EPA: US GHG emission rules will not begin before 2011


Under a final decision issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) no stationary sources will require Clean Air Act permits to cover greenhouse gases (GHGs) before January 2011.

The action is the final step in the EPA’s reconsideration of the 18 December 2008 memorandum and clarifies when GHGs and other pollutants fall under the Clean Air Act permitting programmes. EPA says it plans a phased approach to addressing GHG emissions, which was outlined by the EPA Admisitrator last month.

The EPA’s action determines that Clean Air Act construction and operating permit requirements for the largest emitting facilities will begin when the first national rule controlling GHGs takes effect.

EPA said it is committed to focusing its GHG permitting requirements on the largest sources. The agency will make a decision later this spring on the amount of GHGs facilities can emit before having to include limits for these emissions in their permits.


SNC-Lavalin wins Canadian carbon capture demo project


SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a contract to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for SaskPower’s Boundary Dam integrated carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) demonstration project in Canada.

The project is taking place at the coal fired Boundary Dam power station in Saskatchewan, and once completed will be one of the world’s first and largest commercial-scale carbon capture plants.

SNC-Lavalin will be working with Cansolv, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell Global Solutions, which will supply the carbon capture process design technology for the project. SNC-Lavalin has begun engineering and procurement activities.


Belo Monte hydro project under threat


The future of Brazil’s controversial 11.3 GW Belo Monte hydro project looks less certain after a major construction consortium dropped out of the bidding process.

A statement from the consortium, comprising local companies Camargo Correa and Odebrecht, said that after assessing the guidelines for the bid it was clear that the project did not make financial sense.

The government is thought to have underestimated the costs of the project and may have to reassess to set more realistic figures to avoid losing other participating companies.


Impact of PEVs on North American grid assessed


A group of US and Canadian power grid operators that manage most of the North American bulk electric grid have collectively studied the effect that Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) would have on the electric power grid.

Among the conclusions of the ‘Assessment of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Integration with ISO/RTO Systems’ by the ISO/RTO Council (IRC), are: one million PEVs may be on US roads in a decade, with concentrations of the vehicles in the major metropolitan areas of the West Coast and the Northeast; staggered charging of PEVs would reduce the potential negative impact on electric load; and power companies will need new tools to manage growth in PEV use.

“PEVs represent a significant new set of power users that grid operators must prepare to serve. PEVs also might lead to game-changing innovations in energy distribution and smart grid technology that could enhance grid management and electric system reliability,” said S. G. Whitley, 2010 IRC chairman and president & CEO of the New York Independent System Operator.


Jaguar Energy closes financing for coal plant


Houston-based AEI has announced its subsidiary, Jaguar Energy Guatemala, has closed $350m in financing for a 300 MW coal fired power plant near Puerto Quetzal.

A syndicate of banks led by Banca de Inversion Bancolombia Corporacion Financiera and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration structured the financing.

A notice to commence under an EPC contract with China Machine New Energy has been issued, with commercial operations in 2013.

Jaguar will sell 200 MW to distributors Deorsa and Deocsa through 15-year power purchase agreements and the remainder in the local and regional wholesale markets.


$570m gas fired investment in Brazil


Brazil’s state-owned energy giant Petrobas is to invest 1bn reais ($570m) in gas fired power projects through to 2012.

The large investment includes increasing the installed capacity at the Tres Lagoas plant, located in the southern state of Minas Gerais, from 262 Mw to 338 MW. Petrobas also plans to increase the capacity of the 161 MW Sepe Tiaraju gas plant to 241 MW. According to a company spokesperson, the investment will also cover the conversion of three oil fired plants in Manaus to gas.




Argentina: State-owned energy company Enarsa has invited economic offers for its tender to supply more than 1 GW of power from renewable energy. Groups participating in the process include Patagonia Wind Energy and International New Energy.

Brazil: Alstom and Bardella have opened a new joint hydro facility in Porto Velho. The new facility will be responsible for supplying power equipment to the Santo Antionio power plant on the Madeira River.

Canada: Siemens Energy has received an order for 60 wind turbines for the St Joseph wind farm in the province of Manitoba. The wind facility is owned by Pattern Energy and will have an installed capacity of 138 MW.

Ecuador: According to the president’s office, it has reached an agreement with Iran to build three hydroelectric centres in Ecuador, with a generation capacity of over 100 MW. The hydro facilities will use Iranian technology.

USA: First Solar has signed a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric for a 300 MW utility-scale photovoltaic facility that it is currently developing in Southern California.

USA: Longview Power LLC has selected Siemens Energy to conduct a study to analyze the feasibility of utilizing post-combustion carbon capture technology at its supercritical pulverized coal power plant currently under construction in West Virginia.

USA: Oglethorpe Power Corporation is to build a 605 MW natural gas fired combined-cycle in the state of Georgia. The power supply cooperative will evaluate several potential sites before making a final decision on the plant’s location.

USA: The construction of the 602 MW coal fired Taylorville plant in Illinois is expected to start by the end of this year and cost around $5bn. The plant will use integrated gasification combined-cycle technology and is slated to come online in 2014.

Venezuela: Following talks with Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, President Hugo Chavez says an agreement has been reached to draft plans for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Latin America country.


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