameplate capacity of 593 MW.

ABB to Supply HVDC Link Between Sweden and Lithuania. Zurich-based ABB on Dec. 21 announced it had won orders worth $580 million from Svenska Kraftnät of Sweden and LITGRID turtas AB of Lithuania to supply a new high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link between the Nordic and Baltic regions. The system will comprise two converter stations and cable to transmit 700 MW with minimum losses across a distance of more than 400 kilometers. ABB plans to design, engineer, supply, and commission the two 700-MW, ±300 kV converter stations using its HVDC Light technology. One station will be in Nybro, Sweden, the other in Klaipeda, Lithuania. The order also includes the supply and installation of two 300-kV underwater cables, each 400 km long, and land cables of the same voltage in Sweden and Lithuania.

Voith Hydro to Provide Equipment for Portuguese Pumped Storage Plant. Voith Hydro Heidenheim, as part of a consortium with Siemens Portugal, won a €122 million order from Portuguese facility Energias de Portugal on Dec. 10 to equip the Venda Nova III pumped storage plant with electromechanical equipment for two reversible pumped storage units. Voith Hydro reported that the project would be a “milestone in hydropower”; it will use variable-speed technology to support direct grid control. The pumped storage units of Venda Nova III are expected to adapt their number of revolutions continuously and take capacity from the grid in the range between 319 MW and 380 MW—boosting the development of wind power in Portugal. The project is slated to be connected to the grid in early 2015. Portugal has plans to add 5,400 MW of new wind power capacity by then.

—Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.

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