Siemens to build combined-cycle plant in Portugal. Siemens Energy
is to build two turnkey combined-cycle units for ElecGas S.A. at Central Termoeléctrica do Pego in Abrantes, northeast of Lisbon. ElecGas S.A. is a joint venture of the independent power generation company International Power plc and the Spanish utility Endesa S.A. Following the units’ start-up, tentatively set for 2011, Siemens will also assume responsibility for maintenance of the power train for a period of 25 years. The order, including the long-term service agreement, is valued at about $947million.

The natural gas–firing units have a targeted efficiency of over 58% and a combined installed capacity of 830 MW. The full turnkey scope of supply encompasses two gas turbines, two steam turbines, two generators, and all electrical plus instrumentation and control equipment. After Tapada do Outeiro and Ribatejo, which each comprise three units, Pego is the third power plant project handled by Siemens Energy in Portugal. The nation’s power demand is expected to increase by 3% annually up to 2010. The plants, with a combined capacity of 3,000 MW, will generate enough electricity to meet approximately 40% of Portugal’s demand.

RWE’s construction of twin-unit hardcoal power plant approved.
The Arnsberg regional government has approved German utility RWE Power’s planned construction of a new 1,600-MW twinunit hard coal power plant in Hamm. The government found that the proposed plant’s estimated efficiency rate of 46% and “capture ready” capability was in accord with the German Federal Emission Control Act. The new hard-coal twin unit is anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions by 2.5 million tons annually compared to older plants with the same output. RWE is already preparing the construction site.

The power plant’s first block will be put into service in mid-2011 and the second block in early 2012. RWE will invest $3.16 million in the project. Twenty-three municipal utilities from four different German states are partners in the new plant. The utilities have formed a cooperative known as GEKKO (Gemeinschaftskraftwerk Steinkohle) that will hold a 350-MW share in the venture.

Nordic Windpower to manufacture wind turbines in Idaho. Nordic Windpower Ltd.
the maker of two-bladed utility-scale wind turbines, announced that it will site its new turbine-manufacturing facility in Pocatello, Idaho. The company plans to create more than 160 new technical, engineering, and administrative jobs at the new facility. Additional positions will be opened at the company’s operational centers in California and the UK. Volume production is expected to commence for turbine delivery in November 2008. Production is anticipated to grow to at least 20 turbines monthly by September 2009.

Foster Wheeler wins CFB contract. Global Power Group:
a subsidiary of Foster Wheeler Ltd., has been awarded a contract by Entergy Louisiana, LLC, a subsidiary of Entergy Corp., for the design and supply of two circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) steam generators. The two CFBs will be a part of the 538-MW Little Gypsy 3 Repowering Project in Montz, La. Unit 3 will have the capability of using petroleum coke, an abundant and inexpensive refining byproduct, as well as coal to produce electricity.Commercial operation of the plant is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.

SCE&G and Santee Cooper apply for COL. South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.
(SCE&G) and Santee Cooper, a state-8 owned electric and water utility in South Carolina, have submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a combined construction and operating license (COL). If approved, the license would authorize the companies to build and operate up to two new nuclear generating units at their existing V.C. Summer Nuclear Station site in Jenkinsville, S.C.

The utilities have been developing their application since 2006. The NRC will now begin an approximately three-tofour-year review process. If the commission issues an approval, likely in 2011, the utilities plan to begin construction shortly thereafter and anticipate an in service date of as early as 2016 for the first unit.

SWEPCO Arkansas coal plant approved.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) has approved a Southwestern Electric Power Co.
(SWEPCO) request to construct a 600-MW coal-fueled power plant in Hempstead County, southwest Arkansas. The plant will cost about $1.34 billon. SWEPCO will hold a 73% investment, owning 440 MW of capacity. The plant will be the first of its type in the U.S to use “ultra supercritical” advanced coal combustion technology.

It will feature low-sulfur coal and state-of the-art emission control technologies, including a design that allows for theretrofit of carbon dioxide controls. The LPSC’s approval requires that SWEPCO, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), submit a study identifying the potential for implementing cost-effective energy-efficiency and load management programs for the company’s Louisiana customers. The company is awaiting a ruling on an air permit, expected this summer, from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality before construction can begin. Construction will take approximately 48 months; the operation date is set tentatively for late summer in 2012.

The company garnered approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission in November last year. The commission subsequently declined a third-party request for a rehearing in December. The interveners have since appealed the case to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, where it is pending. The base load plant is part of SWEPCO’s previously announced plans to meet the region’s energy needs. The company has completed a 340-MW natural gas–fueled peaking plant at Tonti town in northwest Arkansas. The company also plans to build a 500-MW combined-cycle natural gas–fueled plant at its existing Arsenal Hill Power Plant in Shreveport, La.

Go-ahead granted to Appalachian Power in West Virginia.
Meanwhile, AEP’s operating unit, Appalachian Power, has been authorized by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to build a 629-MW integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) electric generating plant in West Virginia.

The $2.23 billion plant, which will require approximately 48 to 54 months to complete, will be located beside the company’s existing Mountaineer Plant near New Haven, W.Va. In addition to the West Virginia filing, Appalachian Power has filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)for approval to recover the Virginia share of carrying costs associated with the plant. The company also filed for an environmental permit from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

The Virginia SCC is expected to rule on the IGCC plant in April. AEP announced in August 2004 that it intended to build approximately 1,200 MW of commercial-scale IGCC generation to meet base load needs of the seven state eastern portion area it serves. In addition to the Mountaineer IGCC unit, AEP had planned to build a similar 629- MW IGCC unit in Meigs County, Ohio. That project has been halted, following an Ohio Supreme Court decision in March.

AEP responds to Ohio Supreme Court IGCC decision.
The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that $23.7 million of start-up costs for AEP’s Meigs County plant project charged to Ohio customers violated provisions of an electric choice law signed in 1999. The court said that construction of the plant falls into the generation portion of the company’s operations that the Ohio Legislature deregulated under the law.

A Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ruling in April 2006 permitted two AEP subsidiaries to recover preconstruction costs between July 2006 and 2007 for the $2 billion plant in Meigs County. Those costs were for the first of three planned phases for the plant. The ruling sent the case back to the PUCO for reconsideration. AEP reaffirmed its commitment to IGCC generation but indicated that the company will wait for clarity about the future of electricity generation in Ohio before it determines if it can build the IGCC plant in that state.

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