American Electric Power (AEP) chose Siemens to modernize its HVDC back-to-back link at its 600-MW Welsh HVDC station in Titus County, Texas. Siemens will upgrade its 20-year-old system by installing new control and protection technologies, replacing the cooling, heating and ventilation, and incorporating new harmonic filters and shunt reactors. This will be the first Siemens mid-life control and protection HVDC modernization in the United States.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas
SunEdison will construct new solar plants in West Texas to supply the City of Georgetown with 150 MW of solar power for 25 years. The SunEdison solar plants will be interconnected in 2016, and will provide over 9,500 GW-hours of energy through 2041. Upon completion, SunEdison expects to offer this project for investment to TerraForm Power.
One of Starwood Energy Group Global's (Starwood Energy) affiliates completed the purchase of the Quail Run Energy Center natural gas-fired combined cycle electric power generating facility in Odessa, Texas. Starwood Energy assumed ownership and began operating the power plant in January. The electric power generating facility began commercial operations in 2007 and has a nominal capacity of 550 MW. The facility provides electric power to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
ERCOT readies for renewable market integration.
The Energy Storage Association (ESA) began engaging directly in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) stakeholder driven market redesign process. The Texas Energy Storage Alliance (TESA) had convened a group of industry members to work collaboratively; that effort has now been folded into the larger national organization. ESA is the forum for broad industry input that will ensure proposed rules will enable the advancement of utility scale energy storage technologies.
Electric Transmission Texas (ETT) energized the last of seven 345-kV transmission line projects associated with the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) initiative in west Texas. The Edith Clarke to Cottonwood transmission line was energized to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid on Dec. 4.
Sweetwater Wind awarded a $2.6-million contract to S&C Electric, to upgrade a portion of its 585-MW wind farm in Sweetwater, Texas. This upgrade will enable Sweetwater Wind to meet new renewable energy generation interconnection standards that have been enacted in Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The new standards require Sweetwater Wind to provide a lagging power factor capability of 0.95 or less, and a leading power factor capability of 0.95 or less at the point of interconnection (POI).
New Opportunities: Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy, was named to a committee composed of CEOs from the utility and nuclear industries that will receive regular briefings from the FBI, National Security Agency, Department of Energy, and Department of Homeland Security to begin cooperative efforts on cybersecurity issues.
Barriers and breakthroughs to a smarter grid.
Technology is quickly making energy storage more economical and effective than ever before. But companies that wish to invest in storage capacity face a journey through a frustrating regulatory no-man’s land. Opening the gateway for storage to deliver smart grid benefits will require a more streamlined and coherent approach to regulating storage as utility infrastructure.