Oil major and National Grid join UK CCS consortium

Royal Dutch Shell and National Grid are joining ScottishPower’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) consortium, which is one of three groups of bidders for UK government funding to build the first commercial-scale system to demonstrate CCS techniques.

National Grid will contribute its expertise in high-pressure pipelines, while Shell’s main role will be to help locate suitable geological areas under the North Sea where the carbon dioxide (CO2) can be stored.

Shell takes the place of Marathon, one of the three original participants in the consortium. The oil company’s move follows the departure of BP from the race last November. Aker Clean Carbon, a Norwegian company that specialises in the removal of CO2, makes up the fourth party in the consortium,

Announcing the appointments ScottishPower CEO, Nick Horler, said: “I am delighted to welcome Shell and National Grid to the team. Both of these companies will bring specialist knowledge, expertise and opportunities for growth in the development of this cutting edge technology.

The UK government have not said when a winner will be chosen, nor how much money will be made available. However, the consortium hope to have a plant up and running at the Longannet coal fired power station it 2014.

Call for greater state involvement in British nuclear power

The UK should take a more “interventionist” approach to ensure new nuclear reactors are built – and in greater numbers – than currently planned, according to a recently released report commissioned by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The report, ‘Energy Security: a national challenge in a changing world’, recommended that the UK should generate 30-40 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power stations by 2030 – up from the current 13 per cent.

The report argues that state intervention is needed to accelerate plans to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations.

Sunstroom to build 50 MW solar thermal plant in Spain

Sunstroom Energy Investments has announced it is planning to build a 50 MW solar thermal electricity plant in Saucedilla, Cáceres, in the Extremadura Province of Spain.

The company aims to raise over €300m ($429m) to fund the project. The solar park, called Thermostroom 1, will use well-proven parabolic trough technology and cover an area of 271 hectares.

The construction of Thermostroom 1 is expected to take around 24 months, and once fully operational it will generate a projected annual revenue of approximately €36m.

Large-scale hydrogen power plant enters service

Italian energy company Enel has entered into service what it being called the world’s first industrial-scale, zero emissions power plant fueled by 100 per cent hydrogen.

The €47m ($67m) project in Fusina, on the coast near Venice, will generate 60m kWh/year of electricity, which according to the company, is sufficient to meet the needs of 20 000 households, and avoids emissions of 17 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Though similar plants have been built as a test, this is the largest in the world and the first of its kind. The plant has a capacity of 12 MW and burns hydrogen gas in a turbine developed in partnership with GE.

According to Enel, the only byproducts of the process are hot air and water vapour, which are used to generate steam that is sent to an existing coal fired plant to produce another 4 MW of energy.

The hydrogen is brought to the plant through a specially built pipeline and is a chemical process byproduct generated at the nearby industrial zone of Porto Marghera.

CEZ build German coal power plant

Czech power company CEZ has reached an agreement with J&T Group to acquired the exclusive rights to a construction project for a new power plant in Germany.

CEZ acquired the rights through its acquisition of the German power and mining company Mibrag. Further details concerning the transaction were not released.

The project involves the construction of the new supercritical coal fired power plant (KW Profen) in Profen, which is expected to have an installed output of around 600 MW.

CEZ plans is to locate the new supercritical power station close to a mine, which will support the further development of Mibrag‘s mining activities..

2nd large biomass plant in UK

MGT Power Limited has announced plans to develop its second major biomass power generation project in the UK.

The proposed 295 MW Tyne Renewable Energy Plant (REP), which is slated for commercial operation in 2014, will generate carbon-neutral electricity for approximately 600 000 homes in the North East of England.

No cost estimate has been provided for the Tyne REP, but the company’s nearby 295 MW Tees REP is expected to cost £500m ($831m).

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Belgium: Belwind NV, a wind farm developer, has placed an order with Vesta Wind Systems of Denmark for 55 of its V90-3.0 MW offhsore turbines. The wind farm will be located 46 km off the coast of Zeebrugge, in a zone that the government has defined for the construction of offshore wind farms.

Bulgaria: There are reports that the Bulgarian government is to reassess the Belene nuclear power plant project, which is estimated to cost E4bn ($6bn), but which could exceed E6bn. German utility giant RWE holds a 49 per cent stake in the project.

Germany: Citec Engineering has received an order from Kaftanlagen Munchen GmbH for the detailed piping design for the intermediate- and low-pressure steam system at Vattenfall’s Moorburg coal fired combined heat and power plant.

Germany: The Lieberose solar farm, currently under construction in Brandenburg, has become the world’s second largest solar power plant and Germany’s biggest, according to project partners, juwi Group and First Solar Incorporated

Norway: Danish utility Dong Energy is to build and run the Nygardsfjell-2 offshore wind farm. Nygardsfjell-2, which will have a generation capacity of up to 33 MW, forms part of Dong’s strategy to triple its electricity production from renewables by 2020.

Poland: A joint venture called RWE Elektrownia Czeczott has been set up by RWE and the leading Polish coal producer Kompania Weglowa. The joint venture will be in charge of the construction of a coal power plant with a capacity of 800 MW.

UK: Seabed Power recently won two high-profile contracts for the installation of subsea 33 kV array power cables and 132 kV export cables. The first with Dong Energy for the Walney offshore wind farm, and the second from Ormonde Energy Limited for the Ormonde offshore wind project.

UK: According to Scottish and Southern Energy, applications for two major hydroelectric schemes in Scotland’s Great Glen will be submitted by 2011. If the projects go ahead they will be the first pumped storage stations to be developed in the UK since the early 1970s.

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