POWER [June 2021]
CNL successfully manufactures Advanced Modular Small Reactor (SMR) fuel. The Canadian nuclear science and technology organization Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (LNC) announced on April 13 that it had successfully manufactured microencapsulated all-ceramic (FCM) fuel pellets designed by Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC) for its modular microreactor (MMR). The project was funded by the Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative, an organization created by CNL in 2019 to accelerate the deployment of SMRs in Canada. The scope of the FCM project includes the development of a multi-year testing program to support validation of the fuel and USNC core as they progress through the vendor design review process. the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CNL said. Global First Power, a partnership between USNC and Ontario Power Generation, has proposed to build and operate a microreactor at the Chalk River Laboratories campus of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. in Ontario.
PSEG acquires a 25% stake in the Massive New Jersey wind farm. Danish renewable energy company Ørsted finalized on April 12 a sale to New Jersey utility company Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) of its 25% stake in Ocean Wind, a 1.1 GW offshore wind farm located approximately 15 miles off the coast of southern New Jersey. . Ørsted, which the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) selected in June 2019 to build the offshore wind farm – one of the largest in the United States – said PSEG’s contribution would provide a conventional and tax investment in the project. PSEG’s investment in Ocean Wind received approval from the NJBPU on March 31, days after the Federal Office of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to move forward the project. BOEM’s NOI is now triggering a 22-month review to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Ocean Wind construction and operation plan. Ørsted and PSEG estimate that the project could provide the first electricity at the end of 2024, subject to federal authorization deadlines, other development and construction activities, and final investment decisions by Ørsted and PSEG .
Siemens Energy launches Edge-compatible transformers and switchgear. On April 14, Siemens Energy launched a new line of transformers and switchgear with edge computing capabilities. The new portfolio, Edgeformer, addresses the new challenges network operators face as more markets turn to decarbonization. “The digitization of the power transmission assets in the substation, at the heart of any power distribution system, plays an important role in managing the increase in injections of renewable energy and the exponential increase in power. complexity, ”the company said. The first two products in the line, Edgegear and Edgeformer, will enable transmission network operators to access value-added applications, “enabling them to respond more quickly to system changes and increase transparency, productivity and reliability of assets, ”he said.
Tianwan 6, China’s 51st reactor, is connected to the grid. Tianwan 6, China’s second ACPR1000 reactor in phase III of the Tianwan nuclear power plant (nuclear power plant) in Jiangsu province, 250 kilometers north of Shanghai, was connected to the grid on May 12. The plant, owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corp. – a joint venture between China National Nuclear Corp. (50%), China Power Investment Corp. (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%) – will now perform various transient and load tests. According to the China Nuclear Energy Association, Tianwan 6 is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of the year. Tianwan 5 started operating in September 2020. The Tianwan facility also includes four VVER-1000 units. Units 1 and 2 were commissioned in 2007, and units 3 and 4 entered commercial operation in 2018. Development of two other Russian-designed reactors, Tianwan 7 and 8, is currently underway at the site. These units will probably be VVER-1200 reactors.
GE and Hitachi ABB will jointly promote an alternative to sulfur hexafluoride-free insulating and switching gas in high voltage equipment. On April 21, GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions and Hitachi ABB Power Grids, two power technology giants, signed a notable agreement to accelerate the use of eco-efficient fluoronitrile insulation and switching of gas in high voltage equipment as an alternative gas to sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6). According to Heiner Markhoff, CEO of GE’s Grid Solutions, GE pioneered fluoronitrile gas (which he named g3) and began offering it commercially in 2015. Markus Heimbach, Managing Director of the High Products business voltage at Hitachi ABB Power Grids, noted that his company installed the first SF 6 -Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) free in 2015. As part of the non-exclusive cross-licensing agreement signed in April, the companies will share additional intellectual property related to their respective SF 6 – free solutions. However, they will keep the product development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and service activities of their gas solutions completely independent.
IRENA and State Grid Corp. of China are joining forces to advance the development of the network in Central America and Africa. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC) on April 12 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on grid improvement, system flexibility and sector coupling in China and the regions of the clean energy corridor of the IRENA in Africa and Central America. According to the MoU, IRENA and SGCC will explore technical cooperation at the national and regional levels to strengthen technical capacities related to the reliable integration of renewable energies into the energy systems of developing countries, including through joint training and capacity building. They will also work to facilitate grid development and interconnections with the aim of accommodating a greater share of renewable energy sources. ■
–Sonal Patel is Deputy Editor-in-Chief for POWER.