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Monthly Archives: February 2017

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DVI and NRTC Team Up To Assist Grid Modernization Efforts

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— NRTC will lead sales efforts to bring DVI’s technology to the cooperative market

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Clay Electric selects Landis+Gyr for AMI deployment

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Clay Electric Cooperative selected the Landis+Gyr Gridstream AMI solution providing an RF mesh IP network platform capable of connecting meters and intelligent devices across the utility’s service territory.

Clay Electric is one of the largest cooperatives in America, serving more than 170,000 members in north central Florida. With over 13,000 miles of distribution lines to manage, the utility is deploying AMI technology to improve customer service, outage management and overall efficiency.

“Our advanced metering project is focused on enhancing member services and improving operational efficiency,” said Toby Moss, Director of Information and Communication Technology at Clay Electric Cooperative. “Included in that is the ability to offer prepay and other billing options to customers, as well as improve outage response and system maintenance.”

Landis+Gyr’s RF mesh network provides IPv6 capable endpoints and intelligent routers that offer flexible communication options for connecting with a variety of energy management equipment, such as load management devices, streetlight controllers, distribution automation devices and home area network equipment.

Clay Electric plans to begin deploying the network infrastructure and 173,000 new meters this summer, with a goal of completing the project in 2019.

“This project showcases the strength of our communications network for both rural and urban applications,” said Tim Weidenbach, Senior Vice President of Sales and Customer Operations for Landis+Gyr. “We look forward to working with Clay Electric to strengthen their customer service programs and overall grid reliability.”

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Siemens to supply wind turbines for two projects in Germany

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Continuing success for Siemens’ direct-drive onshore wind turbines in Germany: The company has been awarded three further contracts for the supply and installation of 13 of its gearless turbines in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

For the WPD Windpark Damme GmbH & Co. KG, Siemens will install and commission six units of the latest type SWT-3.3-130. A project in Karlum in the northern part of Schleswig-Holstein will receive seven units of the type SWT-3.0- 113. The deals include a long-term service agreement for 15 and 20 years respectively.

Having made positive experiences with Siemens wind turbines, commissioned in 2016, WPD Windpark Damme GmbH & Co. KG is now expanding its Siemens fleet: According to plan, all wind turbines of its first project close to the A1 motorway were connected to the grid by the end of last year.

The operator has now ordered six further turbines of the new type SWT-3.3-130 to repower an older project situated at Borringhauser Moor, and is offering citizens of the Damme community options to invest in the new project. The new turbines will be installed in autumn 2017 at a hub-height of 135 meters. In the framework of a full service contract, Siemens will care for smooth operation over a period of 15 years.

The citizens’ wind park known as Bürgerwindpark Brebek GmbH & Co KG, situated in the northern part of Schleswig-Holstein, is building on the success of a previous project with Siemens wind turbines. For its new expansion project in the community of Karlum, the operator has ordered seven units of the type SWT-3.0-113. The community wind farm association which will operate the project now consists of more than 280 citizens of the three municipalities in the region.

Siemens will install the wind turbines in the spring of 2017 on steel towers at a hub height of 115 meters. After commissioning in the summer, Siemens Wind Power will also be responsible for service and maintenance over a period of 20 years. Similar to the predecessor Brebek wind farm, the new Karlum project utilizes the electromagnetic compatibility of the direct drive turbines to fulfill site-specific constraints to protect a neighboring military radio station.

“The further success of our direct-drive onshore wind turbines in the German market underlines the fact that our technology is now established as good choice for demanding sites,” states Thomas Richterich, CEO Onshore at Siemens Wind Power. “With the new generation of gearless wind turbines we have now expanded our portfolio to offer competitive solutions for inland low wind sites. This will enhance the popularity of our turbines in the middle and the south of Germany.”

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DVI, NRTC team up to assist grid modernization efforts

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Dominion Voltage Inc. (DVI), provider of Volt/VAR optimization technology and a unit of Dominion Resources Inc., announced that they have entered into a reseller agreement with NRTC that will deliver DVI‘s full solution set to the electric cooperative marketplace.

The energy industry is undergoing a transformation across the country as efforts are made to modernize the electric grid. DVI’s VVO solution, EDGE, helps to make a strong business case for investments in automation and upgrades to the distribution system.

