AMERICAS

NRG applies to build post-combustion CO2 capture demo

NRG Energy has submitted a Clean Coal Power Initiative application to the US Department of Energy to build a post-combustion carbon capture demonstration unit at the Company’s WA Parish plant in southwest Houston, Texas.

NRG’s carbon capture demonstration project will be among the first of its kind and is expected to begin operating in 2013. The project will use Fluor Corporation’s Econamine FG Plus technology to process flue gas from the plant equal in quantity to that of a 60 MW unit.

The demonstration plant will be designed to capture 90 per cent of incoming CO2, or just under 500 000 tons. Once captured, the CO2 will be compressed using Ramgen/Dresser-Rand technology and used in enhanced oilfield recovery operations, becoming a revenue stream to offset a portion of the cost of the project.

Sargent & Lundy LLC is providing engineering support for the project, including innovative approaches to managing the energy requirements of the carbon capture technology.

BrightSource and Bechtel to collaborate on 440 MW solar project in California

US solar energy plant developer BrightSource Energy has appointed Bechtel as EPC contractor for its Ivanpah Solar Electricity Generating System à‚— a 440 MW solar power facility consisting of three solar thermal power plants in southeastern California.

Bechtel Enterprises, the project development and financing arm of the Bechtel organisation, will become an equity investor in all of the Ivanpah polar power plants.

Construction on the Ivanpah facility is scheduled to begin in early 2010 following permitting by the Californian Energy Commission. The plant will feature the world’s largest ever solar powered steam turbine, supplied by Siemens. It will utilize BrightSource Energy’s Luz Power Tower 550 technology that features thousands of mirrors called heliostats to reflect sunlight onto a water-filled boiler to generate steam.

GE Hitachi submits advanced nuclear reactor design to US regulator

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has completed its submittal of the design certification document for the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Certification of GEH`s Generation III+ reactor design is an important step in spearheading the deployment of next-generation nuclear reactors around the globe. GEH believes the ESBWR`s features make it the most advanced reactor design in the world, including passive safety systems, a further simplified design and even higher safety margins than the already safe, deployed US fleet. Detroit Edison of Michigan and Dominion Energy of Virginia have submitted NRC license applications referencing the ESBWR. NuStart Energy has selected the ESBWR to receive engineering, licensing and commercialization support through the NP 2010 Programme.

South Carolina utility suspends plan to build 600 MW coal plant

Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, has suspended plans to build a 600 MW coal fired power plant in the State citing falling overall electricity demand and increasing potential costs of federal carbon regulation.

The $2bn project has fallen victim to the recession and a decision by Central Electric Power Cooperative to buy electricity from another company in 2013. Central Electric intends to cut its power purchases from Santee Cooper by about 1 GW. Santee Cooper said that power sales were down five per cent and that expectations were for lower long-term power needs.

Brazil seeks partners for Amazonian hydro projects

Brazilian state power holding company Eletrobràƒ¡s is in talks with possible partners, in order to develop $16bn worth of hydropower generation in the Peruvian Amazon, including state-owned power company Electroperàƒº, and local generators Egasa and Egesur.

The largest of the proposed plants is the 2 GW Inambari project, where Eletrobràƒ¡s leads a group of potential developers that has completed a prefeasibility study and where work could start within a year, say Eletrobràƒ¡s. The company is also eyeing a partnership in Peru to join a prequalified bidder in a government auction for 500 MW in new hydropower capacity. Eletrobràƒ¡s is interested in developing electricity production in Peru.

Dow, Alstom start post-combustion carbon capture pilot

Alstom and Dow Chemicals have commissioned a pilot plant to capture CO2 from the flue gas of a coal fired boiler at the Dow-owned facility in South Charleston, West Virginia, USA.

The plant uses advanced-amine technology jointly developed by Alstom and Dow to capture approximately 1800 tonnes of CO2 per year. The pilot will operate for the next two years, generating reliable, long-term data that can be used to optimize this technology for coal fired power plants worldwide.

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Brazil: GDF Suez has signed a cooperation agreement with Eletrobràƒ¡s subsidiary Electronuclear aimed at exchanging information and experience, in order to pursue Brazil’s nuclear programme.

Canada: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has announced plans to close four coal fired power units four years ahead of a 2014 target date when it plans to eliminate all coal fired plants. OPG will close two of eight units at its Nanticoke station and two of four units at its Lambton plant by October 2010.

Canada: The Alberta Electric System Operator is recommending the construction of 240 kV transmission lines to connect up to 700 MW of wind power and meet the power needs of new pipelines in east central Alberta over the next ten years at a cost of C$1bn ($934m).

Canada: The Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has sought expressions of interest from companies interested in providing small-scale renewable energy technology to the province’s public facilities . It has set aside C$120m ($112m) to finance these projects.

Colombia: Colombian generator Epsa, a subsidiary of Spain’s Union Fenosa, is developing a hydroelectric project portfolio totalling 234 MW comprising of Miel (120 MW), Cucuana (55 MW), Alto y Bajo Tulua (40 MW) and Amaime (18.8 MW).

Mexico: Alstom has won a €24m ($35.3m) contract to install electrostatic precipitators on units 1, 2 and 3 of the Mazatlàƒ¡n oil fired power plant in the state of Sinaloa.

USA: Mirant Corporation subsidiary, Mirant Marsh landing, has entered into a ten-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company for 760 MW of natural gas fired peaking generation to be constructed at Mirant’s existing Contra Costa facility near Antioch, California.

USA: German utility E.ON has completed work on its Panther Creek wind farm in Big Spring, Texas. The 457.7 MW project consists of 305 wind turbines.

USA: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for review the combined operating licence application from Florida Light & Power for two Advanced Passive 1000 (AP1000) reactors at the Turkey Point site in Florida.

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