News items of interest to power industry professionals.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Trade Delegation to India Postponed. In late November, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) announced that its president and CEO, Jack Fuller, would lead a 50-member U.S. trade mission to India Dec. 2–9. It was to be the first civilian nuclear energy delegation to visit India since the nations signed the 123 Agreement ending a three-decade ban on civilian nuclear cooperation.

However, as a result of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai at the end of November, the visit has been indefinitely postponed.

Fuller and trade mission participants were to meet with senior Indian government officials and key public-sector executives in New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. The trade mission, certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, was to be sponsored by the U.S.-India Business Council in partnership with the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The trade mission was intended to build on the momentum created by approval of the 123 Agreement, which followed authorization by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group. The U.S. and Indian governments signed the 123 Agreement Oct. 10, 2008, creating the framework to enable U.S. firms to provide nuclear technology and fuel to India. GE played a key role in the success of the 123 Agreement, actively encouraging lawmakers to ensure its passage.

GE’s relationship with India dates to 1902, when the company installed India’s first hydropower plant. It also has a long history of working with India’s respected civilian nuclear energy industry, in the 1960s having built the Tarapur 1 & 2 units that started the nation’s civilian nuclear energy program.

GEH is working with the Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. to identify a specific site for GEH’s advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) technology. Depending on site conditions, GEH could potentially deploy six to eight ABWRs for a total of 10,000 MWe.

Siemens Selects WorleyParsons for Gas Turbine Engineering Alliance. Siemens AG Power Sector Energy Solutions and WorleyParsons have initiated an alliance for multiple gas turbine/combined-cycle power plants to support the company’s worldwide turnkey gas turbine equipment package delivery process. The Alliance’s first project, the T-Power Project, a 400-MW gas turbine/combined cycle power plant will be located in Tessenderlo, Belgium.

Pennsylvania Solar Plant. Conergy and its subsidiary EPURON announced the completion and sale of the Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center in November. The 3-MW project is located on the Waste Management G.R.O.W.S. 16.5-acre landfill site just outside of Philadelphia. Conergy’s Projects Group (formerly SunTechnics) provided design, engineering, and installation for the system. EPURON provided financing for the project. Exelon Generation LLC is purchasing the power and renewable energy credits through a long-term power purchase agreement.

This solar power plant is Pennsylvania’s first utility-scale plant and the nation’s largest solar photovoltaic generation project east of the Mississippi River. It features 17,000 crystalline panels with an estimated annual production of 3,700,000 kWh.

Largest CPV Deal in Europe. In November, SolFocus announced it had inked the largest concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) deal in Europe, worth over $100M. SolFocus has proved its systems at its first utility-scale installation in Spain and received approval from the California Energy Commission for its flagship product. This new 10-MW project in Southern Spain represents a serious foothold in this rapidly growing new market. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2010.

Vattenfall AB Acquires Wind Project Developer. Vattenfall AB one of the largest electricity generators in Europe, made an offer on October 10, 2008, for the entire share capital of Eclipse Energy UK PLC, a UK-based energy developer primarily focused on wind. In November, Vattenfall received valid acceptances in respect of 91.2% of the issued share capital of Eclipse and received sufficient valid acceptances of the offer. Vattenfall intends to exercise its rights to acquire compulsorily the remaining shares in Eclipse on the same terms as the offer. This move enables Vattenfall to expand its presence in the UK market and to take an active role in the UK’s third licensing round for offshore wind development.

In the UK, Vattenfall owns and operates the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm, which has a capacity of 90 MW. It is also the world’s second-largest offshore wind power operator, with a 60% stake in Horns Rev, the world’s largest offshore wind facility off Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula (160 MW) and 100% of the world’s third-largest offshore wind farm, Lillgrund, between Sweden and Denmark (110 MW).

Eclipse is currently developing six wind projects in the UK with the potential to produce over 200 MW of renewable electricity.

FPL Develops Hybrid Solar/Fossil Plant. On Dec. 2, Florida Power & Light (FPL) executives broke ground for the first of three new solar power projects that will eventually make the state No. 2 in the nation for energy from the sun. FPL says the facility in southeast Florida will be the world’s first hybrid solar plant to connect to an existing fossil fuel plant. It will use the sun’s power, when it is available, to generate steam and offset the use of natural gas, making the facility more energy efficient.

The $476 million Martin County plant will produce 75 MW of power using more than 180,000 mirrors on about 500 acres of land. It is set for completion in 2010. Construction on two other FPL solar plants is planned for next year. Once complete, the three units will produce 110 MW.

The new facility will also be the nation’s largest solar thermal plant outside of California, where FPL Group operates a 310-MW site in the Mojave Desert.

—Compiled by Sonal Patel and Gail Reitenbach.