Seven biomass CHP plants for district heating networks in France


Dalkia has been selected for seven projects as part of the French government’s third call for tenders for CHP plants fired by biomass. The projects will enable over 570,000 tonnes of biomass to be recovered annually, mainly in the form of forest residue, and the total electricity generating capacity will be close to 60 MW.

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Credit: Photothèque Veolia / Eric Lefeuvre

Dalkia is to build, provide with feedstock and operate seven new biomass-fired CHP plants that will supply renewable heat to district heating networks and generate electricity. The largest of the plants, which will have a capacity of 10 MW of electricity and 33 MW of heat, will be connected to the Rennes district heating network and will heat over 15,000 housing units. Six other plants, with capacities ranging from 7.5 MW to 10 MW, will supply the existing district heating networks in Strasbourg, Orléans, Tours, Angers, Lens and Limoges.

The plants will provide 82,500 equivalent housing units with green heat at competitive prices, says Dalkia, as heating networks using renewable energy sources for over 50% of feedstock benefit from the lower value-added tax rate of 5.5%.

More than three-quarters of the 570,000 tonnes of biomass that will feed the seven new plants will come directly from forests, in line with Dalkia’s feedstock strategy. Feedstock provision will be organized in partnership with local forestry participants, including landowners, logging companies and forestry maintenance companies.





Qantas aims for trigeneration at Sydney Airport


Australia’s Qantas Airways and GridX Power have signed an agreement to build the first significantly-sized trigeneration plant in New South Wales. The proposed 9.6 MW plant, to be fuelled with natural gas, will provide electricity, chilled water and hot water to Qantas at Sydney Airport Domestic Terminal 3, Qantas Jetbase and the Qantas catering facility.

Emissions of carbon dioxide from Qantas’ operations associated with its use of electricity will be reduced by around 50%, says GridX, and the trigeneration plant will also relieve pressure on the main electricity grid at times of peak and shoulder use. By capturing heat that would otherwise be lost, trigeneration can achieve energy efficiencies of around 80%, compared with an average of 35% for a conventional supply of energy from the grid.

Qantas says that the plant will be the first to be undertaken by an Australian airline. The company’s chief risk officer, Rob Kella, said that trigeneration power, ‘will increase the security and reliability of our electricity supply and enable further maintenance and operational savings.’

Site works are due to commence at Sydney Airport in September, under a 15 year build, own, operate and maintain arrangement with GridX, and the scheduled completion date is July 2011.





Feed in tariffs reach the UK


UK householders and communities which install low-carbon distributed generation technology such as micro-CHP systems, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and wind turbines up to 5 MW in size will be entitled to claim payments for the electricity they produce, even if they use it themselves, from April. The UK’s long-awaited ‘feed-in tariffs’ arrived in an announcement by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which also named the initiative the Clean Energy Cashback Scheme.

The level of payment, which vary from 4.5 p/kWh to 41 p/kWh, depends on the technology and is linked to inflation, said DECC. Generators will receive additional payments for electricity they feed into the grid. Payments will be made for periods between ten and 25 years.

The rate for micro-CHP systems, which have to have an output below 2 kW, is 10 p/kWh. The tariff is available for the first 30,000 micro-CHP installations and a review will take place when 12,000 have been installed.





Decarbonization of UK energy – a major role for CHP and district heating


‘Waste’ heat from power generation could meet a significant share of the UK demand for energy, providing a more efficient, flexible and resilient energy system than that currently proposed in an ‘all-electric’ approach to decarbonization of the UK energy system. So concludes a new report commissioned by the UK CHP Association and carried out by energy scientists from Imperial College London and the University of Surrey.

Using more electricity to heat buildings and power cars increases dependence on the electricity system to unprecedented levels, says the report, which explores a range of possible ‘criticalities’ likely to arise as a result, which in turn, risk undermining the Government’s ability to meet 80% cuts in carbon emissions by 2050.

The report outlines a more integrated approach to energy supply, proposing that ‘waste’ heat from power generation could meet a significant share of UK demand for energy, providing a more efficient, flexible and resilient energy system. Starting to develop this system today could reduce the anticipated stresses on the electricity system. To this end, heat storage can be used to help manage the intermittent output of some renewables and reduce growth in peak demand that has potential to place strain on the electricity system in 2050.

