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Fortnightly Magazine - October 2013


EPC contractor Gemma Power Systems ordered two H-class gas turbine power blocks from Siemens, for a Panda Power combined-cycle project in Pennsylvania.

ABB delivered the East West Interconnector, a 500-MW capacity HVDC-light underwater power link, to EirGrid, the Irish transmission system operator. The new line connects the Irish and U.K. grids, enabling cross-border power flows to enhance grid reliability and security, and to facilitate power trading between Ireland, England, and the European grid. As Ireland expands its wind power capacity, it’s expected to export surplus electricity, and import power when required. 

Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois (ATXI) received approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to build the majority of its 400-mile, $1.1 billion, Illinois Rivers transmission project. The project consists of a new 345-kV transmission line crossing the Mississippi River near Quincy, Ill., and continuing east across Illinois to the Indiana border. ATXI expects to begin acquiring rights-of-way for the approved portions of the project immediately, with construction proceeding in 2014.  

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) became one of the first grid operators to use new synchrophasor technology in its real-time system operations for grid monitoring and analysis. Synchrophasor technologies use phasor measurement units, or PMUs, to collect data from more than 344 installed devices, 30 times per second, compared to traditional technology, which records measurements every four seconds. The data is GPS time-stamped, enabling measurements from different locations to be time-synchronized and combined to create a detailed, comprehensive, wide-area assessment of system conditions. With the data MISO can better detect, diagnose, and prevent system disruptions, in effect, creating a smarter grid. 

MISO released its new locational marginal pricing contour map, which provides a detailed visualization of real-time market conditions.

Also, MISO launched its new locational marginal pricing (LMP) contour map, providing market participants with tools for detailed visualization of real-time market conditions. The new map provides more detailed information and interactive tools than MISO’s old map did. It also includes a historical playback feature, allowing users to review the past 48 hours of market conditions.

Xcel Energy plans to spend $108.9 million on high-voltage transmission line projects to boost reliability and capacity to serve growing demand in the eastern and northeastern Texas Panhandle. These and other transmission enhancement projects across the region were identified as necessary improvements in a 2010 study by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). By 2015, the company expects to spend more than $2 billion upgrading generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in the area.

Electric Transmission Texas (ETT) energized the first of seven 345-kV transmission line projects associated with the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) initiative in west Texas. The 345-kV Riley-to-Edith Clarke transmission line is 41.6 miles long and runs from the Vernon area in Wilbarger County to the Crowell area in Foard County. This phase of the ETT CREZ program comprises approximately $141.5 million of ETT’s estimated total CREZ investment of approximately $1.5 billion. The overall CREZ initiative involves eight different transmission service providers, including ETT, constructing 2,400 miles of transmission lines to carry 18,500 MW of west Texas wind generation to eastern load centers in ERCOT. All CREZ projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.


NRG Energy closed on its acquisition of the Gregory cogeneration plant in Corpus Christi, Texas. NRG paid about $244 million in cash for the