Tech Notes

Spain branches out into olive-fueled power

Spain’s biggest power company, Endesa, is building two plants to generate electricity from olive residues, one of the world’s first projects to use the waste from olive oil production as a fuel. The residue left from olive crushing, orujillo, is difficult to dispose of and can be dangerous for the environment. Endesa’s investment is worth more than $39.1 million with a combined generating power of 32 MW, enough to supply the household needs of 100,000 people.

Recent winter rewrites record books as warmest

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the winter of 1999-2000 was the warmest in the United States since the government began keeping weather records 105 years ago. This is the third year in a row the agency reported record winter warmth in the United States. Since 1980, more than two-thirds of U.S. winters have been warmer than average. “During the past winter, every state in the continental United States was warmer than its long-term average, with 21 states from California to the Midwest ranked as much above average,” NOAA said in a statement. The winter was also the 16th driest ever recorded.

Exelon & Siemens team up

Exelon Infrastructure Services (EIS) and Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution (SPT&D) plan to jointly market their products and services. SPT&D is partnering with EIS to enhance its existing design, installation and maintenance services. EIS will offer Siemens’ full line of T&D equipment along with its infrastructure services.

New subsidiary focuses on emerging HTS markets

Intermagnetics General Corp. formed a new subsidiary, SuperPower LLC, that will focus on developing the potential market for high-temperature superconductor (HTS) applications, especially those designed for the electric utility industry. The SuperPower unit, formerly the HTS-development arm of Intermagnetics’ Technology Development division (IGC-TD), recently moved from the company’s Latham, N.Y., headquarters to dedicated development and manufacturing facilities in nearby Schenectady. The company is now actively seeking strategic alliances with world-class companies to further the commercialization of the technology.

EdF orders PQ SMES product

Electricité de France (EdF), one of the world’s largest utilities, ordered a Power Quality-Industrial Voltage Restorer (PQ IVR) unit from American Superconductor Corp. (ASC), Middleton, Wis. The PQ IVR is based on ASC’s proprietary superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) technology. The company expects to install the PQ IVR in the summer of 2000 at an EdF demonstration site near Paris.

UL announces wind turbine certification

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), Research Triangle Park, N.C., now has the capability to test and certify wind power systems to local and international safety standards, making it the first U.S. organization to offer wind turbine certification. Wind turbine manufacturers can apply for certification to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61400 series of standards and receive the globally recognized UL classification mark. UL can also test and certify individual components of wind turbine systems to UL standards.

Alliant Energy invests in Capstone

Alliant Energy Resources Inc., subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp., made a $10 million purchase of Series G Senior Preferred Stock offered recently by Capstone Turbine Corp.

Siemens Westinghouse demos SOFC in Canada

Siemens Westinghouse Power Corp. signed an agreement with Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) of Toronto, Canada, to provide a demonstration 250 kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cogeneration system. The system will be natural gas-fueled with a maximum electrical output of 250 kW. The plant will be delivered to and operated by OPG’s affiliate, Ontario Power Technologies (OPT), at its facilities just west of Toronto. Under normal operation it will deliver 225 kW synchronized to the existing power grid, at an electrical efficiency of greater than 45 percent, and will also supply 145 kW of heat into OPT’s site heating system. The 250 kW system is the largest atmospheric pressure SOFC system to be ordered from Siemens Westinghouse and will have more than twice the output of a successful 100 kW test system now operating in the Netherlands.

Flyash waste may mean profit for utilities

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) researchers have developed and patented a process that can convert up to 95 percent of all flyash, a waste product of coal-burning utility plants, into a valuable construction material that can be mixed with cement to make stronger concrete. Supported by funding from the Department of Energy, Public Service Electric & Gas Co, and other sources, the researchers discovered the cut, size and distribution of flyash particles impact the strength of cement. They can now provide a benchmark to predict the performance of different varieties of flyash. U.S. utility plants and other facilities generate about 80 million tons of flyash annually.

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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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