Power Air Quality  Insights  
No. 140   January 16, 2014





The following insights can be sent to you every week. This alert contains the details on the upcoming hot topic hour, breaking news, and the headlines for the Utility E Alert for the previous week. This is one of a number of free services. You can sign up for any of these newsletters and of course request to be removed from the mailing list at any time. See registration following the newsletter.


·        Gas Turbine Market Is Influenced By the Renewables Developments

·        Renewable Energy Briefs     

·        Headlines for the January 10,  2014 - Utility E-Alert

·        McIlvaine Hot Topic Hour Registration



Gas Turbine Market Is Influenced By the Renewables Developments

The market for gas turbines and components will exceed $75 billion worldwide in 2014.  The rate of growth in future years is greatly impacted by the regulatory and commercial developments in wind and solar and to a lesser extent on biomass, geothermal and hydropower.  This renewables impact is continually assessed through the iteration of data in three McIlvaine reports: Gas Turbine Combined Cycle Supplier Program, Renewable Energy World Markets and Biofuels Updates and Projects.

In a broader sense, the market for gas turbines is impacted by renewables due to:

·         Regulatory favoritism for renewables

·         Renewable needs to supplement the intermittent electricity delivery

·         Cost of renewables

·         Use of renewable sources  to create fuels for gas turbines

Gas turbines generate more greenhouse gases than do wind or solar electricity producers.  Regulatory favoritism in the form of either subsidies or penalties will shape the balance between the fuels. 

Forecasting the favoritism impact is difficult for a number of reasons:

·         Laws are in constant flux and the future stringency is in question

·         Regulations differ greatly between developed and developing countries

·         Simple cycle turbines generate 40 percent more greenhouses gases/MWh as do combined cycle turbines

·         Water problems with combined cycle plants can be alleviated with dry cooling and zero liquid discharge

·         Some renewables such as hydropower, geothermal, wave and concentrated solar have their own water problems.

·         Gas turbines fired with biofuels have a low net greenhouse gas impact

·          A gas turbine fired with biofuels and with carbon sequestration for enhanced oil recovery or other purposes would  reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, be superior to solar or wind

·         By reducing the potent methane to CO2, gas turbines fired with landfill gas or fugitive sources in the oil and gas industry reduce greenhouse gases

Wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy.  California is investing heavily in gas turbine power generation to operate intermittently and, therefore, provide constant power for the State.  Innovations to allow combined cycle plants to start and stop quickly could boost this market.

The future cost of renewables is another important factor. Solar power in particular is likely to become considerably less expensive over time.  The question is not only when this will happen but for what portion of electricity users.

There is a significant market developing for biofuel-fired gas turbines.  Both liquid and gaseous fuels are options.  Solid fuels can be converted to gases. There are waste-to-energy plants in construction and planning which gasify municipal waste and then use that gas to generate power with gas turbines.

Landfill gases are now commonly utilized to generate power using gas turbines.  Methane is twenty-nine times greater a greenhouse gas contributor than is CO2 over a one hundred year time frame.  It is one hundred times more potent over the first twenty years.  Therefore, there is a big advantage in using this waste gas for power.

For more information on:


Gas Turbine and Combined Cycle Supplier Program, click on:



Renewable Energy World Markets, click on: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/markets/28-energy/473-n042

Biofuels Updates and Projects, click on:  http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/databases/28-energy/483-47ai



Renewable Energy Briefs


Starwood Energy Group Closes Financing with GE, Citi and Santander on 211 MW Wind Project in Texas

Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC, a leading private investment firm focused on energy infrastructure, announced that an affiliate has completed agreements to finance and construct its first wind farm, a 211 Megawatt (MW) project 45 miles south of Lubbock, TX. 

The Stephens Ranch project, which represents the first of two phases that will total 377 MW, will use GE 1.7-100 turbines and be built by Wanzek Construction, with completion scheduled for late 2014.  

Affiliates of GE Energy Financial Services, Banco Santander and Citi have committed to invest tax equity in the project, and affiliates of Starwood Energy Group have committed 100 percent of the cash equity. Santander Bank, N.A. and Citi are also providing a non-recourse construction debt facility (including a letters of credit facility) totaling approximately $265 million. Additional financial details were not disclosed.

An investment affiliate of Starwood Energy Group acquired Stephens Ranch in August 2013 from Mesa Power, an entity owned by T. Boone Pickens.

MidAmerican Solar, SunPower Corp. Synchronize Solar Star Development to the Grid

MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. announced that the first portion of the 579-megawatt Solar Star development – two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California – was successfully synchronized and is now delivering energy to the California ISO grid.

The Solar Star projects are owned by MidAmerican Solar. SunPower designed and is constructing the projects, and will provide operations and maintenance services. Construction on the projects began in early 2013 and is expected to be complete by year-end 2015.

The projects currently employ approximately 600 workers at the site.

When complete, the 579-megawatt Solar Star projects are expected to have more than 1.7 million panels installed, covering 3,230 acres. MidAmerican Solar estimates that the projects will provide electricity equivalent to powering nearly 255,000 average California households.

