RWE develops high-temp thermal CCGT storage facility

RWE Power is starting to develop a high-temperature thermal storage facility for combined-cycle power plants (CCGT).

The integration of such a storage facility into the power plant process enables the supply of electricity and heat to be decoupled timewise. The process permits to “park” surplus heat produced during the day beyond the customer’s demand, and to provide it during the night when the gas turbine is not operating.

The project is to be taken forward in the next few years together with the companies ThyssenKrupp Xervon Energy, Paul Wurth Group and the Institut für Technische Thermodynamik des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR).

The project development is expected to take approximately two and a half years. Once the development phases have been concluded successfully, the cooperation partners intend to erect a pilot facility with a capacity of 10 MWh. The cogeneration plant of RWE Power in Dortmund could be the potential site from 2011.

The preliminary studies already conducted confirmed the general technical and economic feasibility. The practicability of a CCGT power plant with integrated thermal storage depends on the availability of a cost-efficient, reliable and long-lived high-temperature thermal storage facility of a large commercial scale.

Industry chiefs call for access to capital to hit climate change goals

European electricity companies have urged the European Union to allow them access to liquid capital markets in order to achieve a carbon-neutral power supply by 2050.

Sixty CEOs from power companies in 27 countries, jointly producing 2500 TWh electricity per year, equivalent to over 70 per cent of total European power generation, handed over a declaration to EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. The declaration called for the policymakers to simplify licensing procedures for new build, and to develop stable, coherent and market-oriented regulatory frameworks and access to liquid capital markets.

E.ON announces CO2 pipeline survey work for UK’s Kingsnorth CCS project

E.ON has started the fieldwork to identify potential carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline routes from the proposed coal plant at Kingsnorth, UK.

The survey work aims to find the best locations for the pipelines that could eventually be used to carry captured CO2 from the proposed cleaner coal units at Kingsnorth to North Sea gas fields for storage. The company is also considering transporting the CO2 by ship, as an alternative to a pipeline.

European Union will not interfere in carbon market

The European Commission will not interfere in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) despite plummeting prices in recent months, according to the European Commission Director General for the Environment.

Jos Delbeke said that instead the Commission would continue to work to provide the market with the stability it needs to operate efficiently. The European Union’s ETS was “created to lower [CO2] emissions,” and he said that “emissions will go down as participants make the reductions that are required,” Delbeke said.

“The price has gone down over a period of a couple of months. But if the regulator were to go into a panic over several months of prices going down, then that would destabilize where investors want to put their money,” Delbeke said.

A price floor for the EU ETS would be “a policy decision” as would a reserve price for EUAs auctioned in Phase III of the system, he said. “I would not want to be part of the debate on what the level of ‘X’ would be below which the price is not allowed to be set,” he said.

Siemens develops CO2 capture for CCGT plants

Siemens Energy is to adapt its proprietary process for carbon dioxide capture to the special conditions prevalent in and mode of operation of combined-cycle power plants (CCGT) for the Norwegian utility Statkraft.

The project is scheduled to be completed within two years. This technology will then be available for industrial-scale applications.

CCGT flue gas has a lower CO2 concentration than that in coal fired plants while simultaneously exhibiting a high oxygen content, conditions which have a very negative impact on known solvents.

Siemens said it would optimize the process to enable backfitting.

DONG and Siemens sign wind turbine deal

DONG Energy of Denmark and the Siemens Energy Sector have signed an agreement for the supply of up to 500 offshore wind turbines.

The wind turbines to be delivered under the supply agreement have total capacity of up to 1800 MW, and will be deployed on DONG Energy’s coming offshore wind farms in Northern Europe. The wind turbines, that Siemens will deliver under the supply agreement, have a capacity of 3.6 MW, used in DONG Energy’s Burbo Banks offshore wind farm.

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Belgium: Siemens Energy has secured a €320m ($406m) order for turnkey construction of a 420 MW combined-cycle power plant in Tessenderlo for T-Power.

Belarus: China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group will cooperate with Belarus in building a nuclear power station with two 1000 MW units.

Germany: BKW FMB Energy Ltd (BKW) and German energy supplier EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG are together planning a coal fired power plant in Dörpen in Germany’s Emsland region (Lower Saxony).

Italy: Major utility Enel has announced that coal power stations will generate at least 40 per cent of Enel’s domestic electricity in 2010, up 9 per cent from current levels, largely due Civitavecchia power plant’s conversion from oil to coal.

The Netherlands: Alstom has been awarded a €500m ($678m) contract by RWE Power AG to supply two cutting-edge boilers for its Eemshaven coal fired power plant in the Netherlands. When completed in 2013, the new 800 MW boilers will operate at ultra-supercritical steam conditions.

Portugal: Iberdrola has won Energias de Portugal’s tender to manage the Aguieira and Raiva hydroelectric power stations in Portugal, with a combined capacity of 360 MW.

Slovakia: Czech utility CEZ is expecting to sign a contract to build a nuclear power plant in Jaslovske Bohunice by the end of May. Financial close is due in 2011, with construction of the plant expected in 2013.

Spain: Grupo Ibereolica has signed an agreement with Inveravante for the construction and operation of two CSP solar thermal power plants in Seville, Andalucia and Badajoz, Extremadura. The 50 MW plants, which will commence construction immediately and cost around €600m ($754m), will utilize parabolic trough CSP technology.

Sweden: The EU has approved the Swedlink project, a €435m ($588m) power link between the Baltic States and Sweden.

UK: Utility group Scottish Power is to build a £500m ($687m), 1 GW gas fired power station at Damhead Creek, near Hoo, in Kent.