NY’s high five

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has selected five green power producers to provide renewable energy in the first phase of New York State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The energy authority selected five projects from the 22 proposals it received, to provide 697 832 MWh of renewable power in the first year of the initiative when it comes into effect on 1 January 2006.

The projects chosen included two wind farms and three small hydroelectric projects. Each will receive a share of the $15.7m funding that has been made available for the first year of the scheme.

When fully implemented, the Renewable Portfolio Standard is expected to reduce air emissions of nitrogen oxide by 6.8 per cent, sulphur dioxide by 5.9 per cent and carbon dioxide by 7.7 percent throughout the State. New York State aims to increase the electricity that is generated from renewable resources to at least 25 per cent by 2013.

CO2 capture project enters second phase

The CO2 Capture Project has entered the second phase of its mission to develop technologies that could mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to build on the first phase of the project, a range of capture technologies are being prepared for pilot testing by the end of 2007. The second phase also aims to demonstrate that the geological storage of CO2 is secure and can provide an attractive emissions solution.

The project has received initial funding from the US Department of Energy and the Norwegian Research Council and it plans to generate extra revenue from additional government support.

The first phase strived to reduce the cost of CO2 capture and investigated whether CO2 could be securely stored geologically. The capture technologies implemented included pre-combustion, post-combustion and oxyfiring.

Former US Energy Secretary calls for change in power policy

Former US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has called on the current US government to implement major changes in its energy policy or else risk placing the nation in jeopardy for the foreseeable future.

Blaming sky-rocketing world energy demand, the former energy secretary said that natural and regulatory barriers were preventing an improvement in energy supply and suggested that the world may no longer be able to simply meet demand with increased energy production. Abraham feared that these problems would soon lead to extended periods of high energy prices that would have a serious impact on economic growth.

The major changes Abraham called for included doubling the USA’s nuclear supply by 2030, and opening Alaska’s national wildlife refuge for exploration.

Environmental studies begin for gas plant in Peru

Houston-based oil company BPZ Energy has begun environmental studies for a 140 MW gas fired power plant at Caleta La Cruz in northern Peru. The plant would use gas from the 16 km pipeline currently being built from the Corvina gas field.

The electricity generated by the new gas plant would be carried along the 300 MW capacity transmission lines that exist due to a nearby 19 MW oil fired power plant. With the potential to transmit more electricity along the lines, BPZ said there was a possibility of adding generation capacity in line with the development of gas production in the Corvina and Piedra Redonda fields.

Company spokesperson, Jack Lascar, told BNamericas that environmental studies and permit requests for the project should be approved in the third quarter of 2005.

Steelmaker explores industrial ecology project

Canada’s largest steelmaker is exploring the possibility of creating a wind farm on its 2200-acre property in Fort Erie, that would generate enough electricity to power its Nanticoke steel plant. Around 80 MW of power would be needed to sustain production at Fort Erie.

Stelco has said that it would be possible to develop 2200 MW of energy at the site, including an offshore wind farm in Lake Erie.

The steel producer is also evaluating the possibility of attracting a wind turbine manufacturer to the industrial park that lies opposite its steel plant. The manufacturer would use the local Stelco steel, cutting transport costs and emissions.

Two year biomass gasification project begins in Alabama

Southern Company has expanded its current research into biomass for power generation by testing a process of gasification in the belief that it has the potential to compete effectively with other renewable energy sources.

The project will see wood gasified to evaluate the performance of the technology and the quality of the gas, over a variety of operating conditions. Additional research will investigate methods to clean the gas produced from the biomass in order to meet environmental requirements.

The two-year biomass gasification project began in the third quarter of 2004 at the Power Systems Development Facility in Wilsonville, Alabama. The project is managed by Southern Company, although the Electric Power Research Institute and the Tennessee Valley Authority also provide both funding and expertise.


News digest

Brazil: The power supply from the substations of Caxias do Sul and Nova Santa Rita will be increased after ABB announced it is to supply equipment for both the extension of an existing substation and the creation of a new one.

Brazil: VA Tech Transmission and Distribution has been awarded six varying contracts in Brazil worth a combined total of €55m ($72.6m).

Canada: Hydro-Quebec has purchased 990 MW of wind energy to be supplied over twenty years. Owned by Cartier Wind Energy and Northland Power, the wind farms that will supply Hydro-Quebec wil begin generation between 2006 and 2012.

Caribbean: The national utility of the Caribbean island St. Maarten has contracted Wärtsilä to supply two gensets to ensure that the growth in tourism does not affect the reliability of its power supply.

Chile: Endesa stopped generation at its 370 MW thermoelectric plant after the Argentine government redirected all natural gas supplies back into its domestic market.

Colombia: Colombia is to sell 360 000 t of carbon emissions reduction credits to the Austrian government from the 7.5 MW Agua Fresca hydro project owned by Generadora Unión.

Mexico: A local subsidiary of Areva is to build seven substations and 12 transmission lines across 140km in the states of Querétaro and Guanajuato after being awarded a $3.6m contract by state power company, CFE.

USA: A document published by the New Millenium Research Council has predicted “real growth in 2005 and beyond” across the United States for broadband over powerline technology.

USA: Calpine’s Inland Empire Energy Centre in southern California is to build a 775 MW power plant that will house the first GE H System gas turbines in North America.

USA: Six electric power trade associations, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the US Department of Energy have established a framework for the power sector to voluntarily reduce its greenhouse gas emission intensity over the next decade.

USA: Two hydroelectric plants in Northeast US have been sold by Reliant Energy to Brascan Power. The plants, with a combined total output of 48 MW or 96 GWh, sold for $42m.

Venezuela: State-owned and private companies invested $600m in generation and $400m in transmission and distribution in 2004 to match the high growth in demand of seven per cent.