“Cooperatives in many ways have led the industry through their grid modernization efforts,” said Todd Headlee, executive director of DVI. “As this leadership trend continues, several cooperatives have plans with goals to improve operational efficiencies through demand reduction, to maintain low energy prices to their members, and to increase the grid’s renewable hosting capacity. DVI’s EDGE family of solutions is an integral component to achieving these goals. NRTC has a proven track record of providing solutions to this market and DVI is proud to be working with them.”

“The DVI team and their EDGE technology platform have proven themselves to be the best in class in the VVO industry,” said Edward Drew, vice president, Utility Solutions at NRTC. “We are thrilled to offer this solution to our membership as many of them are looking at ways to optimize their distribution system and to increase efficiencies through advanced forms of voltage management.”

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ENGIE, Schneider Electric collaborate to digitize the energy sector

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Schneider Electric and ENGIE, a global energy player committed to lead the energy transition worldwide, have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore and deploy new digital solutions for operational efficiency of renewable assets (wind and solar PV), leveraging Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Historian and related application software powered by Schneider Electric’s Wonderware brand.

Asset management, SCADA obsolescence management, remote monitoring and diagnostics and cybersecurity in a complex ecosystem will also be investigated as part of the agreement.

ENGIE and Schneider Electric welcome this collaboration as a major joint initiative in the digitization of the energy sector.

“ENGIE’s objective is to develop remote supervision and control of its global renewable energy production assets, and possibly other energy assets as well, to optimize their performance. We are working in close collaboration with Schneider Electric with a shared vision of the challenges of an energy world that is decarbonized, digitalized and decentralized,” specified Didier Holleaux, Executive Vice President of ENGIE.

“Schneider Electric leverages its software solutions to address and solve customer needs in new and efficient ways, which will now benefit to ENGIE, a great business partner of Schneider Electric over the past decade. Our combined technology and industry expertise can help identify new opportunities on how to better serve the energy market, while providing greater access to affordable, clean energy,” said Philippe Delorme, Executive Vice President, Building & IT, Schneider Electric.

Schneider Electric is already a ENGIE’s strategic partner for real-time monitoring and management of its European wind and solar power installations. This partnership demonstrates ENGIE’s ambition to accelerate its digitization globally to lead the energy transition.

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Pattern Development finishes British Columbia wind power project

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Pattern Energy Group LP announced the completion of its 184.6 MW Meikle Wind power project located in British Columbia, about 20 miles north of Tumbler Ridge.

“Meikle Wind is now the largest wind facility in British Columbia, increasing the installed wind power capacity in the province by 37 percent,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. “Located in a mountainous region, this project was unique for its construction, design and weather challenges, as well as for our discovery of rare dinosaur tracks during construction, which we donated to the Tumbler Ridge Museum. Meikle Wind would like to thank the participating First Nations, the communities of Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd, BC Hydro, as well as the general contractor Borea Construction and turbine supplier GE, for their collaboration on making this project a great success.”

The Meikle Wind facility is using 61 GE wind turbines and has the capacity to generate clean energy for up to 54,000 homes in the province. The facility has a 25-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro. Meikle Wind used more than 500,000 person-hours of labor during construction, with in excess of 30 percent of the value of contracts awarded to First Nation-affiliated contractors and other regional firms. Going forward, the facility will be managed by 16 operations and maintenance personnel, and will also use a variety of local subcontractors.

The Meikle Wind facility was thoughtfully designed and planned, incorporating input from First Nations, the Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd communities, and the provincial government. The project’s layout, developed in collaboration with GE, incorporates two different turbine models consisting of varying rotor sizes and hub heights.

This design was developed to capture the most energy from the ridgelines, accounting for varying wind speeds, wind shear, turbulence and inflow angles. Meikle Wind is located within an area that was impacted by pine beetle kill and previous forestry activity, reducing the overall environmental impact of the project.

Meikle Wind is generating strong benefits for the province with an estimated $70 million in payments for property taxes, Crown lease payments, wind participation rent, and community benefits over the first 25 years of operations.