A123 Energy Solutions Installs 3 MWh Grid Storage Solution™ in Spain

A123 Energy Solutions, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced energy storage systems, announced the recent commissioning of its Grid Storage Solution (GSSTM) for Red Eléctrica de España (REE), the Spanish Transmission System Operator (TSO). The system is rated at 1 MW for three hours, includes power conversion and controls, and was installed and commissioned at the Carmona substation near Seville in late December. The energy storage project, named Almacena, was led by REE and was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. A123 Energy Solutions provided a turnkey solution to REE, performing all the site preparation, installation, final commissioning and maintenance of the standardized 1MW/3MWh system.

At the core of this new system is the Long Duration Grid Battery SystemTM  (GBS-LD) with energy storage configurations that range from as little as 100 kW to large multi-megawatt arrays. The GBS-LD can be packaged in a variety of different enclosures, ranging from standardized 20-foot, 40-foot, and 53-foot long containers to custom enclosures, and the systems are also available for installations in pre-existing buildings or other locations. Utilizing A123 Systems Nanophosphate® prismatic cell technology, the LD GSS can pack up to 100MW of energy storage onto a single acre of land, and is designed for applications like peaking, shifting, capacity firming, or transmission and distribution (T&D) support. The GBS-LD product line complements A123 Energy Solutions' widely-deployed GBS-HR (High Rate) grid energy storage product which is used for high power applications in the 15-minute timeframe including frequency response, frequency regulation, and renewable ramp management.

Vadxx Energy Closes on Financing for New Waste to Energy Facility

Vadxx Energy has closed on financing for its first commercial-scale, plastic waste-to-energy facility. This first unit will be implemented in Akron, OH and is scheduled to come on-line in early 2015. The regional operation will recycle almost 60 tons per day of waste plastics, diverting them from landfill disposal.

Liberation Capital, a global private equity firm, entered into an agreement with Vadxx to fund the first unit, and additional commercial units. Rockwell Automation is the procurement and construction contractor and will manufacture and commission the facility.

Vadxx has operated a 1/50th scale pilot facility for several years, working to optimize its process, test future plastic feedstocks, and educate investors. The company has received significant support from Northeast Ohio economic development entities and the state of Ohio.

DTE Energy Accepting Applications for SolarCurrents

DTE Energy is accepting applications for the third offering of its expanded SolarCurrents customer-owned pilot program, which offers customers a more affordable way to install solar photovoltaic systems on their homes and businesses.

The expansion of the SolarCurrents program has added 2 megawatts (MW) of capacity in four offerings through 2014. A fifth offering in 2015 may take place for the capacity left over from the first four offerings.

The deadline for project completion is January 5, 2015. Projects can range in size from 1 to 20 kilowatts (kW). In this offering, a total of 1,000 kW are available – 750 kW for residential projects and 250 kW for non-residential projects.

For more information on Renewable Energy Projects and Update please visit




Headlines for the January 10, 2013 – Utility E-Alert      


#1157 – January 10, 2014 

Table of Contents







§  Alliant to switch M. L. Kapp Power Plant to Gas-firing

§  Spot Prices for Natural Gas in US at Record High

§  IMG Midstream to build Small Power Plants in Pennsylvania

§  Quanta Services awarded EPC Contract for 120 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant in Alaska




§  Tepco aims to start Full Commercial Operations at Kashima Combined Cycle Power Plant by July














§  Upcoming Hot Topic Hours



For more information on the Utility Tracking System, click on:




McIlvaine Hot Topic Hour Registration

On Thursday at 10 a.m. Central time, McIlvaine hosts a 90 minute web meeting on important energy and pollution control subjects. Power webinars are free for subscribers to either Power Plant Air Quality Decisions or Utility Tracking System. The cost is $125.00 for non-subscribers. Market Intelligence webinars are free to McIlvaine market report subscribers and are $400.00 for non-subscribers.

See below for information on upcoming Hot Topic Hours. We welcome your input relative to suggested additions.




February 6, 2014

Review Of EUEC


February 13, 2014

Impact Of Ambient Air Quality Rules On Fossil-Fueled Boilers And Gas Turbines      

 More information

February 27, 2014


NOx Catalyst Performance On Mercury And SO3 


 More information

March 13, 2014

Industrial Boiler Fuel Options: Coal, Biomass Or Gas?

 More information

March 27

Mercury Control And Removal

 More information

April 10

NOx And Ammonia Slip Measurement


On Thursday at 10 a.m. Central time, McIlvaine hosts a 90 minute web meeting on important energy and pollution control subjects. Power webinars are free for subscribers to either Power Plant Air Quality Decisions or Utility Tracking System. The cost is $125.00 for non-subscribers. Market Intelligence webinars are free to McIlvaine market report subscribers and are $400.00 for non-subscribers.

To register for the “Hot Topic Hour”, click on:



You can register for our free McIlvaine Newsletters at: http://www.mcilvainecompany.com/brochures/Free_Newsletter_Registration_Form.htm.


Bob McIlvaine
847 784 0012 ext 112