FutureGen 2.0 carbon storage project gets $1bn DOE backing

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has committed $1bn of Recovery Act funding for the FutureGen 2.0 project to capture emissions from a 200 MW Ameren Energy plant in Meredosia, Illinois.

FutureGen’s pipeline to the Meredosia plant is intended to lay the foundation for a regional CO2 network. Several communities have shown interest in hosting the project, which will include a geological sequestration research complex and a labour training centre.

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced in August that it aimed to fund FutureGen 2.0 as part of an integrated strategy to repower America’s coal industry.

Ameren Energy Resources, Babcock & Wilcock and Air Liquide Process & Construction are leading the project to apply advanced oxy-combustion capture technology.

A new boiler, air separation unit, and CO2 purification and compression unit will deliver 90 per cent carbon capture and eliminate most SOx, NOx, mercury and participate emissions, said the DOE.

Japan set to lend $4bn to help fund a Texas plant with Toshiba reactors

The Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) plans to lend up to $4bn to fund a nuclear plant project in Texas, which would be Japan’s first state financing for an atomic power plant abroad.

JBIC will probably offer a loan provided the project is guaranteed by the US government, said Tadashi Maeda, head of the bank’s corporate planning department, said Bloomberg.

Nuclear Innovation North America LLC, a joint venture between NRG Energy and Toshiba, aims to add two 1350 Toshiba reactors in Texas for a total of up to $10bn.

The partners have applied for about $7bn in US federal loan guarantees and as much as $4bn in Japanese aid, said Nuclear Innovation’s CEO Steve Winn.

Siemens to supply two turbines for 400 MW gas fired plant in Ontario

York Energy Centre near Toronto in Ontario has given Siemens full notice to proceed with the supply of two SGT6-PAC 5000F gas turbine generators.

The 400 MW plant in the township of King is due for commissioning in the second quarter of 2012. It is intended to provide quick-response peaking generation, reducing reliance on coal fired generation.

Siemens claims its SGT6-PAC gas turbines offer 98 per cent reliability through incorporating upgrades into its proven technology.

Brazil prepares for huge hydro auction

Brazil’s government aims to accept bids this year for licences to build ten planned hydroelectric power stations with a combined capacity close to 4 GW.

Plans for three of the projects have already been submitted to the Court of Auditors and the other smaller projects will be submitted this month, said Mauricio Tolmasquim, president of EPE, the federal energy planning company.

“We want to hold the auction by mid-December at the latest. The timeframe is very short and everything still depends on whether the environmental licences are issued on time,” he said.

The three large hydroelectric projects and one of the smaller ones are to be on the Teles Pires River near the southern edge of the Amazon jungle. The top three proposed dams would generate 1820 MW, 746 MW and 461 MW.

Close to 85 per cent of Brazil’s electricity is already generated by hydroelectric plants but the country’s government aims to further raise this figure.

Eurus, NRG to build largest PV plant in the USA

A $200m 45 MW photovoltaic (PV) farm in California is to be built by a 50/50 joint venture between the Japanese firm Eurus and the US company NRG Group.

Work was due to start in September on the power plant, a joint venture project between Tokyo Electric Power and Toyota Tsusho. Operations are set to launch in June 2011, when the facility should become the largest PV plant in the USA, topping the 25 MW of the current leader.

Generated electricity will be sold to major power suppliers in the US over a 20-year period. About one-third of construction costs will be met by a US government subsidy programme.

Ecuador calls for bids for 190 MW in coal capacity

Celec, the Ecuadorian state power generation company, has called for bids to supply and install 190 MW of coal capacity, setting a reference price of $225m.

Jaramijo would gain 130 MW of capacity while Santa Elena would get 30 MW and Jivino 30 MW. Units should have a capacity of at least 5 MW for Jaramijo and 3.5 MW for Santa Elena and Jivino.

Offers are due by 23 November and the contract will be awarded in December.

•••

Barbabos: A $45m loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) aims to boost the use of renewables. IDB and the government estimate 29 per cent of the country’s installed electricity capacity of 239 MW could easily come from renewables.

Brazil: State-run utility Eletrobras will join the upcoming auction for the 1.82 GW Teles Pires hydro project. The location between the states of Mato Grosso and Para presents no natural obstacles, said EPE. Furnas, Chesf and Eletronorte are considered the most likely subsidiaries to join the auction.

Canada: A joint venture between Tetra Tech Canada Construction and Acciona Infrastructures Canada has won a $30m turnkey contract to build the 45 MW Lameque wind power project in New Brunswick, due to go online in early 2011.

Canada: Japan has initiated a WTO trade dispute with Canada, claiming domestic content requirements in Ontario’s renewable energy feed-in tariff programme contravene international trade law.

Chile: A public auction process has got under way for granting up to 21 new areas of geothermal operation, generating an anticipated $100m in exploration and development investment.

Chile: GDF Suez and Solar Power Group are to jointly develop a 5 MW concentrated solar power plant to supply superheated steam to the 150 MW Mejillones coal fired plant in the north of the country. A pilot plant is scheduled to start operating from early 2012.

Chile: MPX Energia is expected to appeal a judgement by the Copiapo appeals court against its planned 2.4 GW Castilla coal plant.

Colombia: Spanish utility Endesa’s subsidiary Emgesa will invest $837m to build the 400 MW El Quimbo hydroelectric plant in the southeast of the country. Construction is expected to take four years.

USA: Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) claims to have completed the first-ever grid connection of a wave energy device in the country. OPT’s PowerBuoy system is at the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii in an ongoing programme run in conjunction with the US Navy.

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