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Waiting for the fog to lift over Hinkley Point
07 October, 2015
It is now about two years since loan guarantee arrangements were agreed between EDF and the UK government for the planned Hinkley Point C (2 x 1670 MW EPR) nuclear power project and around 18 months since initial agreement was reached on what some would see as a reasonably generous “investment contract” for the plant, which includes a 35-year “contract-for-difference” with a strike price (essentially guaranteed income) of 9.25p/kWh (or 8.95p/kWh if the follow on twin- reactor plant, Sizewell C, also gets built).
Germany sets course for 2 GW of new offshore capacity in 2015
01 June, 2015
Not surprisingly German offshore wind has had no shortage of teething problems, but 2015 seems to be proving productive for projects in the German North Sea, with seven large (300-400 MW range) wind farms in various stages of start up/commissioning. These, when fully commercial, will add some 2071 MW to Germany’s North Sea offshore wind installed capacity, taking the total from about 856 MW (including Blackstone-financed Meerwind Sud/Ost (288), the troubled Bard Offshore One (400 MW), Riffgat (108 MW) and Alpha Ventus (60 MW test facility)) to nearly 3 GW (the current stated goal for offshore wind installed capacity being 6.5 GW by 2020 and 15 GW by 2030).
Modernising Loviisa, learning from LARA
01 January, 2015
Loviisa’s first attempt at a full upgrade of its I&C systems, a project called LARA, proved unsuccessful because of the complexity and sheer scale of the undertaking. Building on the painful lessons of that experience a new project, ELSA, with new contractors, is underway. The scope is somewhat reduced, but the project remains ambitious and the schedule tight, with completion by 2018.
New record established for AC switching voltage
01 January, 2015
ABB has installed and commissioned in India an AC circuit breaker that at 1.2 million volts is established as the highest AC voltage breaker installed anywhere in the world. It will support the country’s plans for its ultrahigh voltage grid.