Sep 08

Renewable News 8th September

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Suzlon Energy Ltd. is having problems selling part of its Repower AG unit, Handelsblatt reported, citing unidentified people in the industry.

Suzlon is said to have priced a 25 percent stake in its Repower Systems AG unit at about 500 million euros. The stock market currently values Repower at about 1 billion euros, the newspaper said.

suzlon turbine

India plans to install 20 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2022 in three phases. The country added 8 megawatts of solar power capacity that is fed to the grid as of Jan. 1, compared with a target of 50 megawatts for the five years ending March 2011, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

India may need as much as $10 billion in investments to install 10 gigawatts of solar thermal power over the next 12 years, the head of an industry group said. “Raising funds will be a challenge,” Anil Kumar Lakhina, chairman of the Forum for the Advancement of Solar Thermal, said at a conference in New Delhi today.

While some funds will need to be raised overseas for equipment and components, India’s power industry overall has attracted foreign direct investment of $5 billion in the past 10 years, Lakhina said.

solar thermal parabolic trough

Wave Hub UK
The U.K. installed a wave-power test facility off the coast of Cornwall, southwest England, to allow developers including Ocean Power Technologies Inc. to gauge the viability of their equipment.

The 12-ton “Wave Hub” was placed in waters 55 meters (180 feet) deep on Sept. 3, and four lines of cable were attached over the past two days, according to a statement today from the South West England Regional Development Agency. The hub will act as a socket for devices that turn wave energy into electricity.

“This ground-breaking project will strengthen the U.K.’s position at the forefront of the wave energy sector,” U.K. Science Minister David Willetts said in the statement. “The U.K. is already leading the way, with 25 percent of the world’s wave and tidal technologies being developed here.”

The U.K. estimates that energy from the waves and tides could power 15 million homes by 2050 and create 16,000 jobs by the 2040s. The Wave Hub project overcame opposition from surfers who feared it might lower the height of waves along the Cornish coast. Wave Hub is located off the coast at Hayle, 20 miles from Newquay, Britain’s surf capital.

The 42 million-pound project has four berths, each allowing developers to test groups of wave-power equipment. The first devices are expected to be installed next year, and New Jersey-based Ocean Power agreed to take the first berth, according to today’s statement.

wave hub project

US Tax Relief
The White House will propose allowing companies to fully deduct the cost of equipment such as tractors. President Barack Obama will call for an expansion of a tax incentive designed to encourage businesses to invest in equipment, as part of a push to bolster economic growth before midterm congressional elections on Nov. 2.

The White House will propose allowing companies to fully deduct the cost of equipment such as tractors, wind turbines, computers and solar panels, said an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the president’s announcement this week.

In 2008 and 2009, companies could deduct 50 percent of their costs using so-called bonus deprecation. The latest proposal would increase the tax break to 100 percent through the end of 2011 and make it retroactive to Sept. 8, 2010, the official said.

Obama is planning to outline the $30 billion proposal in an economic speech on Sept. 8 in Cleveland, one of several ideas the White House plans to introduce to encourage job growth and boost the economy.

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Aug 17

World Renewable News 17th August

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China launches emission-cutting factory closure programme
The Chinese government has published a list of more than 2,000 factories that it plans to force to close by the end of September as it attempts to make good on Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent pledge to use an “iron hand” to tackle inefficient factories.

This week, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a list of 2,087 steel mills, cement works and other energy-intensive factories required to shut down by the end of next month.

The factories were chosen after discussions with provincial and municipal officials to identify industrial operations with outdated, inefficient technology. In addition to reducing China’s carbon footprint, the factory closings are consistent with the government’s broader strategy to modernise production techniques, boost international competitiveness and transform an industry from “being big to being strong”, the ministry said.

steel millcement plant

Suzlon stocks declined in Mumbai trading after India’s biggest maker of wind turbines said its first-quarter loss doubled as a weaker euro devalued the company’s overseas assets.

