AEP gives full support to bill capping GHG at 1990 levels

American Electric Power (AEP), the largest coal-fired generator in the United States, has given its support to legislation that would cap emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the USA at 1990 levels by 2030.

The Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007, which was unveiled mid-July by the chairman of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, takes an economy-wide, market-based approach to climate change.

The bill would start with a 6.65bn ton cap on GHG emissions in 2012, with the cap tightened by 1-2 per cent each year before hitting 2006 levels by 2020 and then 1990 levels by 2030, according to industry sources.

The legislation would award emissions allowances on based on GHG levels. Industry sectors would get 53 per cent of the allowances, but that amount would decrease over time. An auction of 24 per cent of the emission allowances would begin in 2012 and increase over time. In addition, the legislation would offer a $12/ton GHG “safety valve” price, or a market price cap on emission allowances.

The bill would encourage carbon capture and sequestration on new and existing coal fired power plants because it will mitigate the cost of installing the new technologies with emission allowances.

Brazil to get new CHP plant

Suez Energy International is to build a new cogeneration plant fuelled by sugar cane biomass at São Jõa da Boa Vista, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil.

The São João thermoelectric power plant, with an installed capacity of 70 MW, will be constructed in partnership with Dedini Açucar e Álcool, which will consume 47 MW of electricity and the steam produced by the plant.

Tractebel Energia, Suez Energy International’s Brazilian generation company, will have a 63 per cent stake in the project, the remainder being held by Dedini Açucar e Álcool. The project will begin operations early January 2010.

Environmental approval for large Amazon hydropower project

Ibama, Brazil’s federal environmental protection agency has approved the Environmental Impact Statement for the 6450 MW Madeira hydroelectric complex in the western Amazon region.

The EIS approval will allow the government to begin preparing for the auction of the 3150 MW Santo Antonio plant, the first of the two Madeira projects. The government could issue tender rules in a month and hold an auction for Madeira in September or October, a ministry spokesperson said.

The government plans to auction in early 2008 the 3300 MW Jirau project, the second part of the Madeira complex.

According to government estimates, whoever wins the tenders would have to invest over R$20bn ($10.5bn) to built both hydropower plants.

GE confident of global nuclear renaissance

According to GE executives, worldwide as many as five nuclear power plants could be built each year if its much anticipated re-emergence materializes over the next decade.

It is believed that the biggest demand will come from the United states, where nuclear power is responsible for approximately 20 per cent of electricity supply, although no new plants have been commissioned in 30 years. Demand will also be further boosted by the rising demand in Asia, specifically China and India.

Nuclear energy is looking more attractive to power executives because of the rising costs of other fuels, such as natural gas and the drive across the globe to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, which is released when fossil fuels are burned.

Suez to build Chile thermal plant

Suez Energy International, through Central Termoeléctrica Andino SA, will begin construction of a modern coal fired 150 MW power station in the north of Chile.

The thermoelectric plant will supply power, along with associated energy, to two mines owned by Codelco Norte, a division of the world’s largest copper producer.

Central Termoeléctrica Andino S.A. signed an EPC contract, which includes an option for the construction of a second identical unit. Tractebel Engineering, a business unit of Suez Energy Services, will provide the technical support during the project development

Eestimated construction time of the plant is around three years.

Nuclear plant gets go-ahead in Brazil

The construction of the 1350 MW Angra III nuclear reactor has been given the green light by the Brazilian federal government, according to a report by the Latin American news agency BNamericas.

Angra III will be the country’s third nuclear power plant and will go some way to helping to fulfil the government’s strategy of increasing the country’s power supply.

The decision to go ahead with the reactor, to be located on Rio de Janeiro’s coast, was made at a meeting of the national energy policy council, CNPE.

Argentina: GE Energy is to supply an LM2500PE aeroderivative gas turbine for installation at Usina Termica de Rio Grande power plant. The 22 MW machine will be used in simple cycle operation.

Brazil: Steel producer, ThyssenKrupp CSA Companhia Siderurgica has awarded Alstom a $450m turnkey contract to build a 490 MW combined-cycle power plant. The plant will be fuelled by blast furnace waste gas from the steel mill.

Canada: SkyPower Corporation and SunEdison Canada LLC have been awarded a second build, own and maintain contract for a solar park in northern Ontario by the Ontario Power Authority.

Panama: Vattenfall Power Consultants has won an assignment to provide detailed engineering for the civil works of the 223 MW Changuinola I hydroelectric power project. The hydropower project is scheduled for completion in 2010.

USA: Constellation Energy has concluded a three-year planning, engineering and permitting process, and begun construction of a state-of-art environmental control system at its Brandon Shores power plant in Maryland.

USA: DTE is to sell a 50 per cent interested in a portfolio of select power and industrial projects to GE Corporate Lending. The company expects to realize gross proceeds of $805m from the sale and a refinancing of the portfolio.

USA: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has entered into agreements with Cleantech America LLC and GreenVolts Inc, two developers of utility-scale photovoltaic solar power plants, which will deliver up to 7 MW of power to PG&E’s customer in north and central California.

USA: Working in partnership with Robbins Community Power, GE Energy will provide the engineering, design, construction and start-up phases of a power plant. The plant is being converted from a waste-to-energy facility to a biomass plant.

USA: Western Power Administration has confirmed it will connect Navitas Energy’s $300m, 200 MW White wind farm to its grid. The proposed wind farm will be built in Brooking county and will be the biggest farm in South Dakota.