Tech Briefs

SIS builds on Siemens Westinghouse

Siemens Energy & Automation announced a reorganized and refocused national industrial services organization called Siemens Industrial Services. The new name replaces the former Siemens Westinghouse Technical Services and signifies a comprehensive service organization able to deliver power distribution and maintenance technology, as well as automation and drives services.

GE to acquire Jenbacher

GE Power Systems announced plans to acquire Jenbacher A.G. Jenbacher A.G., headquartered in Jenbach, Austria, manufactures gas fueled reciprocating engines and generator sets for power generation applications, and also works in cogeneration and the utilization of biogas and waste gases.

Following the completion of the acquisition, Jenbacher will be integrated with GE Distributed Power, a unit of GE Power Systems.

ALSTOM awarded contract

ALSTOM has been awarded a contract worth over 162 million euros (approximately $162,488,490 U.S.) by Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, to supply a 640 MW sub-critical pulverized coal-fired utility boiler to be located at Cross Generating Station in Berkeley County. Santee Cooper is scheduled to break ground on the project this month, with commercial operation projected for January 2007.

Plug Power delivers system

Plug Power Inc. announced the availability of the company’s first direct-hydrogen fuel cell system designed to provide extended outage coverage for critical industrial operations. The 5 kW, 48 V, D.C., hydrogen-fueled system will support premium power applications, according to the company. (Editor’s note: H Power, who authored our Dec. story on fuel cells above, was recently purchased by Plug Power.)

American Superconductor meets goal way ahead of schedule

American Superconductor Corp., a supplier of superconductor products and power electronic converters for the electric power industry, recently stated that they have achieved “reproducible results” in electrical performance over 10 meter lengths of its second generation, coated conductor composite, high temperature superconductor (HTS) wires. This achievement is in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) order to stimulate the commercial production of lower-cost HTS wires. The DOE challenged the U.S. industry to produce second generation, coated conductor wires in 10 meter lengths with a minimum electrical performance of 50 amperes of electrical current per centimeter of width of the tape-shaped wires by December 2003. American Superconductor’s wire performance was verified by the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Lab.

AEP dedicates sodium sulfur battery

American Electric Power (AEP) and a team of partners have dedicated a stationary sodium sulfur battery at the AEP office park in Columbus, Ohio. According to AEP, this batter is the first U.S. stationary sodium sulfur battery. Partners in the project include NGK Insulators Ltd., Tokyo Electric Power Co., ABB, DOE/Sandia National Laboratories and the Electric Power Research Institute. The installation will be operated for two years as a demonstration of the battery. Cost of the demonstration was not disclosed.

Basin Electric unveils wind project

Basin Electric Cooperative and FPL Energy LLC have reached an agreement to build an 80 MW wind energy project, with 40 MW in each of the Dakotas. The agreement calls for Basin Electric to purchase the output of the projects, which will be constructed, owned and operated by FPL Energy. The project is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2003.

Canadian clean coal attracts investment

The Canadian Clean Power Coalition (CCPC) announced the full participation of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Greenhouse Gas R&D and Clean Coal Centre Programmes in the feasibility study phase for the planned development and construction of a Canadian “clean coal” power plant. EPRI will contribute $238,000 Cdn (approximately $155,000 U.S.) over three years. The IEA Programmes have also committed $238,000 Cdn. The total investment by member companies and organizations—together with government agencies—is reaching $5 million Cdn (approximately $3.5 million U.S.) for the feasibility study phase of the project. The long-term goal is to develop and commercialize new technology that will virtually eliminate air emissions of concern, including carbon dioxide, from coal-burning power plants, according to the CCPC. the first phase of the project will be completed in 2003.

Mass Megawatts product chosen

Winrock Financial Services, Ltd., a South American leader of environmental causes, has chosen Mass Megawatt’s “Multi-Axis Turbosystem” (MAT) to provide 25 megawatts of power capacity at the company’s titanium processing facility near Puerto Columbia, South America commonly known as a tourist and resort area. The MAT system is a wind energy conversion device that is capable of generating electricity at 2.5 cents per kWh at an average annual wind speed of 16 miles per hour. Based on a typical Colombian selling price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour, a 25 megawatt energy plant would generate $6.7 million of revenues for Winrock Financial, according to the company.

