Friday 11 October 2013

Tata Power arm to buy wind farm in Gujarat
8 Oct 2013

Tata Power, on Tuesday, said that it would acquire a 39.2 MW wind farm in Gujarat in a move that would scale up its renewable energy portfolio.

The company's 100% subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd. (TPREL), has signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) with AES Corp for acquisition of the US company's 100% shareholding in AES Saurashtra Windfarms Pvt Ltd. (ASW). The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

It costs about Rs. 6 crore to set up one MW of wind power capacity. The reason behind the exit of AES from this project is not known. ASW owns and operates a 39.2 MW wind farm in Jamnagar district of Gujarat.

The project has been fully operational since January, 2012, and ASW has executed a power purchase agreement with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, for sale of electricity at a tariff of Rs. 3.56/kW for the duration of the project.

TPREL was selected as the preferred bidder for the sale, and the acquisition is subject to certain conditions. The deal is expected to go through in a few months time, Tata Power said.

With this deal, Tata Power's wind operational generation capacity will go up to 437 MW, with wind turbine generators located across five states, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

"Tata Power is committed to generating 20 25% of its total generation capacity from clean energy sources, and is proud to have signed this SPA. This is our second acquisition of an operating wind asset and we are constantly looking out for similar opportunities in respect of wind and solar plants", Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Power, said in a statement.

Turkey's first nuclear power plant likely to be delayed
8 Oct 2013

ANKARA (Reuters)-Turkey's first nuclear power plant is likely to be delayed by at least a year, a source close to the plans said on Tuesday, as bureaucratic hurdles hamper the $20 billion project.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been an advocate of the country's ambitious nuclear program, meant to help reduce its dependence on costly hydrocarbon imports by providing 10% of its electricity needs by 2023.

But its first planned 4,800 MW plant, being built by Russia's Rosatom, is already falling behind schedule, with the first reactor unlikely to be operational by 2019 as planned.

"Production in 2019 is not possible. 2020 is more likely", one source close to the project told Reuters, noting that a nuclear reactor on this scale would need a test period of at least six to 12 months before it could be fully operational.

The start of construction for the Mersin Akkuyu plant in southern Turkey is scheduled for mid-2015 and by 2023 all four planned reactors are meant to have started generating power, but the project has still to obtain a construction license and has been hampered by other delays over the summer.

An environmental report by Rosatom, which requires approval by Turkish authorities, had to be resubmitted to the Environment Ministry in September, months behind the planned schedule. Without approval, Atomstroyexport, the main contractor chosen by Rosatom to build the reactors, cannot launch tenders for an estimated $7.5 8.0 billion worth of subcontracts.

The source said he expected the tenders to be launched once the environmental assessment paper was approved, which he predicted would happen by the end of November.

A tender by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) for a firm to review and assess Rosatom's reactor plans to ensure the design meets safety standards has been cancelled several times after bidders failed to meet the pre-qualification criteria.

Aaron Stein, associate fellow at the British defense and security think-tank the Royal United Services Institute, sees this as among the most serious risks to the timeline.

"It all depends on whether they can get their tender documents going and all the indications right now are that they're having extreme difficulties", he said. "Let's assume they're going to go ahead with construction in 2016, that would still be three years to build one reactor and seven years to build all four. That is really, really fast".

Turkey's power market looks to be alone in Europe in offering promising returns. Electricity consumption rose 5% to 242 billion kW hours (kW) in 2012 and energy demand growth forecasts are second only to those of China.

Turkey needs to add some 3,500 MW of installed power capacity annually to keep pace. Its second planned nuclear plant was awarded in May to a Japanese-French consortium. Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Itochu Corporation, with France's GDF Suez, will build the 4,800 MW plant at an estimated cost of $22 billion in the Black Sea coastal city of Sinop.

Industry sources have said the first reactor at that plant is slated to come online by 2023.

Albertans losing no sleep over wind power
8 Oct 2013

Controversy that has marked Ontario's rapid growth in wind power has been largely absent in Alberta, where the industry has operated for two decades and now has the third-largest installed generation capacity of the green energy source in Canada.

Wind farm operators in the Western province have had to work to solve environmental problems, notably bat and bird deaths, which have led to operational changes at some developments.

