Boliva sends in troops to seize control of Spanish grid firm

Bolivian president Evo Morales has seized control of Spain’s Transportadora de Electricidad (TDE) which runs around three-quarters of Bolivia’s grid.

Morales nationalized the company after ordering troops to take over its offices and hang the Bolivian flag outside its door.

He told a May Day ceremony that the takeover had been carried out because of a lack of investment in Bolivia by TDE.

“In honour of all Bolivian people who have struggled to recuperate our natural resources and basic services, we are nationalising Transportadora de Electricidad (TDE),” he said.

The move has been slammed by both the European Union and the Spanish government.

John Clancy, trade spokesman for the European Commission, said today: “The European Commission is concerned by the Bolivian government’s decision. Actions like this one necessarily send a negative signal to international investors over the business and investment climate in Bolivia.”

He added: “We trust the Bolivian authorities will fully uphold their investment agreements with Spain and ensure prompt and adequate compensation for this expropriation.”

Gamesa takes first step into Uruguay

Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa has inked a deal to supply wind turbines in Uruguay, representing a new market for the company in Latin America.

Gamesa will deliver 25 of its G90-2.0 MW turbines to a 50 MW wind farm which Abengoa, via companies Teyma and Inabensa, is developing in Peralta, in the department of Tacuarembó.

The turbines will be manufactured at Gamesa’s plants in the US, with transport, assembly and start-up scheduled for 2013.

As part of the deal Gamesa will also perform operation and maintenance services on the machines for 20 years.

New Jersey targets $55m to boost CHP

The US state of New Jersey is to allocate $55m in grants in the hopes of encouraging the development of combined heat and power systems as well as hydrogen fuel cells for businesses and industrial companies.

The grants are part of the state’s Energy Master Plan, which aims to promote alternative energy and make New Jersey a leader in sustainability.

The issuance of these grants will be overseen by the state’s Economic Development Authority and the Board of Public Utilities.

Skansa starts work on $245m wind power project in Chile

Parque Eolico El Arrayan (PEEA) has commenced construction work at the new $245m 115 MW El Arrayan wind power project in Chile.

The project is being built by international contractor Skanska Chile, according to Energy Business Review, and is expected to be operational in 2014.

El Arrayan wind project is jointly owned by AEI, Pattern Energy Group and Antofagasta Minerals (AMSA), who have also secured finance for the project.

Pattern Energy chief executive Mike Garland said Chile’s limited indigenous energy resources make it an ideal locale for renewable projects which are a local resource and which add to the economy rather than take from the economy.

“The project will provide the largest contribution of renewable energy toward meeting Chile’s goal of generating 20 per cent of its energy from non-conventional renewable sources by 2020.”

On construction, Pattern will operate the project which will employ 50 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines.

Hawaii smart grid deal goes to Alstom

Alstom Grid has been selected to provide its e-terradistribution Integrated Distribution Management System for Maui Electric Company’s Smart Grid demonstration project in Hawaii.

The project will evaluate how technologies can help Maui Electric cut peak demand, improve service quality and integrate renewable energy.

Technologies in the project include advanced metering infrastructure, home area networks and battery energy storage. Alstom will integrate information from the network to improve monitoring and control of MECO’s distribution system.

US and UK in deal to develop floating deepwater turbines

The US and the UK have signed collaboration pact to develop floating wind turbines for deep waters far offshore.

The UK and US will agree to work together to develop floating wind technology which is designed to generate power in deep waters currently off limits to conventional turbines but where the wind is much stronger.

The deal was signed by US energy secretary Steven Chu and his British counterpart, Ed Davey.

Canada: Babcock & Wilcox Canada Lhas been awarded a $25m contract to design and retrofit SaskPower’s 300 MW Shand coal fired power plant in Saskatchewan.

Chile: GE will supply six Jenbacher gas engines to a landfill gas-to-electricity plant in Chile. The Loma Los Colorados landfill will host an 8.4 MW plant expansion that will use six of the 1.4 MW J420 Jenbacher units.

Chile: Chile has completed the successful public auction of 20 areas for the exploitation of geothermal resources, the country’s minister of energy confirmed. The areas are located in eight regions, mainly in central Chile. The bidding process reportedly saw 70 tenders from a total of 13 companies.

Colombia: Electricity holding company Celsia plans to invest between $500m and $1bn in Peru, Chile and Central America, according to its president Juan Guillermo Londono.

Hawaii: Hawaiian Electric Industries reported consolidated net income for common stock for the first quarter of 2012 of $38.3m, or $0.40 diluted earnings per share, compared to $28.5m, or $0.30 diluted EPS for the first quarter of 2011.

US: Enel Green Power, through its subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, has begun construction of a $126m geothermal plant located in Cove Fort in southern Utah.

US: Duke Energy and Progress Energy have entered into a supplemental merger settlement agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

US: The 880 MW natural gas fired John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant in Tennessee has started commercial operation. The plant entered service a month ahead of schedule and about $30m under budget.

US: The Lower Colorado River Authority and Fluor Corp have started work on the Ferguson Replacement Project in Texas. The project will replace a natural gas fired unit at the 470 MW Ferguson Power Plant with a 540 MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant.

US: The second of Georgia Power’s three 840 MW natural gas combined-cycle units at Plant McDonough-Atkinson is now operational. The third unit is under construction and is expected to go online in November.

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