News

Bush acts on carbon, eventually

President George W. Bush has outlined plans for significant cuts to national carbon emissions as part of a series of policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and national dependence on oil.

Announcing a new goal to stop the growth of US greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, Bush said that power sector greenhouse gas emissions must peak within 10″15 years. This will depend on accelerating the development andà‚ deployment of new technologies, said Bush, who in 2002 announced plans to reduce US greenhouse gas intensity by 18% through 2012.

‘We must all recognize that in the long run, new technologies are the key to addressing climate change. But in the short run, they can be more expensive. And that isà‚ why I believe part of any solution means reforming today’s complicated mix of incentives to make the commercialization and use of new, lower-emission technologies more competitive,’ heà‚ said.

As part of this strategy existing incentive programmes are to be consolidated into a single, expanded programme in which the incentives should be carbon-weighted and should take into account energy security issues. The incentive scheme should also be technology-neutral and long-lasting to provide a positive and reliable market signal.

Along with a new generation ofà‚ nuclear power plants and significant support for clean coal and carbon capture and sequestration, large-scale renewable energy installations areà‚ also envisaged.

‘America’s national plan will be a comprehensive blend of market incentives and regulations to reduce emissions by encouraging clean and efficient energy technologies. We’re willing to include this plan in a binding international agreement, so long as our fellow major economies are prepared to include their plans in such an agreement,’ he added.

Commenting on the move, David Sweet, Executive Director of the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy said: ‘While better late thanà‚ never, this 11th hour call for action is not likely to produce any real policy change. What continues to be disappointing is the misconception that the climate issue is an either/or dichotomy ” reduce GHG emissions or have a strong economy. WADE research has consistently proven that this does not have to be the case whenà‚ there is a shift to clean andà‚ efficient decentralized energyà‚ systems.’


World’s first CHP plant to use crude jatropha

Wärtsilä has secured an order for an engine-driven CHP plant that will run on liquid biofuel extracted from the seeds of the jatropha plant. This CHP plant will be the first power plant in the world ever to produce both electricity and heat using crude jatropha oil as fuel.

The plant will be located in an agricultural area in Merksplas, Belgium and will be owned by Greenpower NV, itself a joint venture between 50% holder Thenergo, together with four localà‚ agricultural companies and aà‚ private investor holding 10%à‚ each.

Under the terms of the turnkey contract, Wärtsilä will deliver the CHP plant utilizing a 20V32 engine with an output of 9 MWe. The project will be operational for up to 8000 hours per year ” about 11 months ” generating 6 MWth for two industrial partners. The scope of supply also includes exhaust gas cleaning equipment and heat recovery systems. The plant will have a gross electrical efficiency of 44.2% and an overall efficiency of more than 85%.

Commercial operation of the plant is scheduled to begin in February 2009. Heat from the plant will be used primarily for farming processes, in nearby greenhouses. It will also be used in a drying process, which is part of a livestock farming manure digester plant that processes biogas and dry fertilizer material. Electricity will be sold to the grid.

The contract is valued at approximately €7 million and the project represents a total investment of €11 million.

‘The significance of this order is that it will be the first in the world whereby our engines are to run on vegetable oil from the jatropha plant and to produce both electricity and heat. Jatropha oil is a liquid biofuel that has great potential since jatropha can also be harvested outside the world’s rainforest areas, even near deserts.à‚ It is a step towards using CO2-neutral fuels that do not compete with other valuable food crops,’ says Ronald Westerdijk, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä Benelux countries.


Tomatoes to benefit from 85% efficient CHP

One of the largest commercial tomato greenhouse operators in the Netherlands is to utilize aà‚ new 24-cylinder gas engine from GE Energy’s Jenbacher forà‚ CHP.

Two new 4 MW Jenbacher J624 GS engines are being delivered to Royal Pride Holland’s commercial tomato greenhouse inà‚ the Netherlands as a pilot project to demonstrate the viability of the new Jenbacher ‘type 6’ engine, the world’s first 24-cylinder engine designed for power generation.

Royal Pride Holland is installing the two natural gas-fuelled units as part of a cogeneration/CO2 fertilization application to improve tomato crop production and energy efficiency at the greenhouse.

