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Fortnightly Magazine - October 2011

the joint research projects planned for the EPRI-CRIEPI initiative include:

The use of three-dimensional tools at the atomic level to improve understanding of the effects of neutron damage on reactor materials; development of new materials that are more resistant to radiation damage, leading to greater plant reliability; evaluation of reactor vessel behavior under abnormal and highly unusual circumstances, such as those experienced at Fukushima Daiichi; and, an assessment of the impact of low-dose radiation on public health and nuclear plant personnel.

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. (FENOC) broke ground for a new emergency operations facility in Lindsey, Ohio, for the Davis-Besse nuclear power station. The new 12,000 square-foot facility will allow for improved coordination between the plant and state and local emergency management agencies during the unlikely event of an emergency at the plant. Personnel will use state-of-the-art equipment to monitor environmental conditions and communicate with state and local emergency representatives. The facility also will be used during quarterly training drills and bi-annual emergency exercises evaluated by NRC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Construction of the new building is expected to be completed in February 2012.

Siemens Energy received two orders from Thailand for the engineering, procurement and construction of combined cycle power plants. Siemens is to build Chana Block 2 in the province of Songkhla and Wang Noi Block 4 in the vicinity of Bangkok, together with Japanese partner Marubeni. The plants were ordered by the state-owned utility Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The two power plants, each with an installed capacity of approximately 800 MW, are scheduled to come on line in the summer of 2014. The total investment volume amounts to about $1 billion, with more than half for the Siemens scope of supply. Two associated long-term maintenance contracts for Siemens are expected to be signed at a later date.

SunPower Corp. plans to own and operate a solar panel manufacturing facility in Mexicali, Mexico, to provide modules for the North American market. SunPower will lease an existing building, which has up to 320,000 square feet of capacity, to manufacture its E18, E19 and E20 series solar panels for residential, commercial and power plant projects, and will also produce its SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile system.

Transactions

MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. and its solar energy subsidiary, SunEdison, completed the acquisition of privately held solar project developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures . At closing, MEMC paid $112 million, plus repayment of approximately $19 million in intercompany loans and capital contributions. An additional $103.6 million depends on Fotowatio achieving certain performance targets.

 

The Department of Energy finalized a partial guarantee for an $852 million loan to support the development of the 250-MW Genesis Solar Project , a parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) facility being developed by NextEra Energy on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Riverside County, Calif. Power from the project will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric. The lender-applicant, Credit Suisse AG, submitted the application under the financial institution partnership program, under which DOE guarantees up to 80 percent of the eligible