Ontario set for $40 bn investment in nuclear power over next 15 years

Bruce Power and Canadian Manufacturers & Exports (CME) are preparing for up to $40bn of new nuclear investment in Ontario over the next 15 years. Nuclear energy plays a large role in Ontario’s energy plan announced last year.

CME and Bruce Power, which operates the Bruce A and B nuclear power plants in Ontario, are reported to be establishing a working group of Canadian companies that could be affected by nuclear new build and further refurbishment of existing plants. The group will consider strategies to deal with potential supply chain issues presented by a resurgent nuclear industry.

Bruce Power is also considering a possible Bruce C plant, which could host four new 1000 MW reactors. An application for a license to prepare the site for a new plant was submitted to regulators in August 2006. The reactors could start up in 2014. At present, Ontario has 16 operating nuclear power plants, which provide up to 12 595 MW. They are all AECL Candu units, which require refurbishment after about 25 years of operation.

BNDES approves $4.35bn in Brazilian hydro plants

Brazil’s federal development bank BDNES is to provide additional loans totalling 7.79bn reais ($4.35bn) for the construction of 13 hydroelectric power plants, under Brazil’s PAC growth development programme. This brings the total investment in PAC hydro plants up to 11.81bn reais.

The added projects have a total installed capacity of 3.59 GW, in addition to the 3.15 GW Santo Antônio plant, which is PAC’s second largest plant, expected to receive financing approval this year.

A further six other hydro plants included in PAC with total installed capacity of 854 MW are currently under the approval process by BDNES, which could involve loans totalling 1.30bn reais.

US regulatory commission approves cyber security standards

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved eight mandatory critical infrastructure protection reliability standards to protect the USA’s bulk power system against potential disruptions from cyber security breaches.

These reliability standards were developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

The new FERC standards will require certain users, owners and operators of the country’s bulk power system to establish policies, plans and procedures to safeguard physical and electronic access to control systems, to train personnel on security matters, to report security incidents and to be prepared to recover from a cyber incident.

Mitsubishi seek US design approval for PWR

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has applied to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for standard design certification (DC) in respect of the US-APWR, the company’s 1700 MW class advanced pressurized water reactor aimed at the USA market.

MHI’s US-APWR design has already been selected by Luminant Power for its planned new nuclear power plants in the USA.

In parallel with the DC application, MHI is also supporting preparation of an application for a combined construction and operating license for Luminant Power’s US-APWR plant.

MHI developed the US-APWR base on technologies for a 1538 MW APWR planned for use at the Tsuruga Power Station Units 3 and 4 of the Japan Atomic Power Company.

Energy Northwest ditches project to bury emissions

US utility Energy Northwest is abandoning plans to inject some of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions underground at its proposed Pacific Mountain Energy Centre near Kalama.

The 793 MW project was initially touted as a candidate for the country’s first large-scale power station that would burn a gas derived from a slurry of coal or petroleum coke and permanently store CO2 emissions underground. Energy Northwest said it could no longer promise to pursue the CCS project and instead plans to amend its site certificate application and reconfigure the project.

Georgia Power selects turbines for 2520 MW CCGT

Georgia Power has agreed to buy up to six M510G gas turbines from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to be installed at the company’s Jack McDonough combined-cycle power plant in Smyrna, GA, USA. The gas turbines will be supplied by Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas

The plant will have three units with a total installed capacity of 2520 MW. Each GTCC power island will have 840 MW of capacity and consist of two gas turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine.

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Argentina: Spanish engineering firm Duro Felguera has won a g26m ($38m) contract to build a gas fired power plant in Buenos Aires for Brazil’s state-run oil producer Petrobras.

Canada: Maritime Electric is inviting expressions of interest from firms willing to develop wind energy projects on Prince Edward Island.

Canada: Seven firms will be competing in the final stages of bidding for ten wind projects, ranging from 66 MW to 100 MW, being planned by Manitoba Hydro.

Chile: A fire in its turbine building has resulted in Colbún’s 368 MW Nehuenco 1 thermal plant being offline since late December. Siemens is providing technical assistance for the repairs.

Chile: Suez Energy International has agreed to supply up to 150 MW to the new Esperanza mining project in Northern Chile from 2011, and to do so will build a new unit at the Central Termoelectrica Andina coal fired plant.

USA: A Fluor Corporation-led team has won a $4bn US Department of Energy contract for the management and operation of the Savannah River nuclear materials storage site for a five-year period.

USA: A survey from the Geothermal Energy Association has identified geothermal project potential totalling 3368 MW across the USA.

USA: The US wind energy industry installed 5244 MW of new capacity in 2007, increasing the total capacity by 45 per cent, at a cost of $9bn.

USA: UniStar Nuclear Energy has agreed with PPL Corporation to prepare and submit a Combined Licence Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a potential third reactor near PPL’s Susquehanna plant near Berwick, PA.

USA: URS Corp has been awarded a $180m contract to help the Tennessee Valley Authority design, build or renovate combined-cycle and simple-cycle gas fired power plants including a new 600 MW CCGT at Lagoon Creek, TN.

USA: Wartsila has won an equipment supply contract worth over $100m by South Texas Electric Cooperative for a 202.5 MW gas fired power plant, including 24 Wartsila 20V34SG engines.