Located in Middenmeer, 50 km north of Amsterdam, the facility currently covers 45 hectares, but will expand to 102 hectares once the project is completed.

The J624 GS is a high-speed engine with a total efficiency level of more than 85% in cogeneration mode.

The Royal Pride Holland project is scheduled for commercial start-up in September, supported by a full service maintenance agreement that will cover the units for up to 60,000 operating hours or 15 years of service.


New process for waste heat extraction

A company that says it has developed a unique process to convert industrial waste heat into re-usable energy is establishing aà‚ R&D and manufacturing plant inà‚ Wales, UK.

Econotherm will manufacture what it says is a unique heat exchanger using patented superconductor heat pipes to recover waste energy, which can then be re-used in the form of heated fluid or air in industrial processes or to provide space heating.

‘Heat pipes have been successfully used in space and electronics industries for several years and are a generically proven technology with strong technical advantages over conventional heat exchanger designs.

However, they have hitherto been regarded as cost prohibitive and it has been difficult to create an effective business case for their utilization as an energy recovery technology,’ said Mark Boocock, director of Econotherm.


Thai paper mill gets on-site power plant

China’s A-Power Energy Generation Systems has signed a contract with National Power Supply Co, a subsidiary of Advance Agro Public Co, a large Thai-based conglomerate, to develop a 300à‚ MW on-site power plant.

The US $150 million development, for a large paper mill project located about 100 km south of Bangkok, will use both coal and biomass waste from the paper mill.

The project will take about 24 months to complete.

Mr. Jinxiang Lu, A-Power’s chairman and CEO, commented, ‘Thailand, as with other South-east Asian countries, continues to struggle to provide a consistent and adequate power supply to its rural areas. Our proven distributed power generation system is a solution that helps fill this supply gap and will ultimately contribute to continued economic growth in the region.’


Cogen plans for silicon plant

Power for the production of solarà‚ grade polysilicon in Italy willà‚ be largely produced on site byà‚ meansà‚ of a 50 MW methane-fired cogeneration plant, a 10 MW hydro plant and a biomassà‚ plant.

Production is set to commence with the establishment of Silfabà‚ S.p.A, which intends to supply some 2500 tonnes of siliconà‚ annually from 2009 using the Siemens process and doubleà‚ production capacity to 5000à‚ tonnes in 2010, corresponding to about 600à‚ MW.

The works, at Borgofranco d’Ivrea in Turin Province, will cover an area of 100,000 m2 and the project will require an investment of about €280 million for the first phase and some €430à‚ overall.


FuelCell Energy, Inc. has installed a 900 kW fuel cell power system at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Tulare, California
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Silfab has already signed a contract with Maire Tecnimont S.p.A., for basic engineering design services, main equipment procurement, permitting services and other support activities. Theà‚ reactors have already been orderedà‚ by Silfab with the objectiveà‚ of completing the plant byà‚ the year 2010.


New fuel cell system cleaning up

FuelCell Energy, Inc. has installed a 900 kW fuel cell power system at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Tulare, California.

Comprised of three Direct FuelCell (DFC300) stationary fuel cell power plants, the installation uses digester gas generated in the wastewater treatment process as a source of fuel.

The DFC units allow the facility to reduce its dependence on the local utility grid, while utilization of digester gas qualifies the installation as renewable generation. The development was supported by US $4 million in financial incentives from California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and the project economics for the City of Tulare were further enhanced by avoiding $600,000 in Federal Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) required for alternative combustion technologies.

Joseph Heinzmann, director of business development, Western Region for FuelCell Energy said that fuel cell technology had benefits in wastewater applications saying that, ‘avoided emissions, significantly more renewable kilowatt hours generated from the same amount of limited fuel, the ability to blend a variety of source fuels, and a competitive cost provide the justification and motivation for educated end users to choose our product.’


Aluminium smelter in hydro refurbishment

Andritz VA TECH HYDRO has been awarded a major refurbishment contract by Alcan Aluminium UK, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Alcan, for the supply, installation and commissioning of five new turbine generator units at the on-site Lochaber power station in Scotland.

The order is part of Rio Tinto Alcan’s à‚£45 million (US $90 million) modernization of the plant, set to begin in 2009 and be completed byà‚ 2012.

