CPV, GE and DGC win funding for 800 MW CPV Sentinel plant

Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. (CPV), GE Energy Financial Services and Diamond Generating Corporation (DGC), co-owners of the planned $900m CPV Sentinel power plant, have announced closing the US thermal power industry’s largest project financing this year.

CPV, GE Energy Financial Services and DGC announced that 23 banks agreed to provide credit facilities of nearly $800m for construction and other capital needs for the plant, to be built near Desert Hot Springs in California.

With almost $2 billion of commitments received from lenders, interest in the project was so high that the syndicated loan was 2.4 times oversubscribed.

Gemma Power Systems California Inc. is scheduled to start construction of the 800 MW project immediately, with CPV Sentinel scheduled to go into commercial operation in the summer of 2013.

GE Energy is to supply eight gas fired LMS100 turbine-generators capable of reaching full load in ten minutes. CPV Sentinel will help prevent blackouts during extremely hot weather by providing peak power on demand.

NERA estimates that EPA rules will cost power firms $17.8bn per year

New York-based National Economic Research Associates (NERA) has concluded the US’s Clean Air Transport Rule and the Utility MACT rule could cost power companies $17.8bn per year.

A recent NERA report finds these new costs would trigger a 13 per cent drop in coal fired generation and a 26 per cent rise in natural gas generation. Electricity prices are forecast to rise by an average of 11.5 per cent across the country. The study also projects that 144 000 power-related jobs would be lost over the next decade.

Westinghouse develops emergency spent nuclear fuel cooling system

Westinghouse Electric Co has developed a fuel pool cooling system to keep spent nuclear fuel cool in emergencies, including the loss of plant power.

The system consists of a permanently installed primary cooling loop inside the reactor building or spent fuel pool building, and a mobile secondary cooling loop. The secondary cooling loop is stored off-site and located outside the reactor building for either emergency or pre-planned use. The company said this reduces the time needed for assembly and startup.

MPX to construct 1.86 GW thermal power plant in Brazil

MPX power plans to begin constructing the 1.86 GW Parnaiba thermo power plant in Brazil by the third quarter of this year.

The company has an installation licence for the plant from state environmental authority Sema authorizing its construction. OGX Maranhäo, a joint venture between MPX and sister company OGX, will supply natural gas to the power plant.

The plant is designed to accommodate different configurations, including combined-cycle and open cycle. It is expected to connect to the national power system through existing transmission lines and to operate within two and a half years, reports BNamericas.com.

MPX, part of the EBX holding group, holds a 33 per cent stake in OGX Maranhäo, while sister company OGX holds a 67 per cent equity in the company.

Brazil plans $2.5bn wind farm investment

Brazil is considering a record investment of 4.1bn real ($2.5bn) to expand on its 1 GW of wind capacity and diversify power supply.

Developers of wind energy projects received 69 per cent of contracts offered in two auctions last year, said national energy research agency, Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica.

But wind may receive a smaller share of contracts in two power auctions scheduled for July following Brazil’s decision to include natural gas fired thermoelectric plants, said Jorge Trinkenreich, director of the Rio de Janeiro-based consulting company PSR Consultoria.

Carbon capture test centre commissioned

Researchers at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) have commissioned a new test centre for evaluating improved technologies for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2).

The Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Center (PC4), part of the NCCC, established by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and operated and managed by Southern Company, was established to test CO2 capture under a wide range of conditions using flue gas from an actual pulverized coal power plant.

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Bolivia: A contract to design the 108–160 MW San Jose hydro project has been awarded by state power company Ende to a consortium of Samej Consultores, Integral, Gregory L. Morris Engineering and Geo Hidra.

Brazil: In response to pressure from environmental groups, safety procedures at the country’s two nuclear plants have been reinforced, an Eletronuclear official has told Agence France Presse.

Canada: Ontario expects to add 2.5 GW of new and refurbished generation over the next 18 months, including 700 MW of wind, according to a report from the province’s Independent Electric System Operator (IESO).

Mexico: Alstom has won a €40m ($57m) contract with the ACS Group to provide equipment and services for the El Sauz plant in Queretaro. Alstom will provide a new GT24 gas turbine and retrofit the steam turbine.

Peru: Enersur has issued the work order to build the 400 MW Ilo cold reserve thermal plant in Moquegua. A power generation facilities, engineering, procurement and construction contract was signed with General Electric International and Santos CMI, said Enersur.

Peru: State agency ProInversion has qualified five firms for the 220 kV, 167 km Cajamarca Norte-Caclic and 138 kV, 118 km Caclic-Moyobamba transmission line concession: Abengoa Peru, Alupar Investimento, Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, Celeo Concesiones e Inversiones, and ISA.

USA: Siemens is installing a turnkey HVDC back-to-back link to connect the power networks of New Jersey and New York. An extra 660 MW of electric power is expected to eventually be transmitted via a link across the Hudson river.

USA: The 600 MW Power Block 5 at Progress Energy’s Richmond County Energy Complex in North Carolina has entered service. Power Block 5 has two dual-fuel combustion turbine generating units, two heat recovery steam generators and a single steam turbine.

USA: The Shaw Group Inc has won a contract to provide life-cycle management services for Indiana Michigan Power’ s 2155 MW Cook nuclear plant in Michigan state.

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