Logica launches remote metering revolution

LogicaCMG has launched a service set to shake up the metering industry with claims that is can reduce current costs by over 20 per cent.

The so-called Instant Energy service uses the same technology as mobile phone text messages to provide energy suppliers with on demand access to information held on the meter while allowing real-time control of the customers’ meter settings.

Logica says that the estimated savings of over 20 per cent are achieved through a number of areas, including reduced levels of misdirected payments, an increased number of sales channels, improvements in business processes, reduced cost of field visits, reduced cost of lost prepayment cards, reduced incidence of fraud and meter tampering, reduced call centre costs and improved billing production.

The service uses GSM enabled smart meters that can be read, configured and controlled without the need to visit the customer.

E.ON to build UK’s largest biomass plant

E.ON is to spend €130m ($157m) building the UK’s largest dedicated biomass power station in Lockerbie, Scotland. When commercial operation begins late in 2007, the 44 MW power plant will provide 70 000 homes with power.

The plant will be delivered by a consortium that includes Kvaerner Power and Siemens, which was awarded a turnkey contract by E.ON. Kvaerner Power will deliver the power boiler, fuel supply system and flue gas cleaning system. The power boiler will use bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) technology to burn biofuels such as green wood and recycled wood. Siemens will supply civil works, the turbine and the condenser of the plant.

  • Kvaerner Power has expanded its biofuel boiler business by acquiring 60 per cent of the Finnish boiler plant supplier Noviter Oy.

Alstom to build GT26 plants in Italy and Germany

In the last month Italian energy company Energia SpA and the German company RWE Power have both charged Alstom with the task of constructing natural gas fired combined cycle power plants based on the GT26 gas turbine.

By 2008, Alstom will have provided Energia with an 800 MW plant in southern Italy after it was awarded a €350m ($422m) turnkey contract. Once Energia has finalized funding arrangements, construction will begin on a plant that will use two GT26 units in a multishaft arrangement.

In Lingen, Germany, Alstom is to begin engineering for the first phase of a turnkey contract for an 850 MW plant. Alstom will construct a plant based on two GT26 gas turbines.

First firing for first frame 9FB plant

The first project in the world to use GE Energy’s Frame 9FB gas turbine technology has entered the test phase and should be in commercial operation by the end of 2005.

The 800 MW Group III of the Arcos de la Frontera combined cycle plant in the Spanish province of Cadiz is owned by Iberdrola. It consists of a 209FB combined cycle system, made up of two Frame 9FB gas turbines, one GE D11 steam turbine, three 330H generators and two heat recovery steam generators.

Using natural gas, the 209FB combined cycle system is rated at 58 per cent efficiency. Its DLN2+ combustion system will limit NOx emissions to 25 ppm or less.

WWF names and shames dirty thirty

Nine of the EU’s top 30 biggest CO2-emitting power plants are located in Germany, according to a new report published by the WWF. The report found that five of Germany’s largest emitters were in the top ten. Poland was the second most featured country with five plants on the list, while Italy, Spain and the UK all had four plants each.

The report, Dirty Thirty, ranked the least efficient among the biggest CO2 emitters and found that 27 of the 30 dirtiest power plants were coal fired. Agios Dimitrios in Greece, Frimmersdorf in Germany and Aboàƒ± in Spain were the worst offenders.

WWF measured the absolute CO2 emissions of plants in 25 EU countries and ranked the 30 biggest emitters according to CO2/kWh.

France removes wind restrictions

The end of lengthy discussions over France’s new energy law has seen an agreement to completely remove the size restrictions necessary for wind farms to qualify for financial incentives. It was previously feared that the 12 MW limit would not be scrapped, but instead be raised to 20 MW.

This move, alongside talks of the creation of wind development zones has seen France move up one place to sixth in Ernst & Young’s latest Long-Term renewables attractiveness index.

News digest

Europe: Eurelectric has warned that over the next two years, the electricity sector will face a shortfall in emission allowances of over 300m t of CO2. It urges that long-term allocation of allowances was critical for planning and decision-making.

Belgium: Frost & Sullivan has reported a renewed interest in alternative fuels due to the ongoing price volatility in oil supplies. Biofuels are deemed to have become more attractive due to being cleaner and offering greater self-sufficiency.

France: EDF has awarded VA Tech Hydro a contract to carry out modernization and rehabilitation work at the Kembs hydropower plant in Alsace. The work is expected to increase the plant’s power output by 17 per cent.

France: Solar Integrated Technologies is to install a 435 kW photovoltaic roofing system at one of the most environmentally friendly distribution centres in the world. The centre, near Paris, represents the company’s first contract win in France.

Portugal: Endesa and Energais de Portugal intend to bid for the €2bn ($2.4bn) wind park contracts that will add 1700 MW to Portugal’s wind power generation capacity.

Portugal: The world’s largest solar power plant is to be built near Moura in 2006. The 62 MW plant will use 350 000 solar panels spread over an area the size of 150 football pitches.

Spain: Over the next two years Endesa is to invest several hundred million euros improving its distribution network after the European Investment Bank issued it with a €600m ($724m) 15-year loan.

Spain: Spain’s Industry Minister has presented a revised national plan for the electricity and gas sectors. The plan envisages an increase in spending of 59 per cent to €12.6bn ($15.2bn) by 2011 to develop the infrastructure.

UK: Climex Alliance, a pan-European spot carbon emissions exchange, is to be launched after two European carbon emissions exchanges agreed to link up with the UK based power exchange, UKPX.

UK: His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Tonga has spent two days in discussions with the wave energy specialist, Wavegen, about utilizing the company’s technology in his Pacific Kingdom.

UK: SeaScape Energy, jointly owned by Elsam and EDF, has contracted Siemens to supply 3.6 MW wind turbines for a new 90 MW offshore wind farm due to start generating from September 2007.

UK: There is the potential for waste to produce up to 17 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs by 2020, according to a report published by the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Renewable Power Association.