Suzlon said in an e-mailed statement Aug. 13 after market hours. Orders from overseas “remain elusive” for Suzlon compared with rivals, including Vestas Wind Systems A/S, according to analysts Lokesh Garg and Supriya Subramanian.

suzlon turbine

CLP Holdings
CLP Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong’s biggest power producer, posted an 83 percent gain in first-half profit, beating estimates, because of increased returns from projects outside the city and a one-off tax benefit.

The utility has invested in power projects in mainland China, Australia, India, Vietnam and Taiwan to offset declining earnings in Hong Kong.

The utility’s first fully-owned wind farm in Jilin province may go into commercial operations in October, CLP said. The company is also a partner in a wind farm venture with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co., and the project has a generating capacity of about 1 gigawatt in operation by the end of June, according to the statement.

CLP/TRU Energy have the following power generation assets in Australia – Hallet Gas, Iona Gas, Tallawarra Coal and Yallourn Coal.

coal power station

Vestas, said it won two Chinese orders on top of the Macarthur order amid analyst concern that the company will miss its 2010 sales forecast.

Vestas will deliver 37 of its V90-2.0 megawatt turbines to fulfill the Chinese orders in the fourth quarter of this year.

vestas wind

Atlantis Resources
Atlantis Resources Corp., the tidal power company whose investors include Morgan Stanley and the Norwegian utility Statkraft AS, unveiled the world’s largest tidal turbine in Scotland.

The SeaGen AK1000 device’s 18-meter (60-foot) rotors have the capacity to generate 1 megawatt of electricity, enough to power at least 1,000 homes, the Singapore-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. The turbine will be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland’s Orkney Islands later this year, it said.

seagen tidal turbine

California regulators approved renewable power contracts totaling more than 400 megawatts for utilities PG&E Corp. and Edison International to help to meet state energy goals.

PG&E, owner of the state’s largest utility, won the California Public Utilities Commission’s permission today to buy electricity from a 250-megawatt solar plant being developed by a unit of NextEra Energy Inc., the largest U.S. producer of wind and solar power. The cost of the Riverside County, California, plant and the value of the contract weren’t disclosed.

California ordered its utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by the end of this year. The commission doesn’t expect that goal to be met, and may allow extensions to as late as 2013 in cases where transmission lines aren’t available.

Edison’s Southern California Edison utility won permission today from regulators to buy 117-megawatts from the Ivanpah solar plant being developed in California’s Mojave Desert by closely held BrightSource Energy Inc. PG&E already won approval to buy 275 megawatts from the project.

Ivanpah’s three phases would use arrays of pole-mounted mirrors, or heliostats, to reflect the sun’s rays to boilers mounted on top of towers, heating the water inside to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (538 Celsius). The resulting steam would then be piped to an electricity-generating turbine.

solar power tower

AGL Energy
AGL Energy Ltd. may spend A$10 billion ($9 billion) building renewable power production capacity by 2020 as Australia pursues a target of sourcing one- fifth of its electricity from alternative sources.

Development of the Tarrone substation for the Macarthur wind farm will allow the future construction of a gas-fired power plant, AGL said. The plant will have a capacity of 500 megawatts to 600 megawatts and may cost as much as A$500 million, said managing director, Michael Fraser. UFWA if possible would also be looking to utilise this substation for the connection of Ryan Corner/Hawkesdale wind farms.

gas power generation plant

FY10 production was 4,299 GWh, which was 4 GWh below IFN’s Production Guidance range, noting:
• Australia: an increase of 30% (262 GWh) over FY09 to 1,137 GWh due to the contribution from Capital Wind Farm and resolution of gearbox issues at Lake Bonney.
• USA: a reduction of 7% (224 GWh) from FY09 to 2,950 GWh reflecting low wind resource experienced in the first three quarters of FY10.
• Germany: an increase of 27% (45 GWh) over FY09 to 212 GWh reflecting a full year contribution from the Calau, Leddin, Langwedel and Seehausen wind farms. Production in Germany was adversely affected by low wind resource throughout the year.

