Wave power set to deliver 3 MW to British island

RWE’s UK arm npower renewables has reached an agreement with Voith Siemens Hydro and its subsidiary Wavegen that could lead to the development of a 3 MW wave energy plant on the Hebridean island of Lewis.

Based on Oscillating Water Column (OWC) technology, the Wavegen ‘Limpet’ has been operating commercially on the nearby Isle of Islay since 2000, the only such grid-connected plant to do so to date.

Integrating the generator with a new breakwater will significantly cut civil engineering costs. A six month feasibility study will now be conducted before applying for funds from the government’s Marine Renewables Development Fund.

The move comes as plans for a so-called Wave Hub, connecting up to four wave energy devices supplying some 20 MW to the national grid, have moved forward with a £4.5m ($8.6m) government funding boost.

The funding marks almost a quarter of the estimated £20m development cost of the project, located 16 km off the UK’s Cornish coast near Hayle. If planning consent is granted Wave Hub is expected to begin operations in 2008.

Elsewhere in Europe, AquaEnergy is to receive European Commission funding to deploy a 2 MW wave plant off the coast of Portugal.

Commission objects to Suez-GdF alliance

The European Commission is set to publish a list of its concerns over the proposed merger between energy and services utility Suez and Gaz de France.

The two companies have two months to respond to the objections, understood to focus particularly on antitrust impacts on both Belgian electricity and gas markets, and the French gas market which would result from the merger.

The move comes as Suez also faces pressure from the Belgian government to open its market in France and divest generation assets in Belgium, if the merger were to go ahead.

Construction begins on world’s largest lignite fired power plant

Construction work has started on the world’s largest lignite fired power station, at Neurath near Grevenbroich in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region.

The two units, known as BoA 2 and 3, are being built by RWE and will generate a combined 2100 MW using advanced technology that delivers a considerable efficiency improvement on existing lignite fired plants.

Under a contract worth a total of €90m ($114m), Siemens is to supply the control system at the plant, together with the transformers and the turbines for the feed water pumps.

In February this year, Alstom won the €450m contract to build the plant supplying two steam turbine islands.

The €2.2bn project is to be completed in 2010.

More CHP for the UK’s Immingham

ConocoPhillips has been granted government approval to expand its 760 MW CHP plant at South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire.

The enlarged Immingham facility, which is adjacent to Conoco’s Humberside refinery, will produce 1230 MW when it is completed. Planning permission has also been granted subject to a number of conditions agreed with North Lincolnshire Council.

ConocoPhillips European Power developed the first phase of the gas fired plant, which also supplies neighbouring businesses.

The plant, which has an efficiency of 70 per cent, reduces gas flaring and conserves water by using existing waste water for cooling.

RWE conducting new nuclear study

The chairman and chief executive of RWE, Harry Roels, has said that the company will press ahead with plans to develop new nuclear generation in order to maintain links with the technology.

Although details of RWE’s nuclear plans were not forthcoming, it was disclosed that the company intends to present a proposal this summer to continue operations at its Biblis A 1200 MW nuclear station at Hesse, due to be decommissioned within the current parliament under the Germany law phasing-out nuclear power.

Trade brisk on carbon market

Market analysts Point Carbon have released an overview of the European carbon market for the first half of 2006, along with a forward looking forecast.

Trading activity in the global carbon market during the first half of 2006 has been characterized by high volumes, says the report.

A total of 684 million tonnes, worth €12bn ($15.2bn), were traded in the first half of 2006, more than five times the volume for the same period in 2005.

First half financial trading values in 2006 were higher than for the whole of 2005.


News digest

Denmark: Three way joint venture Maabjerg BioEnergy is to tender for the construction of a large biomass facility near Holstebro.

Germany: An Ormat Technologies subsidiary has won a $4.4m contract for a Rankine cycle energy converter for a geothermal station at Landau in Germany.

Germany: Verbund and Salzburg are to construct a new hydro station at Werfen as a joint venture. The €63.5m ($80.6m) run of river project is expected to produce 76.5 GWh annually.

Ireland: A four-month delay to the start of the all-Ireland power market has been announced. The market is now due to begin operations in November 2007 in order to allow more time for testing.

Italy: Endesa has acquired a 14 MW wind farm in Italy for €16.6m ($21.1m). The Lardino farm, south of Naples, uses seven Gamesa 2 MW turbines.

Italy: REpower is to supply 20 wind turbines for the Minervino project in southern Italy. The deal forms part of an agreement to supply 140 2 MW machines to a subsidiary of EdF by 2008.

Netherlands: ABB is to supply power and cable equipment for the 120 MW Dutch offshore windfarm Q7. The $33m contract will connect the 60 turbines to the grid when it begins operations next year. Vestas is to supply the turbines.

Norway: Aker Kvaerner has been awarded a €14m ($17.8m) contract to supply a boiler to Bio-El Fredrikstad for a new power plant under development in Norway.

Spain: A €300m ($381m) contract has been won by Alstom for the development of a 400 MW gas fired combined cycle plant in Malaga, Spain. The turnkey plant will use GT26 turbines.

Spain: Endesa has declared plans to build 14 new combined cycle gas fired stations through to 2009, at a cost of €2.6bn ($3.3bn), increasing the company’s gas fired capacity to more than 11.4 GW.

Sweden: The Baltic’s largest wind farm is set to go ahead following approval from the Swedish government. The 128 turbine development, 30 km offshore near Trelleborg, will double the country’s installed wind capacity.

UK: RWE npower has celebrated the 50 year operational anniversary of its Tilbury power station in Essex, while E.ON’s Connah Quay plant in Wales reached the ten-year mark.

UK: Renewable energy trade groups, the British Wind Energy Association and the Renewable Energy Association are considering merging to deliver a more coherent voice for the sector.