Ontario signs for gas fired station

The Canadian partnership equally owned by Japanese firm Mitsui and the American company Calpine will construct a 1005 MW gas fired power plant in Ontario, after it was awarded a 20 year power supply contract by the Ontario Power Authority.

Located in St Clair township, the plant will be equipped with emissions control technologies in order to comply with the terms of the state’s Clean Energy Supply contract.

Ontario’s government has recently announced plans to build around 1600 MW of ‘clean energy’ generating capacity in the Sarnia region as part of its pledge to close all of the state’s coal fired plants. Some commentators have been surprised at this, as they see coal as an essential part of Ontario’s fuel mix and say Toronto has a pressing need for new power sources.

Investors call for greenhouse disclosure

Leading US institutional investors have called on the electric power industry to issue reports within a year on how future greenhouse gas limits will affect them financially.

The investors also called on the top bond rating agencies and major Wall Street investment firms that structure financing packages to include climate risk analysis in their ratings of power sector investments.

The investor requests follow first time climate risk evaluation reports by three of the nation’s largest power sector companies, American Electric Power, Cinergy and TXU, which were called for by their shareholders.

More than 100 new coal fired power plants will be constructed over the next few years and according to a report from Ceres, investments in these plants could be substantially affected when greenhouse gas regulations are adopted by the US.

Calls to update Northwest

Various US regional electric utilities and the Bonneville Power Administration are to explore ways to improve the planning, oversight and operation of the Northwest’s electricity transmission system.

The four areas on the agenda are: the operation of a single point of access and a common approach for determining availability; reliability and security; creating and implementing a regional transmission plan based on the principle of one utility planning of system upgrades; and the creation of a market monitor to study the competitiveness of Northwest energy and transmission markets, respond to complaints and issue reports.

The investigations are scheduled to finish by 1 August 2005.

Solar so good for wastewater plant

A solar energy system is to be installed at a wastewater treatment plant near Atlantic City after the county’s utility authority awarded a $3.25m contract to WorldWater & Power and its Joint Venture partner, Conti.

The system will use several different arrays and will be placed in locations ranging from building rooftops, raised parking structures and the ground itself. Collectively, the arrays are expected to provide an annual output of 660 000 kWh.

The contract will be funded through a $1.9m rebate from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Office of Clean Energy and a low interest loan.

Hydro-Quebec and Ontario bid for Churchill river

Hydro-Quebec has joined forces with Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation in an attempt to beat off the competition to develop the hydroelectricity potential of the Lower Churchill River in Canada.

The $9bn proposal would see 2824 MW of hydro-power generated by two dams. Around one third of the energy would be supplied to residents of Ontario before the remainder is exported elsewhere. A new 1250 MW interconnection grid would have to be built to carry the power to Ontario.

Hydro-Quebec may not have things all its own way, however, as the government of Newfoundland said it has received 25 formal expressions of interest. It is believed that the remaining bidders include US firms and a Chinese consortium.

T&D upgrade to tempt Brazilian power investors

Brazil’s transmission and distribution networks will receive heavy investment this year after several domestic power companies announced their spending plans.

Celg, controlled by the state government of Goiás, has pledged to invest reais150m ($59m) in transmission, which will see its network extended by around one third, and reais126m in distribution.

As the company is seeking to attract outside investment for the development of extra generation capacity, the amount set aside for investment in transmission and distribution is well above the level recorded in 2004.

Eletronorte and Furnas are to strengthen their transmission networks with investments that together total reais145m. The focus of investment will be to strengthen the connections between power generators in the central west region and the national grid.


News digest

Bolivia

Developments to tap into the country’s potential to export around 5000 MW of hydro and thermoelectric power through domestic and international connections will not be made in the short term.

Brazil

Brazil’s federal power holding company Eletrobras has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean utility Korea Electric Power. The two will study joint power investments in Brazil and other South American countries.

Jamaica

Wärtsilä will supply a 49.5 MW power barge to Jamaica Energy, following on from the 74 MW power barge it delivered to the company in 1994.

USA

Federal legislation will be required to co-ordinate the construction of a 1300 mile high voltage transmission line from the Rockies that is intended to ease California’s power supply problem.

USA

Sales of renewable energy through green power programmes continued to grow in 2004, reaching 1.9 billion kWh, according to the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

USA

In a significant departure from the traditional propeller wind turbines, McKenzie Bay has developed an innovative wind turbine design which it says is safer, quieter and more aesthetically pleasing than its competitors.

USA

CMS Energy has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20 year renewal of its licence to operate the 789 MW Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan. Its current licence expires in 2011.

USA

AES and the renewable energy company EHN, have entered into a joint venture to develop more than 350 MW of wind generation projects in New York state over the next few years.

USA

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted approval for CenterPoint Energy to complete the second phase of selling its power generation company, Texas Genco Holdings, to a consortium of private equity investors known as Texas Genco LLC.

USA

The consortium that purchased the half built Luna Energy Facility in New Mexico from Duke Energy has contracted Fluor Corporation to complete the 570 MW generation plant by the third quarter of 2006

USA

Constellation Energy has agreed to sell its 680 MW Oleander power plant in Cocoa, Florida to subsidiaries of Southern Company, for $206m. The plant will continue to sell power under its existing contracts with Seminole Electric Co-operative and Florida Power and Light.