Daily News

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) plans to generate over 70% of its electricity from wind and solar resources, supported by gas generators and energy storage. In its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) the Arizona-based utility also proposes to retire its remaining coal-fired units over the next 12 years.

Natural gas spot prices at the U.S. Henry Hub have fallen to historic lows despite rising gas-burn for power generation. Production keeps exceeding demand, with feedgas for liquefaction and export at low levels of around 4.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) so far in June and storages filling fast.

Siemens has partnered with the Norwegian startup EnergyNest to jointly offer modularized energy systems to industrial customers. A heat battery, developed by EnergyNest, can be charged with waste heat from thermal power stations or renewable energy for use as backup power.

Cargo cancellations mount at US liquefaction terminals amid dwindling LNG prices, particularly in Europe. Analysts at Energy Aspects say forward prices at the TTF have fallen so low that it is now more economic for Asian buyers to reload European cargoes than to dip into the US spot market.

German utility RWE is adopting Optime, a new SCADA control system, at its trading and dispatch centre in Essen. Optime gives power plant operators second-by-second control of all assets and helps facilitate the integration of wind and solar farms as well as energy storage.

NorthWestern Energy has contracted Caterpillar to supply six Cat G20CM34 gas gensets to replace combustion turbines currently operating at the Huron Generating Station in South Dakota. Construction activities will begin in July, with a view to starting commercial operation at the end of 2021.

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has awarded 5 stars to the Waad Al Shamal integrated solar and combined cycle power plant (ISCC) project for environment, health and safety standards. The plant consists of 50 MW solar plus 1,000 MW thermal capacity (four GE 7F gas turbines) and is due to enter service this fall.

Drax Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, part of MHI, have agreed to implement a bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at Drax Power Station starting from this autumn. The 12-month pilot will capture 300kg of CO2 a day, running on biomass flue gases.

Energy demand in the UK has started to recover from a 15-20% plunge, incurred by coronavirus lockdowns. According to Cornwall Insight, transmission system electricity demand rose to just below 0.64 TWh on Friday, June 19, but is still below the 0.70 TWh recorded in 2019 on similar days in late June. 

On-site power provider Cummins has entered a joint venture with the German startup NPROXX, focussed on hydrogen storage tanks and transportation. The JV is aimed at deepening Cummins’ capabilities in fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies.

GE has completed the first major inspection project in China since the coronavirus outbreak. Modernisation of two 9E.03 turbines at the 360 MW Baochang power plant, Guangdong province, was delivered safe and ahead of schedule on behalf of Shenzhen Baochang Power Supply Company.

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions (EES) has started to relocate its hydrogen production site from Yokohama to Kawasaki city in order to increase capacity and output. At the new facility, due completed in autumn 2020, Toshiba will produce fuel cell stacks based on its H2One energy supply system and its H2Rex hydrogen fuel cell.

News in Brief

Tokyo Gas snaps up US shale assets

July 31 – The Japanese utility Tokyo Gas has agreed to raise its stake in the U.S. firm Castleton Resources to 70 percent from 46 percent to increase its foothold in shale gas production in Texas and Louisiana.  Castleton Resources holds acreage in the Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations. The transaction is scheduled to be completed on August 14.

Electrical PE market to grow 1.7% through 2027

July 30 – The market for electrical protective equipment (PE) in North America, valued at $2,787 million in 2019, is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 1.7 percent to reach $3,163 million by 2027. Main growth drivers, according to ResearchandMarkets, are ongoing power transmission projects in the context with U.S. LNG export infrastructure expansions.

GE wins turbine order from Italian paper mill

July 29 – DS Smith Paper Italia has ordered a GE LM6000PF aero-derivative gas turbine for its paper mill in Lucca, Italy. The paper mill is currently powered by two aero-derivative turbines, and the additional unit will increase plant efficiency by 2%, while assuring steam supply for the industrial process.

Aceleron secures £2m green energy investment

July 28 – UK battery developer Aceleron today announced receipt of a £2 million equity investment from BGF and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron is BGF’s second investment into a pure clean technology, signalling a shift in behaviour as more and more fund managers support a green recovery and the UK’s policy of net-zero carbon by 2050.

NRG buys Centrica’s North American arm for over $3.6bn

July 27 – U.S. utility NRG Energy has agreed with Centrica to acquire the latter’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction. The transaction will diversify NRG’s earnings by adding more than three million retail customers and generate an estimated $740 million in adjusted EBITDA upon closing.

Siemens rolls out Comfy app

July 24 – Siemens is deploying its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, including major utility customers. The aim is to equip approximately 600 company locations by October 2020.

BlackRock puts $18bn into sustainable investment

July 23 – Sustainability aspects are poised to bring about "fundamental change" to the way financial market actors operate, said Philipp Hildebrand, vice head of U.S. investment company BlackRock. About 18 billion dollars have been put into BlackRock's sustainable investment products since the beginning of 2020, he told the German business daily FAZ, arguing this would be "only the beginning" of a much larger shift in investment practices.

Vaca Muerta output slows

July 22 – Argentina has resorted to importing LNG for the Southern Hemisphere winter as domestic production at the vast Vaca Muerta shale formation fell in the first half of 2020. State-owned IEASA purchased 28 LNG cargoes at average prices of $2.87 million British thermal units (mmBtu).

GE to implement air quality control systems in India

July 21 – GE Power India Ltd (GEPIL) has won three contracts with a combined value of $112.57 million to supply air quality control systems. One semi-dry flue-gas desulfurization (FDG) unit will be installed for Hindalco Industries’ 1x150MW power plant at the Aditya aluminium smelter in Sambalpur. A wet FDGs system will be installed on behalf of NTPC for their Feroze Gandhi Unchahar thermal power plant (2x210MW plus 2x210 MW plus 1x210MW units) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

Wärtsilä CEO sees “tough” H2 ahead

July 20 – Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola has told analysts he sees a “tough second half of the year ahead,” as the Finish manufacturer seeks to mitigate Covid-related business disruptions. In the segment of up to 500 MW, Wärtsilä’s market share fell from 9% to 8%, while orders for gas- and liquid- power plants increased by 1% to 17.8 GW during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020.

GE launches update to digital plant software

July 17 – GE Digital has unveiled updates to its digital power plant software: Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Operations Hub, Proficy Historian, and Proficy CSense. The software accelerates digitization for industries and integrates related onsite power generation units.

Germany EEG fund slips into the red

July 16 – Germany's green energy fund, funded through the renewable energy surcharge (EEG levy), has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, according to TSO data. The account, funded by end-customers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about €2 billion in available funds to €-1.16 billion in the first six months of 2020.

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

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