Solar projects awarded $2bn in US DOE loan guarantees

Spain based Abengoa Solar, a unit of Abengoa SA, has been awarded $1.45bn in loan guarantees by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support the construction and start up of the 250 MW Solana CSP plant near Phoenix, Ariziona.

The Solana project, set to become the largest CSP plant in the world, was awarded the guarantee under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009, with Abengoa Solar prioritizing the use of US made components whenever possible. As a consequence, a mirror manufacturing facility employing 180 people will be built in Surprise, Arizona, giving the state a foundation upon which to expand its solar technology industry and support future CSP projects.

In a further announcement, Abound Solar, a manufacturer of low-cost, cadmium telluride, thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, has received an offer from the DOE for a conditional commitment to the company of a $400m, seven-year loan guarantee to expand its solar module manufacturing capabilities.

Abound Solar will use the funds to increase production of its thin-film PV modules at an existing manufacturing plant, and to establish a second manufacturing plant that will create more than 1200 high-tech jobs in Colorado and Indiana, while reducing the cost of solar power for its customers.

Argentina state power firm awards 895 MW ‘Genren’ renewable contracts

Enarsa, Argentina’s state power company, has awarded a total of 898 MW worth of renewable energy projects to 12 companies in an investment reported to be worth 9bn pesos ($2.3bn).

Of the 32 ‘Genren’ projects to get the green light six will be solar (20 MW), five will be mini-hydro (10 MW), four will be biomass (110 MW), and the remaining 17 will be wind (754 MW).

A 500 kV transmission line between Pico Truncado and Rio Gallegos to connect the varoius wind farms to the national grid will also be built.

Hybrid solar coal goes live in Colorado, USA

A hybrid solar-coal power plant has gone into operation at Unit 2 of the Cameo generating station near Palisade, Colorado, USA.

Developed by Xcel Energy in conjunction with Abengoa Solar, the demonstration project is expected to cut the use of coal by between 2–3 per cent, and could be scaled up to cut as much as 10 per cent.

Parabolic trough solar collectors pre-heat the water so that less coal is required to produce the steam to turn the turbine to generate electricity.

Siemens to supply technology for 400 MW IGCC project in Texas

Siemens Energy Sector has been awarded a FEED contract by Summit Texas Clean Energy LLC to provide coal gasification and power block technology for the Texas Clean Energy Project.

The 400 MW polygeneration IGCC project will use coal as its feedstock, and will also produce urea for the US fertilizer market. With a carbon capture rate of
90 per cent, the plant will have one of the highest carbon capture rates of any IGCC plant in the world.

The project received a $350m award under the US Department of Energy’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) – Round 3 to demonstrate the commercial integration of large-scale IGCC with CO2 capture and geologic storage.

Siemens will deliver the gasification island, including two SFG-500 gasifiers. The power block will be based on an SGT6-5000F gas turbine modified to operate on high H2 syngas, which will allow the plant to have a carbon capture rate of about 3m tonnes/year. The power block will also include an SST-900RH steam turbine, air-cooled generators and SPPA-T3000 controls.

Peru gives green light to hydro plan

Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines has granted Odebrecht Peru Ingenieria y Construccion a temporary concession for the 600 MW Chadin 2 hydro project.

The company has 24 months to carry out feasibility studies, the official gazette reported.

The work will target districts Ocumal, Pisuquia, Cocabamba, Balsas, Celendin, Chumuch and Cortegana in provinces Celendin, Luya and Chachapoyas, in the regions Cajamarca and Amazonas.

Odebrecht already has a temporary concession for the 825 MW Cumba 4 hydropower project, which would span Cajamarca and Amazonas.

SNC-Lavalin to build 183 MW CCGT in Alaska

SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a contract by Chugach Electric Association, Alaska’s largest electric utility, to design and build a 183 MW, gas fired, combined-cycle power plant in Anchorage.

SNC-Lavalin’s mandate includes engineering, balance of plant procurement and construction, with the project expected to be completed in 2012. Chugach is securing the purchase of the power island equipment directly from equipment suppliers for SNC-Lavalin to install.

 

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Brazil: A spokesman for Electrobras Eletronuclear, the federal nuclear firm, has said the company will launch a 1.4bn real ($797m) tender for the electromechanical assembly at the country’s 1.4 GW Angra III plant.

Brazil: Adriano Pires, director of consultancy Centro Brasileiro de Infraestrutura, has said that because of environmental concerns preventing dam projects from flooding large areas, nearly all new hydropower plants will inevitably be run-of-the-river.

Brazil: Alstom has signed a $100m contract with Brazillian renewable company Desenvix to build a
90 MW wind farm in Bahia, consisting of 57 x 1.67 MW ECO 86 wind turbines.

Canada: Alstom has signed a C$110m ($105m) contract with Kiewit Alarie Partnership to supply three hydro turbine generator sets to Ontario Power Generation’s
267 MW Lower Mattagami project in Northern Ontario.

Canada: Environment Minister Jim Prentice said recently that the country plans to phase-out its coal fired power plants as part of its goal to become a “clean energy superpower”. Prentice said that two-thirds of the country’s 51 coal fired power plants should be retired by 2025.

Canada: The province of New Brunswick and New Brunswick Power have signed a letter of intent to develop a ‘clean energy park’ near the Point Lepreau nuclear station. The site would feature a mid-sized generation III+ nuclear plant and renewable energy sources all built by Areva.

USA: Fluor has completed commissioning of the second unit of Luminant’s 1.6 GW Oak Grove power plant in Texas, and has handed over daily operations of the plant to Luminant.

Uruguay: State power company UTE has received over 22 bids from 15 companies for wind farms ranging in capacity from 30-50 MW in a tendering process for 150 MW of new capacity.

USA: The Department of Energy has selected ten projects valued at $67m over three years, aimed at developing advanced technologies for capturing carbon dioxide from coal fired power plants.

 

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