Most scenarios for a 2050 energy system – including those used to develop the UK Government’s Low Carbon Transition Plan – anticipate that electricity will increasingly be used to meet energy needs for transport and heating. The report outlines that such a transition could result in a doubling of peak electricity demand. A system that makes greater use of CHP and district heating can mitigate many of the demanding aspects of the ‘all-electric’ approach. Used in combination with biomass and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for fossil fuels, CHP and district heating infrastructure have a key role to play up to 2050 and beyond.

Graham Meeks, director of the CHPA said: ‘The report highlights the enormous risks we face in focusing on electricity to meet our demands for energy services. But it also demonstrates that more robust, dynamic and efficient pathways are open to us, recovering the waste heat from power generation.’





Service agreement for GE turbines in Thailand


Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Chemical Public Company Limited, has signed a service agreement with GE to help ensure the long-term reliability of nine GE gas turbines at PTT Chemical’s site in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Rayong Province, Thailand.

The contractual service agreement (CSA) will help PTT Chemical manage its gas turbine maintenance programme for the next 13 years. It covers threee GE Frame 5 gas turbines ans six Frame 6 gas turbines at the Map Ta Phut site.

The company says that its long-term service agreements are structured to provide customers with predictable maintenance costs.





Baltimore district cooling acquisition for Veolia


Sustainable energy services and facility management solutions company Veolia Energy North America has purchased the Comfort Link district cooling system business in Baltimore, Maryland, US, one of the largest ice thermal storage systems in the US that serves 50 major customers in the city. Comfort Link was previously a partnership of Baltimore Gas and Electric and Monumental Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of EMCOR Group.

The acquisition will expand Veolia Energy’s existing district energy (heating, cooling and cogeneration) operations in Baltimore, with 16 new buildings served.

Comfort Link’s ice thermal storage system reduces the number of required chillers and cooling towers, which makes it highly energy-efficient.

Veolia Energy will provide preventive maintenance and will continue to invest in the system to increase efficiency, says the company. Customers connected to the system include federal, state, and Baltimore City government buildings; entertainment and retail establishments; commercial office buildings; hotels; hospitals; and religious and other non-profit facilities.

Prior to the acquisition of Comfort Link, Veolia Energy provided centrally-produced steam, hot water and chilled water to approximately 250 commercial, government, institutional and hospitality customers in Baltimore’s central business district, East Baltimore and Inner Harbor East areas.





Fortum to upgrade Russian district heating system


Fortum’s Russian subsidiary OAO Fortum and the Chelyabinsk Region Administration in Russia have agreed on extensive cooperation in the area of energy efficiency, including the automation and upgrade of the Chelyabinsk heating system.

According to the memorandum of intentions signed in the course of the Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko’s recent visit to Finland, the parties intend to implement a number of energy efficiency measures during 2010-2012 in the Chelyabinsk region. The measures aim at reducing environmental impacts and promoting efficient use of resources.

The automation and upgrade of the Chelyabinsk district heating system will reduce energy losses in the area by over 30% as well as significantly decrease fuel consumption and emissions. A project this size is unique in Russia and will be partly funded by raising the district heating tariffs controlled by the region’s administration. Once completed, consumers will be provided with uninterrupted and more affordable supply of district heat.

Fortum is also planning to implement a number of technical improvements at the power plants located in the Chelyabinsk region in order to increase the efficiency of heat and electricity production. The company has also launched a sustainability programme aiming to reduce environmental impacts both around the power plants and in the region as a whole.





PV roofs in Italy to use ‘Solyndra’ technology


Construction of two photovoltaic roofs, with a maximum output power of 200 kWp and 400 kWp respectively, to cover the shopping centres of Nova Coop, Piedmont, Italy, has begun by the Enerqos Group. The new installations will be among the first Italian solar plants to be built with the innovative Solyndra cylindrical panels.

Installation work will be undertaken by the Piedmont-based company Photovoltaic Systems, under the supervision of Enerqos’ Industrial Roofs Business Unit. The new plants will be operational by the summer and will produce over 6 GWh of clean energy per year.

