Alstom, TransAlta plan world’s largest CCS demo in Alberta

Alstom and Canadian power company TransAlta have formed a partnership to construct what is described as the world’s largest carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) demonstration facility.

The project, named Project Pioneer is being supported by €500m ($750m) from the Canadian and Alberta governments plus independent power producer Capital Power. Project Pioneer, to be located at the Keephills 3 power plant, will use Alstom’s proprietary chilled ammonia process.

Keephills 3, a joint venture between TransAlta and Capital Power, is a 450 MW supercritical coal fired power plant, which will be built adjacent to TransAlta’s existing Keephills power plant, located 60 km from Edmonton.

The demonstrator will capture around 1m metric tonnes of CO2 annually, making it the first project in the world to capture and store carbon at this magnitude, as well as the first to have its own integrated underground storage system.

The project is one of the last major steps required by Alstom prior to commercial availability from 2015 onwards.

Progess Energy plan to build 950 MW gas plant in North Carolina wins approval

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has given the green light to Progress Energy Carolinas’ plans to build a 950 MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant to replace a coal fired plant due to retire in 2013.

The plant represents a projected investment of about $900m, and is expected to create up to 500 construction jobs over the 24-month building process, according to Progress Energy.

The plan will also involve the construction of a natural gas pipeline to the site. As planned, the new plant will raise power output at the site by around 550 MW.

US makes available cash for carbon capture

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is offering $55m to develop advanced technologies to capture CO2 from flue gases at existing power plants.

The funding will support the development of technologies that can remove 90 per cent of carbon in a flue gas stream at no more than a 35 per cent increase in the cost of electricity.

The DOE is seeking applications for both bench and pilot-scale projects in four mainareas of interest: membranes, solvents and condensed-phase capture and solid sorbents..

Siemens snags €600m worth of wind turbine orders from US and Canada deals

Siemens Energy has been awarded six wind turbine orders in North America, which represent more than 565 MW and a value of more than €600m ($900m), according to a company statement.

Of the approximately 250 turbines, every fourth unit is destined for Ontario, Canada, with the remainder to be installed in the US – in the western states of California and Washington, and the states of Oklahoma and Wyoming.

Together, these onshore wind farms have the potential to provide clean power to around 170 000 North American homes said the statement.

“These orders prove that the wind industry’s fundamentals are still strong, even in times of an economic downturn,” stated Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of Siemens Energy.

Siemens entered the wind market in 2004 and has become the third largest wind turbine supplier to the North American market.

Currently, the company employs approximately 900 highly skilled workers in its North American wind power business and is currently investing in new manufacturing facilities.

China to build Ecuador’s largest hydropower plant

Ecuador president Rafael Correa has inked a $2bn deal with Sinohydro Corporation of China to build what will be the country’s largest hydroelectric power plant.

The Coca Codo Sinclair plant, which will be located 75 km east of the capital Quito, will have a capacity of 1500 MW, making it capable of meeting 75 per cent of Ecuador’s electricity demand. It is expected to be inaugurated in 2015.

State-owned Sinohydro will finance 85 per cent of the project cost through the Export-Import Bank of China with the government financing the remaining 15 per cent.

TransCanada to build 900 MW CCGT plant in Ontario

Natural gas supplier TransCanada is to build a C$1.2bn ($1.1bn) gas fired power plant in Ontario Province.

The company said it will build, own and operate the 900 MW plant, which would commence commercial operation by 2013.

TransCanada is seen as one of North America’s fastest growing independent power producers, and currently owns, controls or is developing more than 10 GW of power generation capacity.

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Canada: Canadian Hydro Developers has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the rights to a 4400 MW offshore wind prospect located in the province of Ontario from Wasatch Wind Incorporated of the US.

Canada: The Alberta Electric System Operator (ASEO) has received regulatory approval for its plan to reinforce power transmission in southern Alberta province by interconnecting a number of wind farm projects.

Chile: Rio Seco, a subsidiary of Southern Cross Group, an investment fund, looks likely to appeal against the decision by Conama, Chile’s environmental regulator, to reject the environmental impact statement it submitted for a $750m coal fired power station.

Mexico: According to Ente, an energy consultancy, Mexico has the potential to develop 13.5 GW of cogeneration capacity. This follows the recent award by PEMEX for its first cogen plant with a capacity of 300 MW. The state oil company has also identified the potential to install 3.2 GW of cogen capacity at its installations nationwide.

USA: In a joint statement, Constellation Energy and EDF Developments Incorporated, a wholly-owned subsidiary of France’s EDF, said EDF’s acquisition of a 49.9 per cent stake in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group LLC, has now received all necessary approvals at the federal level, including the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

USA: Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced up to $87m will be made available to support the development of new solar energy technologies and the rapid deployment of available carbon-free solar energy systems. Around $55m will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

USA: German power company E.ON has successfully put the world’s largest wind farm into operation in the United States. The farm, which is located in Roscoe, Texas, consists of 627 turbines and has an installed capacity of around 780 MW.

USA: Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is to acquire Nacogdoches Power LLC from American Renewables LLC, and will move ahead with the construction of a 100 MW biomass power plant.

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