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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - April 2011
Solon begins construction this month on a 15-MW PV plant near Fresno, Calif., with output contracted to PG&E. The project uses Solon’s fixed-tilt Velocity MW design.

the plant was expected to begin in April 2011 with completion by October. The system will use Solon’s Velocity MW cluster design with fixed-tilt mounting and SCADA system for remote control and monitoring. The project is part of PG&E’s 250-MW utility-owned generation program, a five-year plan for the construction of solar PV power plants. Solon built PG&E’s pilot project in late 2009.

FirstEnergy Solutions agreed to buy 100 MW of output for 20 years from the 304-MW Blue Creek Wind Farm, which Iberdrola Renewables is building in western Ohio. The Blue Creek Wind Farm is located in Tully, Union and Hoaglin townships in Van Wert County, and Benton, Blue Creek and Latty townships in Paulding County. Iberdrola says it’s the first large-scale wind operation to begin construction in Ohio. Construction began in September 2010, with completion expected within the year, and contracted sales to FirstEnergy beginning in October 2012.

San Diego Gas & Electric entered into a 25-year contract with NRG Solar , an NRG Energy company, to buy 26 MW of solar energy from a proposed photovoltaic (PV) generation facility. The project is located on a 300-acre site in the desert, near Borrego Springs, San Diego County, Calif. SDG&E says this is the largest PV contract signed to date for a project sited within its service area. Construction is expected to be complete in mid-2012.

AEP received funding support from the Global CCS Institute to support its Mountaineer plant carbon capture and storage project.

U.S. Department of Energy finalized a $96.8 million loan guarantee under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for a 23-MW geothermal power project sponsored by U.S. Geothermal Inc. The Neal Hot Springs project is located in Malheur County, in southeastern Oregon.

Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison , co-owners of the Ludington pumped storage plant, announced a major maintenance and upgrade project that will increase the plant’s power generation by 16 percent. Each utility will invest approximately $40 million per year over 10 years. The upgrade project will begin in 2013 and is scheduled through 2019. It will be one of the largest construction projects in northwest Michigan since the Ludington plant was first constructed. The maintenance and efficiency upgrade will increase the generating capacity of the plant from its current level of 1,872 MW to 2,172 MW. The Ludington plant plays an increasingly important role as a storage facility for renewable energy produced during off-peak periods, thereby making renewable energy more affordable and reliable. The maintenance and efficiency upgrade includes a $500 million contract with Toshiba International for fabrication and installation of equipment at the Ludington plant’s six 312-MW hydroelectric units.

Xcel Energy selected Bechtel Corp. to provide engineering, field engineering, and construction services at the utility’s Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear plants in Minnesota. As part of a five-year contract, Bechtel will manage projects and provide project engineering and construction services. The company will also have on-site staff at each plant. The agreement represents a shift in how plant services are provided. Typically, utilities rely on a mix of internal and external contractors to provide the services, as had been the practice of Xcel Energy. Under the Bechtel agreement Xcel will rely on a single provider.