The Solyndra panels use thin-film technology and cylindrical modules which capture sunlight across a 360° photovoltaic surface. Using these panels in an industrial photovoltaic installation allows energy to be generated much more effectively than would be the case with conventional flat modules, says Enerqos, and significantly reduces installation costs.

‘More companies today are choosing to install photovoltaic plants in order to reduce their energy costs, often exploiting unused spaces such as roofs, warehouses, allotments or car-parks for the project: industrial photovoltaic plants represent a very attractive form of investment and a potentially huge resource for the production of renewable energy,’ said Giovanni Landi, head of Enerqos’ Industrial Roofs Business Unit.





Wärtsilä and Hitachi to develop fuel cell solutions in Japan


Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen have signed a business development agreement to develop fuel cell-based power solutions for distributed power generation applications in Japan.

Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen will utilize and combine their vast experience in technology and business development to provide this new and competitive power solution for the Japanese distributed energy markets.

Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen have already enjoyed more than 20 years of close co-operation in developing the sale and construction of Wärtsilä equipment to the Japanese energy market.





Cat power systems for Suriname refinery


Caterpillar Power Generation Systems has been selected to provide two medium-speed diesel generator sets for a cogeneration power plant that will produce over 25 MW of power in Paramaribo, Suriname. Currently, the plant is operating two similar Cat generator sets, providing 14.3 MW to the Tout Lui Faut crude oil refinery owned by the Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname State Oil Company.

The new 16CM32 generator sets are expected to be fully operational during the second quarter this year. The new equipment will bolster the plant’s steam output that the refinery relies on for its crude oil treatment, and will also provide more electricity to the local power company.





Sydney plans to build trigen schemes to cut emissions


The City of Sydney aims to remove its dependence on coal-fired electricity and increase its self sufficiency in low carbon energy supplies, including up to 330 MWe of new ‘trigeneration’ (heat, power and cooling) capacity, to and beyond 2030. The City has appointed a prominent British decentralized energy expert, Allan Jones, to take up the role of CDO of Energy and Climate Change.

Coal fuelled power generation is currently responsible for 80% of the City of Sydney’s greenhouse gas emissions, in an inefficient system where about one-third of the original fuel energy is converted to electricity and two-thirds lost as steam to the atmosphere.

The Council plans to enable at least 330 MWe of combined cooling heat and power to be built around the city.

The trigeneration plants, when combined with demand reduction measures, should provide approximately 70% of the electricity requirements for the City in 2030. The City is now focussed on understanding the best way to implement trigeneration across Sydney, and says it will be working with selected consultants to develop a city-wide plan to identify the optimal size and location of trigeneration plants.





Steam turbine for on-site power at UK chemicals site


Siemens Energy has received a follow up order for the supply of an SST-400 steam turbine-generator as an extension to the turbine building in the chemical industrial park in Wilton, UK. The purchaser is Sembcorp UK.

The industrial steam turbine, with an installed capacity of 52 MW is to be deployed to generate power within the existing turbine building at the chemical industrial park in Wilton. The Siemens scope of supply encompasses an extraction condensing turbine, a generator and the associated auxiliary systems. It is anticipated the components will be delivered to the customer within 13 months and will then be put into operation next to the existing Siemens turbine.

Sembcorp manages one of Europe’s leading integrated chemical industrial parks at Wilton, in north east England. This park is home to some of the world’s leading petrochemical and biofuel companies.





On-site wind turbines for Swedish mill


Swedish forestry group Södra has purchased six ENERCON E-82 wind turbines to be installed for on-site power supply to Södra Cell’s Mönsterås pulp mill. In addition, Södra and ENERCON may develop a further 50 turbines.

The project at Mönsterås mill is the first stage of a major wind power investment around the mill in conjunction with Norwegian energy company Statkraft. Licence approval has been granted to construct a further four wind turbines in Åserum, just north of the mill. Preliminary planning is underway. The third stage of the wind power development is planned in a bow-shaped area running from Torp, north of Mönsterås, towards Kråkerum to the east.

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