Massachusetts approves Cape Wind PPA with National Grid

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of Massachusetts has given approval to the 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) between National Grid and Cape Wind Associates.

The contract covers half of the output of the 130-turbine Cape Wind offshore wind facility. The initial price of $18.7 cents per kWh in 2013 ” about double the current market figure ” will rise by 3.5 per cent annually for 15 years. National Grid would then have the right to a ten-year extension of the contract.

The contract allows for upward and downward price adjustments based on various contingencies. If Cape Wind is unable to tap certain federal subsidies, the price would go up, but under other circumstances the prices could go down, to the benefit of ratepayers, said the DPU.

National Grid expects the PPA to raise consumers’ bills by between 1-2 per cent. Buying power from the offshore wind farm will help the utility meet Massachusetts’ requirement of 3.5 per cent of state power from alternative sources.

Ontario aims to gain 2 GW from two new AECL reactors at Darlington site

Ontario’s provincial government plans to finance at least two new nuclear plants and refurbish ten more over the next 20 years.

Two units, totalling 2 GW, would be built at the Darlington site, which houses four reactors. Extensive refurbishments will take place between 2015 and 2019, with Ontario relying on natural gas fired stations to maintain a reliable electricity supply. Nuclear units will shut for three years during the refurbishment.

Ontario has 16 of Canada’s 18 nuclear units and aims for nuclear to keep providing approximately half of the province’s electricity. The long-term energy plan allocates C$87bn ($85bn) to building and refurbishing nuclear plants and to new wind, solar and biomass projects.

US NRC tells Westinghouse to resubmit its AP1000 aircraft impact assessment

Westinghouse has been told to resubmit its assessment of aircraft impact on the AP1000 reactor.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said documents did not include ‘realistic’ analyses and that Westinghouse must explain and rectify the omission, according to World Nuclear News.

A rule introduced by NRC in 2009 requires new nuclear power plant buildings and safety systems to maintain containment, cooling of the reactor core and the integrity or cooling of used fuel facilities in the event of the impact of a large passenger jet.

PGE’s plan to shutdown its 585 MW Boardman coal plant approved

Oregon’s public utility commission has approved Portland General Electric’s plan to close the 585 MW Boardman coal fired power plant by 2020.

The integrated resource plan that the utility submitted to the commission projects that electricity demand in its service area will rise by an average of 2.3 per cent per year, or 20 per cent by 2020.

The company says it intends to meet that need via 322 MW of efficiency measures; 122 MWof renewable energy by 2014; a new 300″400 MW natural gas fired plant by 2015; 200 MW of new flexible gas generation by 2013; and 283 MW of limited duration peaking supply.

Short-term contracts would be used to meet demand until the gas plant is built. PGE also undertook to conduct preliminary work for a 500 kV transmission line from Salem to Boardman in the state.

GDF Suez to build 400 MW gas power plant in Peru

French utility GDF Suez is to build and operate a 400 MW gas fired power plant in Ilo, in southern Peru, through its subsidiary EnerSur, the second largest private electric generation company in the country.

The plant will consist of two open cycle turbines and is due online in 2013.

The concession contract signed with the Peruvian ministry of energy and mines covers a 20-year period. Total revenues will be approximately $700m. The investment in the project is estimated at $200m.

The Ilo project together with other projects will bring GDF Suez’s total capacity in Peru to 1822 MW by the end of 2014.

Cable makers picked for Tres Amigas project

American Superconductor (AMSC) has selected LS Cable Limited and Nexans as the superconductor power cable subcontractors for the Tres Amigas SuperStation in the US.

The superconductor powercables will be made using AMSC’s proprietary Amperium wire.

Tres Amigas is being built in New Mexico to link three transmission grids ” the Southwest Power Pool, Western Electricity Coordinating Council and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.


Brazil: State-run power company Eletrobas Furnas expects to start test operation at the 334 MW Simplicio hydro plant in the first quarter of 2011. The 2.2bn real ($1.2bn) facility is being developed and will be operated by Furnas.

Brazil: Operations have begun at the 42 MW Volta do Rio wind farm in Ceara state, said power utility Cemig, which now claims 100 MW of wind capacity in the state.

Chile: San Francisco-based Pattern Energy is in discussions to secure power purchase agreements for its 101 MW El Arrayan wind farm project in the Coquimbo region. The facility would have 44 turbines and take 12 months to build.

Colombia: State transmission company ISA is eyeing $597m in transmission projects in the country and region. ISA’s growth strategy aims for revenue of $3.5bn by 2016, 80 per cent from outside Colombia, said CEO Luis Alarcon.

Dominican Republic: The EU’s European Investment Bank has agreed to provide $37m for financing high-voltage transmission networks in the state’s central and southern regions. The project will extend the distribution of wind and hydroelectric power.

Peru: Operations at Peruvian generator’s Enersur’s 114 MW Quitaracsa I hydro project are scheduled to begin in 2014. The announcement follows the signing of a civil works contract with Constructora JME.

USA: Alstom’s smart grid generation project has been picked by energy secretary Steven Chu as one of five projects to receive $6m in federal funding aimed at optimizing the US electric grid.

USA: Consumers Energy has signed a construction deal for the $250m, 100.8 MW Lake Winds Energy Park in Michigan. The plant will feature 56 Vestas wind turbines and is set to begin commercial operations in late 2012.

Venezuela: The government has announced plans to achieve 1500 MW of installed wind capacity within the next five years, with a major portion of this figure developed by the government-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuala.

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