FY10 revenue was $295.6m ($296.0m at guidance FX rates) which was $3.6m above IFN’s Revenue Guidance range, noting:
• Australia: an increase of 44% ($32.5m) over FY09 to $106.2m assisted by the sale of banked Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s) and recovery of performance warranty payments. Approximately 310,000 uncontracted REC’s (including the 250,000 REC’s held on balance sheet at 31 December 2009) were sold at an average price of $44.3/REC, significantly above the average spot-market price of $37.5/REC.
• Market Prices: Relative to Guidance, the second half of FY10 saw stronger market prices in Australia and the US. Statutory Consolidated Revenue is expected to be $314.3m. This includes minority interests in the US and excludes the French assets which will be classified as discontinued operations.

Lake Bonney

Philippine Wind EOI
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has concluded a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from consultants to conduct site-specific feasibility studies for the development of three wind power projects in the Philippines.
Related Stories

The three wind projects will be developed by Manila-based Alternergy Philippine, with up to $630,000 technical assistance from ADB.ADB is currently in the midst of selecting a consultant to help with the assessment of the three potential wind projects, located in Laguna, Mindoro and Rizal, which will have a combined capacity of up to 120MW.

Assessment for each project would take at least two years with the three wind projects – having a potential combined capacity of up to 120MW.

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Jul 15

La Florida Solar Thermal Plant Commissioned

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Spain has opened the world’s largest solar power station, meaning that it overtakes the US as the biggest solar generator in the world. The nation’s total solar power production is now equivalent to the output of a nuclear power station.

The new La Florida solar plant takes Spain’s solar output to 432MW, which compares with the US output of 422MW. The plant, at Alvarado, Badajoz, in the west of the country, is a parabolic trough. With this method of collecting solar energy, sunlight is reflected off a parabolic mirror on to a fluid-filled tube. The heated liquid is then used to heat steam to run the turbines. The mirror rotates during the day to follow the sun’s movement. The solar farm covers 550,000 square metres (the size of around 77 football pitches) and produces 50MW of power.

solar parabolic trough

Plant Configuration
Solar Field
Solar-Field Aperture Area: 552,750 m²
# of Solar Collector Assemblies (SCAs): 672
# of Loops: 168
# of SCAs per Loop: 4
SCA Aperture Area: 822 m²
SCA Length: 150 m
# of Modules per SCA: 12
SCA Manufacturer (Model): Ingemetal (SAMCA-Trough)
Mirror Manufacturer: Rioglass
# of Heat Collector Elements (HCEs): 24,192
HCE Manufacturer: Schott
Heat-Transfer Fluid Type: Diphenyl/Diphenyl oxide
HTF Company: Dow Chemical
Solar-Field Inlet Temp: 298°C
Solar-Field Outlet Temp: 393°C
Solar-Field Temp Difference: 95°C
Power Block
Turbine Capacity (Gross): 49.9 MW
Turbine Manufacturer: Siemens (Sweden)
Output Type: Rankine
Power Cycle Pressure: 100.0 bar
Cooling Method: Wet cooling
Turbine Efficiency: 38.13% @ full load
Annual Solar-to-Electricity Efficiency (Gross): 13.81%
Fossil Backup Type: HTF heater
Backup Percentage: 12%
Thermal Storage
Storage Type: 2-tank indirect
Storage Capacity: 7.5 hour(s)
Thermal Storage Description: 29,000 tons of molten salt. 60% sodium nitrate, 40% potassium nitrate.

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May 19

Water adds new constraints to solar power

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In the Mojave Desert, solar developers are scrambling to secure permits to build vast expanses of new generating capacity. But they are discovering that cost and carbon emissions are not the only limiting factors in new energy decisions in California. They are bumping up against water scarcity.

Solar thermal cooling

In the United States, thermoelectric power generation — mainly coal, nuclear and natural gas — accounted for 41 percent of U.S. freshwater withdrawals in 2005, U.S. Geological Society data show. But there is a growing awareness in California and throughout the United States that the use of water for energy generation may be reaching its limits.