But public complaints about facilities, which are concentrated in the breezy and sparsely populated southern part of the province best known for fossil fuel development, are almost non-existent, according to recent research into what is seen as one of the most commercially viable forms of alternative energy.

That is in sharp contrast to Ontario, where groups have been established to oppose wind power and publicize potential human-health effects of facilities near homes. Government policies there aimed at promoting green energy have led to brisk activity in wind farm construction.

"We're not seeing the same type of organized push-back in Alberta", said Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency policy for the Pembina Institute, a non-profit environmental think tank.

Some of the wind farms in Alberta, especially in the southwest, are relatively close to population centres. Public attitudes may be more accepting because many Albertans already have experience living close to conventional energy facilities, Mr. Weis said. In addition, virtually all commercial wind developments in the province are on privately owned land.

Mr. Weis contributed to a Pembina study this summer that found the Alberta Utilities Commission, the provincial regulator governing commercial-scale wind farms, has not received a single complaint related to the facilities since 2000 in 31,000 "contacts" with the public. wind farm operators reported 10 complaints. By contrast, the oil-and-gas regulator has fielded more than 200 complaints per year about fossil fuel operations affecting residents.

Read More…

Thursday 10 October 2013

JGC to Build Second Solar Power Plant in Japan for $102 Million
1 Oct 2013

JGC Corp. (1963), a Japanese constructor of industrial facilities, said it will build a 31 MW solar power station in Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo, its second such project in the country.

Construction for the 10 billion yen ($102 million) plant will start in March and operations will start in January 2015, the Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture-based company said in a statement yesterday.

JGC Corp will undertake engineering, procurement, and construction work for the plant and manage it for 20 years, it said. The company signed an agreement for project financing on Sept. 27 with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Chiba Bank Ltd. (8331) and Joyo Bank Ltd., it said in the statement.

Solar power from giant mirrors flows into California's grid
24 Sep 2013

BrightSource Energy's massive solar farm in a remote corner of California delivered its first flow of power to the grid, an important step for demonstrating that the project is on the final path to become a fully operating power plant, the company said Tuesday.

BrightSource Energy achieved what is called the "first sync" with the project, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, where for the first time the steam was sent to one of its three turbines for generating electricity and synching to the grid. Ivanpah is the first commercial power plant project in the United States for BrightSource Energy, which owns a stake in the project along with NRG Energy NRG Energy +0.77% and Google GOOG-1.42%.

The project also is one of the massive solar power projects being built in California to enable the state to meet its goal of using an increasing amount of renewable electricity. The state's mandate requires 33% of its utilities power supplies to come from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass by 2020.

The project has a 392 MW capacity but is set to deliver 377 MWs to the Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, It's sized to deliver enough power to about 140,000 homes per year.

Ivanpah is made up of three power generation stations. The "first sync" milestone took place at Unit 1, and the same step will be done at Unit 2 and Unit 3 soon. Unit 2 and Unit 3 are scheduled to start delivering electricity to the grid by the end of the year.

Read More…

ABB Australia to supply equipment for Perth wave energy project
19 Sep 2013

ABB Australia has won a contract from Carnegie Corporation Wave Energy for the onshore plant and process control system, which will be installed at the Perth wave energy project. ABB and Carnegie Corporation are likely to start initial onsite earthworks for the onshore plant in the near future.

To be located at Garden Island, Western Australia, the project calls for the installation and operation of four to eight submerged commercial scale Cylindrical Energy Transfer Oscillating (CETO) units with commissioning set for the first quarter of 2014.

Backed by Australian government funding through the Emerging Renewables Program, and the Western Australian State Government through the Low Emissions Energy Development fund, the project will sell its output to the Department of Defence for HMAS Stirling located on Garden Island.

Carnegie Corporation COO Greg Allen said that the company has awarded a contract to ABB for onshore plant and process control system, which is the final key element of the Perth wave energy project. "With all key elements ordered, and manufacture underway, we are making considerable progress toward the delivery of the Perth Wave Energy Project", added Allen.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Planning body dismisses anti-wind claims
10 Sep 2013

NSW Planning Assessment Commissions have given plans for the Bodangora wind farm in Dubbo, NSW, the green light. The PAC's recent tick of approval has come just a few weeks before the VCAT hearings on Victoria's Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposal which is scheduled to resume on September 27.

