Tech Notes

BC Hydro upgrades controls

BC Hydro (Vancouver, BC) will transfer control on three units from legacy systems to state-of-the-art Foxboro I/A Series systems at its Burrard Generating Station, located in Port Moody, a suburb of Vancouver. This control system upgrade is part of the environmental improvement and plant modernization project. The multi-million dollar control system upgrade is intended to improve unit heat rates and availability through improved process control and replacement of obsolete instrumentation.

Southwire proves HTS delivery system

A year after activating its high-temperature superconducting (HTS) power delivery system, Southwire celebrated the anniversary and the system’s milestone of operating for 5,000 hours at a 100-percent load. Activated on Jan. 5, 2000, Southwire’s power delivery system provides power to three manufacturing plants at the company’s Carrollton, Ga., headquarters. The cables deliver about three to five times more power than traditional power cables but use the same amount of space as traditional cable. Southwire anticipates commercial HTS cable could reach the market by 2005.

DCSI contracts with FPL

Distribution Control Systems Inc. (DCSI) and Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) have signed an $8.1 million contract that will increase FPL’s two-way automatic communication system-driven load control project by 80,000 additional load control transponders (LCTs) and supporting substation equipment to be delivered by the end of 2002. Since signing the original contract with DCSI in 1985, FPL has installed approximately 757,000 LCTs that communicate with close to 400 substations to support their rate-incentive load control program titled “On Call.”

Microturbine shipments surge in 2000

Shipments of microturbines grew more than 300 percent in 2000 according to Madison-based Primen, an energy market intelligence company. Shipment destinations were split almost equally between U.S. and international markets. Capstone Turbine Corp. and Honeywell Power Systems dominated the microturbine industry in 2000, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the market.

NxtPhase acquires APT

NxtPhase Corp. acquired APT Power Technologies, a privately held digital substation equipment supplier, from Vansco Electronics. APT specializes in digital protection and monitoring solutions for the global electric utilities market. The addition of APT is the latest step in a series of moves that will strengthen NxtPhase’s position as a leading developer of digital measurement and control systems for the electric power industry.

DOE advances NREL initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., is contracting with ENCORP Inc. and Northern Power Systems to forward NREL’s wind-turbine distributed-generation initiative. NREL entered into a $317,000 contract with Northern Power Systems, an engineering company focused on developing renewable-energy solutions, to integrate ENCORP’s distributed-generation control technology into wind-generation plants and wind-energy storage devices.

WPS Resources selects LineSoft

WPS Resources Corp. has selected LineSoft’s LD-Pro line design solution and LD-Track work order tracking and analysis solution to automate distribution line design. The multi-million dollar contract includes software, training, integration and implementation services. LineSoft’s LD-Pro automates design of overhead and underground transmission and distribution lines and interfaces with other systems in the utility organization while integrating optimization into the design process.

NTSDC facilitates wind-to-energy

M&N Wind Power signed a subeasement agreement with the Nevada Test Site Development Corp. (NTSDC) that paves the way for a wind-to-energy facility to be built about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Power from the facility will be marketed to Nevada and other western states, including California. Targeted for completion by 2004, the facility is expected to generate up to 260 MW.

High Voltage receives patent

High Voltage Inc., a manufacturer of high voltage test equipment received a U.S. Patent for its very low frequency (VLF) high voltage sinusoidal electrical testing method which is incorporated within its product line of portable VLF AC hipot/burners. The VLF sinusoidal AC hipot offers utilities and power companies the ability to test and verify reliability of underground cable distribution systems with AC instead of DC in a portable configuration.

SOFC achieves milestone

Siemens Westinghouse Power Corp. announced that the world’s longest operating high-temperature fuel cell power system, the 100 kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cogeneration system located in Westervoort, the Netherlands, successfully completed its contracted operating period of two years. Siemens Westinghouse plans to commercialize SOFC cogeneration systems with the first deliveries in 2004.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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