Southern Co. partners with National Wild Turkey Federation

Southern Company has signed an agreement with the National Wild Turkey Federation to support the Federation’s Energy for Wildlife program, a membership-based certification program for utility and energy companies with the primary goal of enhancing wildlife habitat on company managed, owned or influenced lands. Under the agreement, Southern Company will work closely with the Federation to maintain and improve wildlife habitat through an Integrated Vegetation Management plan on its rights of way. To be certified as an Energy for Wildlife member, Southern Company will work closely with the Federation to meet specific performance measures toward developing an overall plan to enhance wildlife habitat. Upon meeting those requirements for two years, Southern Company will gain certification. As part of its long-term environmental commitment, Southern Company will strive tocontinue to meet the Federation’s performance guidelines every two years thereafter to retain its certification in the program.

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TECH BRIEFS

Peabody mines inject money into tribal communities

Coal mining on Arizona’s Black Mesa injected more than $110 million in direct economic benefits into Navajo and Hopi communities last year, bringing the more than 30-year economic impact of the operations to more than $2 billion, Peabody reported recently. The results include the direct impact of coal and water royalties, taxes, wages, benefits and tribal scholarships generated by the Black Mesa and Kayenta mines. Operated through lease agreements with the Navajo and Hopi, the mines produce more than 13 million tons of low sulfur coal annually.

Framatome ANP wins contract

Framatome ANP, an AREVA and Siemens company, has been awarded a contract by Entergy Operations Inc. to replace the steam generators and reactor vessel head for the Arkansas Nuclear One, Unit 1 (ANO-1) plant. The project, valued in excess of $60 million, also calls for Framatome ANP to perform all the engineering and licensing activities required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in support of these component changes. The work will be performed during the 1R-19 outage that will begin in the third quarter of 2005.

Terra provides services, nitrogen

Terra Industries has contracted to provide technical services and more than 25,000 tons of nitrogen in the form of anhydrous and aqua ammonia, urea and urea liquor, to electricity producers in 2002. Terra representatives further stated that they expect this volume to double in 2003, and that they have set a goal to sell more than 150,000 tons to electricity producers and chemical companies in 2005.

Ambient gets patent

Ambient Corp. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Ambient a patent for its couplers and related features. The patent (US Patent 6,452,482) covers the coupling of data signals onto both overhead and underground power distribution cables.

Emerson re-brands

Emerson Process Management announced that its Westinghouse Process Control business will now be known as Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions.

NxtPhase wins award

NxtPhase Corp., a provider of digital and fiber optic solutions for the electric power industry, has won an R&D 100 award for the NXVCT optical voltage and current sensor. Sponsored by R&D Magazine, the award recognizes innovate technology judged to be among the 100 most technologically significant products of the year.

ABB delivers

ABB Power Electronics has delivered a large capacity PCS 600-SVC (static var compensator) system to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. The 0-19 MVAr system was delivered to and commissioned at the site on the eastern shore of Virginia within only three months from the date of order, according to the company.

First fuel cell installed under Jersey plan

The first fuel cell in New Jersey installed under the Board of Public Utilities’ (BPU) statewide initiative to promote the use of clean and renewable energy technologies has been formally dedicated. BPU President Jeanne M. Fox and NUI Elizabethtown Gas President Victor A. Fortkiewicz presented a $710,000 rebate check to Lawrence J. Naldi, plant manager of Merck & Co.’s Rahway/Linden site, under the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, which rewards businesses in the state that install new energy generating equipment utilizing alternative technologies. Merck is also receiving a $200,000 rebate from the U.S. Department of Defense under an alternative technology program sponsored by the federal government. The rebates will help offset Merck’s investment in fuel cell technology.