In the past decade, water availability has increasingly had an effect on the reliability of power supplies in many countries, with droughts leading to temporary closings of nuclear plants in Australia, France, Germany, Romania and Spain. Similar shutdowns have been threatened in the United States.

For a thermoelectric plant, the cooling technology used is the biggest factor in its water needs. Once-through cooling, an inexpensive, energy-efficient and therefore widely used process, sucks up huge quantities of river, lake, or sea water. A typical 500-megawatt power plant takes in almost 19 million gallons, or 72 million liters, an hour, according to a 2005 report from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Solar thermal cooling

As once-through cooling has fallen out of favor, wet cooling, which exploits the chilling effect of evaporation, has become more common. It uses only about 3 percent of the water needed for once-through cooling — but it loses 90 percent of that to vapor. Wet-cooling systems are more expensive to build than once-through and consume as much as 3 percent of the energy generated by the plant. But a point in their favor is that they can use non-freshwater sources, like wastewater or mine pools. Recent government data show that 56 percent of U.S. thermoelectric generating capacity is now wet-cooled, against 43 percent using once-through systems.

A newer process, dry cooling, which uses fans to push waste heat into the atmosphere instead of into water, but is still more expensive and less efficient. On hot days, as much as 15 percent of the energy generated by a plant may be expended on cooling, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, a research body funded by the energy industry.

Despite the growing attention paid to water consumption, comparative costs still mainly determine construction choices. Costs, and cost estimates, vary widely and are highly sensitive to variable inputs such as raw materials, fuel and labor prices.

Estimating the “levelized” full lifecycle cost of power generation at new plants to begin operations in 2016, the study put the cost at US$100.40 per megawatt-hour for a conventional coal-fired plant; $83.10 for a conventional combined-cycle natural gas plant; $119 for nuclear; $111 for biomass; $149.30 for wind; $256.60 for solar thermal; and $396.10 per MWh for solar photovoltaic. These costs exclude potential liability for external risks such as pollution clean-up, or fines.

Solar thermal cooling

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Jan 11

China warms to solar thermal tehcnology

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Solar thermal technology, which is potentially cheaper than most types of renewable power, has captivated many engineers and financiers in the last two years, with an abrupt surge in new patents and plans for large power operations in Europe and the United States.

This year may be China’s turn. China is starting to build its own concentrating solar power plants, a technology more associated with California deserts than China’s countryside. And Chinese manufacturers are starting to think about exports, part of China’s effort to become the world’s main provider of alternative energy power equipment.

Parabolic Trough Solar Thermal

Yet concentrating solar power still faces formidable obstacles in China, including government officials who are skeptical that the technology will be useful on a large scale. Mr. Li, a Chinese senior government official wrote that concentrating solar power works best when cheap water, cheap land and lots of sun are available in the same place — a rare combination in China. Mr. Li also expressed concern that concentrating solar power would prove more expensive per kilowatt-hour generated than photovoltaic solar power, a technology in which China is already the world’s low-cost supplier.

Much of the country is cloudy or smoggy. Water is scarce. The sunniest places left for solar power are deserts deep in the interior, far from the energy-hungry coastal provinces that consume most of China’s electricity. Provinces deep in the interior have few skilled workers or engineers to maintain the automated gear that keeps mirrors focused on towers that transfer the heat from sunbeams into fluids.

eSolar, a Californian solar technology company and Penglai Electric, a Chinese power equipment manufacturer plan to sign a deal on Saturday for the construction of up to 2,000 megawatts of power plants using concentrating solar power over the next decade, executives from both companies said this week. That is equivalent to the output of a couple of nuclear power plants. They will start with a 92-megawatt plant in Yulin, a town in a semi-desert area of Shaanxi Province in central China.

China’s Ministry of Science, the Beijing municipal government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are already building Asia’s first concentrating solar power plant on the outskirts of Beijing, although it is only a pilot operation to generate 1.5 megawatts.

Preparations are also under way for the construction of a 50-megawatt concentrating solar power plant in Gansu Province in northwestern China, said Min Deqing, a renewable energy consultant in Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu.