Lochaber power station, which was put into operation in 1929, has an installed capacity of 72 MW. Twelve 6 MW horizontal twin jet Pelton turbines, each driving two DC generators, will be replaced by five horizontal Francis turbines driving AC generators. The scope of supply comprises the electro-mechanical equipment including turbine governors, main inlet valves, as well as unit automation and protection. The station will remain in operation during the modernization.

The mechanical scope will be shared with Andritz VA TECH HYDRO’s alliance partner Weir Services of Alloa, Scotland, which will supply the inlet valves, the mechanical balance of plant as well as site infrastructure and installation work.

The modernization will ensure the increased use of on-site renewable energy for aluminium production at the plant, Andritz says. In recent weeks Andritz has also received an order from PT International Nickel Indonesia Tbk (PT Inco) for the supply, installation and commissioning of two new generators of 85 MVA each for an on-site hydro station in Indonesia.

Along with the generators, Andritz will deliver the protection/excitation systems andà‚ balance of plant for the Laronaà‚ station located in Sulawesi, built in 1978.

Larona, together with the Balambano and Karebbe hydro stations, supplies the energy required by PT Inco for ore processing and nickel matte production.

The first unit is to be supplied by the end of May 2009 and to go on line in November 2009; the second unit is to follow in early 2010.


Switching to veg forà‚ paper

Specialty paper and fibre-based materials company FiberMark has converted manufacturing operations at its Vermont, US headquarters to be able to run up to 100% used vegetable oil.

With this conversion, FiberMark says it has become the first paper industry manufacturer in the state to generate part of its process energy from waste biofuel.

The energy produced by the vegetable oil not only powers FiberMark’s Brattleboro paper machine turbine and dries its papers, but also provides heat for the plant.

Before the conversion, FiberMark consumed approximately two million gallons of number six fuel oil per year.


Ansaldo and Enel in fuel cell push

Italian utility major Enel and Ansaldo Fuel Cells have signed a partnership agreement to develop a 500 kW fuel cell system at Enel’s research centre in Livorno.

The system, which will be able to generate electricity as well as heating and cooling, will be operating by mid-2009, according to a statement from the companies.

Ansaldo Fuel Cells, a Finmeccanica company co-ordinated by Ansaldo Energia, is to develop, build and test an integrated trigeneration system with a molten carbonate fuel cell. Ansaldo Fuel Cells will install new components and solutions at the plant, which it says will provide superior performance compared to other demonstration plants completed in recent years.


Another Enercon machine will join the two already operating at the Dagenham plant
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The partnership also covers the joint development of certain system components, notably the interface between the fuel cells and the electricity grid.


Third turbine to support Dagenham plant expansion

Ford Motor Co is to add a third on-site wind turbine at its Dagenham manufacturing plant near London to power the expansion of its diesel engine production.

This extra turbine from Ecotricity will enable Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Centre to remain 100% wind powered following the installation of a new engine line that is expected to produce close to 600,000 units next year.

A spokesman for Ford explained that while the site has an excellent wind resource, the machines are anticipated not to operate for at least two days in any year when power is supplied by the grid. However, over capacity during other times is exported to the grid, making the company a net 100% renewable operation.

Subject to planning approval, the existing two Ecotricity-supplied 1.8à‚ MW Enercon E-70 wind turbines at Ford Dagenham will be joined by third Enercon machine also with a 1.8 MW capacity.

Dale Vince OBE, Ecotricity managing director, said: ‘When household names like Ford use wind energy for everyday operations, it’s a powerful endorsement of wind energy’s credibility.’

Built under Ecotricity’s Merchant Wind Power scheme (MWP), the new machine is expected to become operational by the first quarter of 2009.


Orders for microturbines in Europe and Asia

Capstone Turbine Corp has received a follow-on order from its Switzerland-based distributor for its C200 MicroTurbine systems.

Capstone’s distributor, Verdesis Suisse SA, ordered the systems, worth US $2.6 million, which will be deployed at multiple biogas sites throughout Austria, Germany and Spain. Previous microturbines ordered from Verdesis have been deployed in a variety of applications, including biogas, at sites throughout Belgium, France, Switzerland and Germany.

Jim Crouse, Capstone’s executive vice president, Sales and Marketing said: ‘Verdesis, in conjunction with its Micropower partners, Wels Strom, VTA Technologie GmbH and AESA SpA, provide expertise in deploying a number of multiple unit biogas applications as well as others that offer customers effective and reliable solutions.’

