AMERICAS

Permit granted for AEP’s $1.5bn 600 MW coal plant

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a business unit of American Electric Power Company (AEP) has been issued a final air permit that will allow it to begin construction of the 600 MW John W. Turk Jr. coal fired power plant.

The air permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality was the final regulatory approval needed by the company for the $1.5bn coal plant in Fulton, Arkansas.

According to SWEPCO, building will begin immediately on the plant, which is now expected to be operational in late 2012,

The plant will be one of the first coal plants in the US to use ultra-supercritical technology, which operates at higher temperatures to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

The site includes an area for the inclusion of equipment to capture carbon dioxide in the event of future regulation, the environmental agency said.

GE link-up to further clean coal

GE Energy and the University of Wyoming have announced an agreement, whereby they will jointly develop the High Plains Gasification Advanced Technology Centre, with the aim of accelerating the commercial use of clean coal technology.

The new centre will include a small-scale gasification system that will enable researchers from both GE Energy and the university to develop advanced gasification solutions for Powder River Basin and other Wyoming coals.

The research is expected to expand the range of coals that can be used with GE Energy’s integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology for power plants. The facility is expected to be operational by 2012.

Pollution control needed to keep PP

The utility Alliant Energy Corporation has filed an application with state regulators for the installation of pollution control technologies at a 23-year-old coal fired power plant, at a cost of $153m.

Wisconsin Power & Light Company (WP&LC), a subsidiary of Alliant, is seeking permission from the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to install pollution controls to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 75 per cent.

The Edgewater 5 power plant, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is a jointly owned venture between Alliant and We Energies.

The project, which has a six-year payback period, would keep the coal plant open for another 45 years. If the PSC approves the work, the project would be completed by 2011.

Ontario’s new nuclear build is delayed again

George Smitherman, Ontario’s minister of Energy and Infrastructure has announced the province is to delay once again the deadline for the final bid proposals for two new reactors to be built at the site of the existing Darlington nuclear station.

The deadline for final bids was originally set for October, then the end of December, but it has now been pushed to early 2009, with a winning bidder due to be announced in the spring.

It is proving harder than anticipated to convince the companies wanting to build two new nuclear reactors in Ontario to accept the risks associated with construction delays and cost overruns.

Ontario plans to build two new reactors at the site of the existing Darlington plant so that nuclear power can continue to generate 50 per cent of the province’s electricity, as it phases out all coal fired generation by 2014.

Three nuclear companies à‚— Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, US giant Westinghouse and Areva NP of France à‚— are still in the running to build the new Darlington reactors.

Second HVDC converter station for Uruguay

AREVA has been awarded a $150m contract by ISUR (Interconexiones del Sur), for the delivery of a back-to-back high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station in Melo, Uruguay.

The station will be built to interconnect Brazil and Uruguay’s power networks, which have different frequencies à‚— 60 Hz and 50 Hz, respectively. It is the second HVDC converter station in the country.

A new high-voltage interconnection will be built to allow electric power exchange, so optimizing energy resources, with strong economical and environmental benefits. The project is due for completion at the end of 2010.

Work to resume at Brazil’s Angra III NP

Brazil’s 1.35 GW Angra III nuclear power project is due to receive its installation license at the end of 2008, according to the latest documents from the federal government’s growth acceleration programme.

Ibama, the country’s environmental regulator has authorized Eletronuclear, Brazil’s government-owned nuclear power company, to install the reactor’s building site à‚— marking the start of construction and acting as a temporary structure to house supplies and equipment.

Electronuclear had to present proposals on how it would dispose of the nuclear waste from Angra III.

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Bolivia: The Misicuni hydro project is being partly financed by the Italian government, on the condition that an Italian firm is part of the winning consortium. To date, no Italian companies have expressed interest.

Brazil: ANA, Brazil’s national water agency, and Ibama, the environmental regulator, has awarded the installation license for the 3.3 GW Jirau hydropower plant to the Enersus consortium.

Canada: Scotian Windfields Incorporated of Nova Scotia is said to be considering purchasing two 60 kW x 4 h VRB energy storage systems for a pilot wind project. They received a grant to demonstrate renewable energy battery storage systems.

Chile: Codelco, Chile’s state copper company, has extended a long-term power tender to supply 450à‚—900 MWof capacity to the country’s central SIC grid. Winning bidders can develop their own projects or one of Codelco’s planned coal fired plants.

USA: Conergy and its subsidiary Epuron have completed the sale of the Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Centre, a 3 MW project located on a landfill site just outside of Philadelphia. The solar power plant is Pennsylvania’s first utility-scale plant.

USA: Vestas Americas A/S has secured a 22 turbine (V80 – 2.0 MW) order from Puget Sound Energy in Washington. The order is part of the plan to expand the existing 229 MW Wild Horse Wind and Solar facility.

USA: EDF Energies Nouvelles’ US subsidiary enXco has signed four new operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts covering 981 MW in capacity with US electricity companies. This raises EDF EN’s O&M contracts in the US to over 3000 MW.

USA: Invensys Process Systems has been selected by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Energy Technology Laboratory to provide a dynamic process simulator for an integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plant with carbon capture, as part of the DOE’s initiative to develop new clean coal power plants.

USA: In a ruling, the Environmental Appeals Board of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that the EPA had no valid reason for refusing to require that best available control technology be used to limit carbon dioxide emissions from a coal-fired power plant proposed in Utah.

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