Power Generation News, Late November 2016

Power Generation News, Late November 2016

A new wind farm that is capable of powering more than 40,000 homes has officially opened in South Ayrshire. Dersalloch wind farm, located on Dersalloch Hill, between Straiton and Dalmellington, has 23 turbines with a capacity of 69MW of electricity.

It is first of eight onshore wind farm projects, worth more than £650m, being delivered by Scottish Power Renewables. They will have a combined total of 221 turbines, capable of generating almost 500MW – enough to power 130,000 homes.

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Pennon Group has decided to invest £252 million to build a new energy recovery facility (ERF) near Bristol. Planning permission for the Avonmouth facility had already been secured by Viridor, which is owned by Pennon.

The commitment means construction is now expected to get underway in 2020/21. Once completed, the plant will have a capacity of 320,000 tonnes per annum and will deliver 33MW of electricity, equating to circa 260,000MWh per year.

In addition, Pennon revealed commissioning has begun at parts of the delayed £154m Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre. Interserve started building the project in 2013 and the scheme was due to begin operations earlier this year. However, a number of technical problems and issues resulted in Viridor serving the contractor with a notice of termination earlier this month. 

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A tidal power scheme in the Inner Sound of Scotland’s Pentland Firth has generated electricity for the first time.  A single turbine in Atlantis Resources’ MeyGen project off the Caithness coast has been exporting electricity.  The device is the first of four 1.5MW tidal stream turbines that are to be installed in the Inner Sqund. Atlantis hopes to expand the project to have dozens of turbines generating about 400MW of electricity.

The generation of the first electricity follows work last year to lay subsea cables from the tidal power site to the shore, and the Installation this year of four foundations on the seabed for the devices.

MeyGen has been described as the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm. The first phase of the MeyGen project has been funded through a combination of debt, equity and grants from Atlantis, which is the majority owner of the scheme, and also Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Crown Estate and the former Department for Energy and Climate Change The Scottish government’s has provided £23m of funding to help develop the tidal stream farm.

 

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Several new pieces of information have shown coal use is in decline around the world despite its recent price rise. Most notably, a newly released report has shown that China’s coal use actually peaked in 2013, and has since seen an ongoing reduction.

In Its World Energy Outlook 2016, The International Energy Agency (lEA) states that China’s transition away from coal power is now accelerating.  “China remains by far the largest coal consumer and producer, and the projected fall in coal consumption to 2040 transforms the global outlook: barring an unexpectedly dry year for hydropower, Chinese coal use Is likely to have peaked in 2013,” the report says.

In France, coal is also seeing demise. French President Francoise Hollande announced during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech that his country would phase out the use of coal power plants by 2023.

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Plans to build 16 wind turbines on land near Duns in the Scottish Borders have been withdrawn by developers. Electricity was behind the plans at Inch Moor in what it called an “isolated landscape” with “high wind speeds”.

The company claimed the project could meet the energy needs of about 36,500 homes. The company has now written to the Scottish government to confirm its decision to withdraw the application with “immediate effect”. 

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Tidal energy specialist Nova Innovation has been awarded a grant of 2.25m euros (£1.9m) by the European Commission to take forward new turbine technology. Edinburgh-based Nova will use the cash to produce a commercial demonstrator of its direct drive tidal turbine.

Nova claimed the technology, when commercialised, would “revolutionise the future of the tidal energy sector”. It said it offered lower operating costs, improved reliability and increased energy output. The European funding for the D2T2 (Direct Drive Tidal Turbine) project is being made available under phase two of Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument programme.

Nova Innovation managing director Simon Forrest said: “We are extremely excited to be embarking on this exciting phase in the commercialisation of our direct drive tidal turbine. “This will be a major breakthrough for the sector globally – driving down the cost of tidal energy by improving the reliability, efficiency and maintainability of tidal turbines.”

Earlier this year Nova said it had become the first company in the world to deploy a fully operational tidal array. It announced that 100kW turbines installed in the Shetland Tidal Array at Bluemull Sound had begun delivering electricity to the grid.

 

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