In related news, Capstone has received an order valued at $2à‚ million from Samsung C&T Corporation, its distributor in South Korea. The order is for Capstone’s C65, C65 CHP and Resource Recovery biogas MicroTurbine systems.

Samsung C&T Corporation, the origin of the Samsung Group, is renowned for a vast range of business activities and is also engaged in energy services management for commercial and industrial customers throughout South Korea. Previous Capstone microturbines shipped to Samsung have been installed in CHP and resource recovery applications.


Hamlin pipes up withà‚ BIPV

Hamlin Energy Solutions has installed the largest building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) laminate rooftop power plant in North Carolina at its sheet metal fabrication plant in Benson, North Carolina, US.

The 104 kW system covers 24,000 ft2 (2230m2). A typical 20,000 ft2 (1860 m2) commercial roof can support a 100 kW system using BIPV laminates. The energy generated by Hamlin’s roof will result in a cash benefit of approximately $150,000. Hamlin will benefit from the North Carolina tax incentive of 35% over five years and the federal tax incentive of 30% in the first year. Another incentive is accelerated depreciation; the equipment can be fully depreciated in five years.

‘Hamlin knew installing this BIPV power plant was a smart decision for our operating model, and the tax incentives offered by North Carolina make it especially viable and practical for industrial and corporate organizations’ said Will Hamlin, executive vice president.


Two plans for CHP in london

The London Development Agency (LDA) has announced pioneering plans for the UK’s first scheme to harness some 400 MW of waste heat from an existing thermal power station for space heating.

The Barking Power Station scheme aims to capture the excess heat produced in the generation of electricity to supply heat directly to properties through a hot waterà‚ network for heating andà‚ water.à‚ Barking Power Station is a gas-fired combined cycle station rated at 1000 MW and currently discards some 40% of the energy it produces in the form of excess heat, according to the LDA.

The project ” the first of its kind in the UK ” is being developed through a partnership between local authorities, the LDA, Barking Power, London Thames Gateway Development Corp and Communities and Local Government (CLG).

A feasibility study has identified 37,000 new homes that could be supplied when the project is up and running. The first homes to benefit would be new developments in Barking Riverside, the Royal Docks, Havering Riverside and Barking town centre.


Barking Power Station
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The partnership is working with energy consultancy company Ramboll, which helped set up a similar scheme in Copenhagen, to develop the plan.

LDA chief executive Manny Lewis said: ‘This is an exciting project that shows the innovative ways in which we can tackle climate change in big cities. Barking Power Station is right in the heart of an already highly populated area that is due to become even further developed as it is a key target for growth in the Thames Gateway.’

In related news, a new project to help the South Bank of the Thames in London reduce its carbon footprint has also been unveiled by the LDA, together with the South Bank Employers’ Group (SBEG) and London South Bank University.

The project is the first of its kind to focus on a whole area in central London. It will build an understanding of current and projected energy consumption patterns in the area and explore opportunities for decentralized energy systems including district heating, CHP and biomass.


Making energy from waste in Scandinavia

Norwegian company Energos AS, a subsidiary of UK-based Ener-G Holdings, has been awarded a contract to supply an 80,000 tonne per annum energy from waste plant to Hafslund Heat & Infrastructure AS.

The contract with Trondheim-based Energos forms the major part of Hafslund H&I’s investment of à‚£45 million (US $90 million) as part of its long-term contract to supply energy to Borregaard Industries’ chemical plant at Sarpsborg, Norway.

The plant will use low emission Energos gasification technology to recover the energy from residual commercial and household waste into 32 MWth of steam, which will be used to displace fossil fuel.

Elsewhere in Scadinavia, Keppel Seghers Belgium NV has secured a €34 million turnkey contract for a CHP waste-to-energy plant owned by Amotfors Energi AB in Amotfors, Sweden.

When completed in 2010, the plant will process close to 70,000 tonnes of waste per year to generate steam and electricity. Amotfors Energi has a 20-year agreement to supply steam and electricity to Amotfors Bruk’s papermill operations. Eventually the plant will also be able to supply district heating to neighbouring industries and buildings.

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