See the New York Times, 9th Jan 2009 for the full article.

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Nov 06

EPi Project Development Services

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What does EPi Do?

Aside from the renewable new room services, EPi offers a specific skill set for the renewable energy industry, providing a complementary one stop shop of cross-divisional services required for the successful delivery of a large multi-discipline project. With a proven history of successfully managing outsourced services and contractors, we enable the client to achieve better project results whilst minimising disruption to current operations.

elemental power

We offer the following services:

(1) Wind farm development services including – identification, land owner negotiations, wind monitoring installation and O&M, stakeholder management, environmental and approvals management, sourcing financial partners, formulating the appropriate procurement and project delivery strategies.

(2) Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) services for all of your projects to ensure you have flexibility in turbine supply, construction contractors and completion time.

(3) Owners Engineering Services (OES), we can assist you throughout development and a full wind farm EPC contract, or until the OES becomes a EPCM contract for the construction phase of a wind farm.

(4) Project Management consulting. We are committed to the delivery of high quality results, to achieve your broad business and individual project objectives on time and on budget. Through our experience and expertise we can enable your business to successfully achieve greater capital efficiency, improved productivity, and better management of potential program and financial risks and exposure.

(5) Contract labour hire of wind professionals. This includes high level project & construction managers and site construction staff to assist your team in the project delivery stage.

The dedicated EPi team acts directly as the developers/owners representative, with your interest remaining our priority. Our services enable you to stay in control of your project, while we drive the various project disciplines and manage project risk to protect your capital in all stages of development.

Unlike many other EPCM firms, EPi’s specialised experience and integrated approach offers our clients a single point of responsibility. As a result, our clients realise less administrative and HR hassles, significant cost savings, seamless communication, enhanced responsiveness and program capabilities, and reduced risk of project over-runs.

Achieving greater capital efficiency, improved productivity and better management of financial risks are all part of EPi’s offer to potential clients. Maximising your capital return is the key to our business success.

Elemental Power Industries

We offer a broad range of services across the wind, wave and solar energy sectors including:

– Preliminary site assessment and due diligence
– Environmental assessment management
– resource assement
– Managing statutory approvals
– Stakeholder management
– Feasibility studies
– Project development
– Engineering design management services
– Procurement management services
– Construction management
– Project management
– Owner’s engineer role
– Due diligence of renewable assets
– M&A advisory services

See the website for more information.

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May 15

Solar Flagship Program

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The Clean Energy Initiative (CEI) was announced in the May 2009 Budget and this iniative included the Solar Flagship Program. The program funding is aimed to support construction and demonstration of large-scale integrated carbon capture and storage projects in Australia, which may include gasification, post-combustion capture, oxy-firing, transport and storage technologies. The target is to create 1000MW of low emission fossil fuel generation, with $1.6 billion in funding available over 6 years.

The Solar Flagships incorporates part of the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program (REDP). The first round of the $435 million REDP closed in April 2009, attracting applications from solar, ocean, geothermal, and biomass energy companies. A portion of this funding, $135m, has now been transferred to the Solar Flagships program. The ocean, geothermal and biomass applications will be assessed for support from the remaining $300m, while the most prospective solar applications will be further considered by Renewables Australia. All the REDP solar applicants will be able to participate in the Solar Flagships Program.

There are two primary classes of solar energy technology – solar thermal, and photovoltaic (PV), and several competing technologies within each of these classes. To maximise the technology demonstration and learning benefits, the solar flagships will include up to four technologies – 2 solar thermal and 2 PV. The location of each solar flagship power station will be a function of solar and grid (including connection) factors. Advice will be obtained from transmission companies and the Australian Energy Market Operator on the optimum siting for the solar flagship power stations in the national grid.

Energy storage technology is an important adjunct to solar generation, enabling the capacity factor to be extended (such as into the evening period). Storage will be part of the solar flagship projects. A further criterion in selecting companies and technologies to develop the solar flagship power stations could be their potential to develop manufacturing and export activities in Australia.

See for more details.

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