Both wind farm projects have caused controversy within surrounding communities but Friends of the Earth renewables spokesperson Leigh Ewbank said much of the controversy is brought about by the anti-wind farm scare campaign. "The PAC's approval of the Bodangora wind farm shows that planning authorities base their decisions on credible research, not pseudoscience claiming that wind farms harm human health", Mr Ewbank said.

Aside from approving the Bodangora wind farm PAC also dismissed health concerns brought to the attention of the commissioners by anti-wind farm campaigners.

The PAC report stated that: "NSW Health noted that the symptoms reported by residents concerned by wind farms are also reported by those living near other new developments of various kinds. Studies suggest these symptoms are suggestible, ie, if individuals are expecting to be impacted they will be more likely to report symptoms. It was also suggested that the visibility of the turbines influenced the likelihood of complaints from a neighbour".

Mr Ewbank said Friends of the Earth would hope VCAT take the ruling of the PAC into account when deciding the fate of the Cherry Tree Range proposal. "VCAT recently approved a fast food outlet in the Dandenong Ranges that mostly sells unhealthy food. It would be bizarre if they failed to approve a wind farm that produces clean and safe renewable energy", Mr Ewbank said.

He said the anti-wind farm lobby has made a concerted effort to turn the Mitchell Upper Lachlan Council community against the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposal.

"The anti-wind farm organisers divide communities with their fear campaign and distract people from the local benefits of renewable energy", Mr Ewbank said. "The Cherry Tree Range will deliver jobs and drought-proof income for farmers and the community. It will allow the region to claim a leadership position in addressing climate change".

Based on estimates by Friends of the Earth, the Cherry Tree Range wind farm will generate up to $80,000 for a community fund each year, contribute $76,000 worth of rates each year, inject $1.2 million worth of flow on economic benefit to the economy and produce enough electricity to power 26,000 homes and prevent 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.

Oceanlinx moves closer to wave energy go-ahead
11 Sep 2013

Oceanlinx Ltd has applied for South Australia's first generation licence using wave energy conversion technology, located offshore of Port MacDonnell, South Australia.

Oceanlinx Limited intends on installing a wave energy converter with a name plate rating of 1000kW. The unit will be connected to the 11kV distribution grid via a subsea cable, the SA Essential Services Commission says. All of the electricity generated will be sold to an energy retailer.

No fuel is used to generate the electricity. The unit is powered from air flow driving a turbine connected to an asynchronous generator. This air flow is created by the passing of waves interacting with the structure which houses the turbo-mechanical and electrical equipment.

The application will be assessed against relevant criteria specified in the Electricity Act and the Essential Services Commission Act 2002. Comments in respect of the application should be provided on or before October 7, 2013. The application has been made pursuant to Part 3 of the Electricity Act 1996 (Electricity Act).

Solar energy could help South Australia break away from oil and coal
6 Sep 2013

Wind and solar energy are gaining ground in Australia
The Australian Energy Market Operator has issued a new report concerning solar power in South Australia. The report suggests that the state could receive at least 50% of its energy from solar power within the next 10 years. Other forms of renewable energy could also help the state reach this goal. The report notes that nearly one in five homes in South Australia are equipped with rooftop photovoltaic systems.

Solar power continues to attract strong support
Solar energy has become a major focus throughout Australia. The country is currently working to distance itself from fossil fuels in order to find more economically viable forms of energy and mitigate its impact on the environment. Because the country is exposed to significant amounts of solar radiation year-round, Solar power has become one of the most popular forms of clean power. Solar energy does not encompass the country's interests in clean power, however, as wind power has also established itself as a priority.

Wind energy is also picking up momentum
The report shows that wind power already accounts for nearly 27% of the electricity in South Australia. New wind farms are scheduled to become active in the state in the coming years and these systems will contribute to the state's overall clean energy goals. The report notes that approximately 31% of the state's energy needs in the latter months of 2012 and early months of 2013 were met through wind power systems alone.

Over the next decade, wind and solar power are likely to begin reducing the need for fossil fuels in South Australia. The development of new renewable energy systems is also expected to have some impact on the state's economy. As new projects take root in the state, the need for workers spikes. New projects create new jobs, which help stimulate the local economy and provides the state with some degree of economic stability while it transitions away from conventional forms of energy.