The Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn., has awarded San Francisco-based URS Corp. a five-year, $20- million contract to provide engineering and construction management services for conversion of wet coal-ash storage facilities at five coal plants to dry storage systems. The upgrade follows the 2008 storage pond failure at a TVA plant in Kingston, Tenn. Under the contract, URS will handle conversion of storage systems at the Colbert, Widows Creek, Gallatin, Bull Run and John Sevier power plants, located elsewhere in Tennessee and in Alabama. TVA agreed to move to dry coal-ash storage systems after the Kingston coal-ash impoundment collapsed, contaminating
Demolition of one 102,000-sq-ft facility amid many others on the 586-sq-mile Hanford nuclear waste site may seem minuscule, but not when the facility contains some of the world’s highest radiation levels. Photo: Washington Closure Hanford Work to demolish large and highly radioactive research cells is soon to start. Washington Closure Hanford, a joint-venture cleanup contractor at the U.S. Energy Dept.’s former weapons-making site in eastern Washington, and a subcontracting team will soon remove five massive steel-reinforced concrete “hot cells.” While no longer in use, they previously allowed site employees to work with nuclear materials without radiation exposure. Removal of the
Developers of an estimated $3-billion transmission system that will collect, store and distribute at least 3,000 MW of stranded renewable energy from wind-energy-rich western states and Canadian provinces to power-hungry regions elsewhere are seeking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permission to move ahead. + Image Map: Grasslands Renewable Energy System would carry western wind power to surrounding markets. Bozeman, Mont.-based Grasslands Renewable Energy, an entity created by Rocky Mountain Power, Calgary, Alberta, and Absaroka Energy LLC, Bozeman, wants FERC to allow it to negotiate deals with wind generators for the project, called Wind Spirit. Supplies of wind power would be generated
The Obama Administration’s decision to open up offshore oil and gas development in the Middle and Southern Atlantic states, new areas of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean is winning praise from oil and gas industry officials. They say the development could provide thousands of new jobs for contractors in those regions. On March 31, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said land in those offshore regions could be leased for oil and gas development beginning in 2012 if there is interest from industry and if development can be done in an environmentally responsible manner. Development off California’s coast
Colombia’s state-controlled power-generation company Isagen announced this week it had finalized financing for a $1.74-billion, 820-MW hydroelectric plant under construction on the Sogamoso River in the Dept. of Santander. Isagen officials said they collected $813 million in loans from local banks to finance the project. In December 2009, a consortium led by the Italian firm Impregilo and including Colombian companies Conalvias and Tecnica Vial netted the $500-million, first-phase contract involving construction of a 190 meter-high, 300-m-long, concrete-faced, gravel-filled dam and underground power station. The plant is slated to go on line in 2014. Impregilo is already doing preliminary work for
Three, 9-meter-dia wind turbines are due to be installed this month atop London’s new, 148-m-tall Strata SE1 building in the Elephant & Castle district. As well as providing visual interest for the city’s tallest residential building, the turbines are forecast to provide 8% of the electricity consumed by its 408 apartments. The Strata project is the “first time any building in the world has integrated wind turbines into the envelope … of the building,” says Justin Black, development director of the project’s main contractor and owner, Brookfield Europe Ltd., London. Topped out late last month in China, the 310-m-tall Pearl
Independent transmission developers in both the northeastern and northwestern U.S. looking to bring Canada’s renewable electricity resources to power-hungry regions south of the border are installing hundreds of miles of line by using the path of least resistance—underwater. Photo: Neptune Regional Transmission System LLC. Developer of Neptune HVDC line between New Jersey and Long Island in 2007 is now planning underwater cable between British Columbia and Washington state. Photo: Neptune Regional Transmission System LLC. The Neptune underwater cable carried 660 MW of power. Developer’s Juan de Fuca cable would carry 450 MW over 31 miles. Related Links: Underwater Cable Deployment
BC Hydro, British Columbia’s province-owned electric company, on March 11 selected 19 renewable projects to be built in the province as part of a request for proposals for renewable projects. The projects include five wind farms and 14 run-of-river hydro projects that will cost a total of about $3 billion. When complete, the projects will produce 2,400 GWh of electricity. BC Hydro is still considering 28 other renewable projects to meet the province’s goal of 5,000 GWh of renewable electricity.
Students interested in studying nuclear-energy science or engineering have until April 26 to apply for $5 million in scholarships and fellowships the U.S. Energy Dept. is offering to boost the sector’s workforce. Awards will average $5,000 each for undergraduates, with three valued at $25,000. Grad students could receive up to $50,000 per year for three years. Disciplines eligible for funding include nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry, health physics, nuclear-materials science, radiochemistry, applied nuclear physics and nuclear policy. DOE says it expects to make the awards by June.
Ten major energy, engineering and construction companies have formed Friends of the “Supergrid” to promote a multibillion-dollar grid linking offshore European wind farms. Unlike conventional transmission lies, Supergrid would have nodes collecting, integrating and routing energy to the best available markets. Energy ministers of France, Germany, the U.K. and six other European nations this December signed a plan for coordinating offshore infrastructure development.