The 184.6 MW Meikle Wind facility expanded British Columbia’s total installed wind capacity to 673.6 MW, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

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AEP, Dynegy to transfer ownership of co-owned power plants

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American Electric Power signed agreements to sell AEP‘s 330 MW share of the Zimmer Plant to Dynegy and to purchase Dynegy’s 312 MW share of Conesville Plant. AEP and Dynegy co-own both power plants.

“AEP’s long-term strategy has been to become a fully regulated, premium energy company focused on investments in infrastructure and energy innovations that benefit our customers. These transactions simplify the ownership structures for two of our remaining competitive generation assets as we continue the strategic evaluation to determine the future for those power plants,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and CEO.

The transactions are expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and will not have a material impact on AEP earnings.

There will be no employment impact from the ownership transfers as AEP already operates Conesville Plant and Dynegy operates Zimmer Plant.

AEP currently owns 2,725 MW of competitive generation in Ohio. After the transaction is complete, AEP would own 92 percent, or 1,461 MW, of Conesville Plant; 595 MW of Cardinal Plant; 603 MW of Stuart Plant and the 48 MW Racine Plant. Dayton Power & Light owns the remaining 129 MW of Conesville Unit 4.

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FirstEnergy demolishes Lake Shore power plant

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The 306-foot brick and concrete stack and 170-foot boiler house at FirstEnergy’s Lake Shore plant were demolished early this morning using more than 200 pounds of explosives, taking about 10 seconds to fall and permanently altering the Cleveland skyline.

Charges were detonated at about 1:00 a.m., representing a milestone in a multi-year process to close the 106-year old plant.  To ensure public safety, FirstEnergy worked closely with the Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Fire Department, Cleveland Department of Building and Housing and U.S. Coast Guard.

“We are proud of the Lake Shore plant’s long legacy in Cleveland, where it provided dependable electricity to area homes and businesses for more than 100 years,” said James H. Lash, Executive Vice President and President of FirstEnergy Generation. “Today’s demolition was managed safely and efficiently, and we are now focused on removing remaining building materials and seeding the site with grass.”  

Today’s event was the culmination of more than 18 months of demolition work at the site.  To prepare for Saturday’s activities, a professional explosives demolition team from Tulsa, Oklahoma, set charges in the structures for the explosives.  Some of the concrete and rebar were removed from the structures to direct the angle of the buildings’ fall.  Dust suppression systems consisting of large fans and water sprayers surrounded the site to help contain the concrete and dirt particles.

The Lake Shore plant was fully retired in early 2015, and demolition preparation activities began that summer.  Property clean-up, removal of scrap metal and concrete debris, and planting grass on the site is expected to be complete by this fall.  Following the demolition, FirstEnergy will continue to own the 57-acre site and to operate the electric transmission equipment located on the property.

Lake Shore began operation in 1911 and was built at cost of $14 million.  In 1923, it became the first plant in Ohio – and only the second in the United States – to burn pulverized coal.  At one time, it had a peak generating capacity of 520 MW, but most recently was operating a single 245 MW unit.

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Duke Energy board appoints Ted Craver as board member

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Duke Energy’s board of directors appointed former Edison International chairman, president and CEO, Theodore F. Craver Jr., as a new board member, effective March 1, 2017.

Ted Craver has an extraordinary record of driving transformation in the industry and improving the customer experience, and we are pleased to have him join our board,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy’s chairman, president and CEO. “His deep knowledge of the energy sector, coupled with his experience in finance and stakeholder engagement, will be very valuable as our industry continues to evolve.”

He will serve on two Duke Energy board committees: regulatory policy and operations, and finance and risk management.

Craver, 65, served as Edison International’s CEO from 2008 to 2016. Prior to that, he held several senior-level positions at the company, from 1996 to 2008.

Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest utilities, and Edison Energy Group, a portfolio of competitive businesses.

Before joining Edison International, Craver worked for 22 years in the banking and finance industry, including senior-level positions at First Interstate Bancorp.

Craver has served as chairman of the board of both the Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute.

He is a member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, serves on the advisory board of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and is vice chairman of the Autry Museum of the American West.

He also has been a member of the Business Roundtable and served on the California board of The Nature Conservancy.

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