EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

Scientists Figure Out How to Check Steam Generator Bolts

LCG, Sept. 12, 2000--Scientists at Southwest Research Institute have modified the cylindrically guided wave technique to detect and characterize borated water corrosion in the all-thread bolts used by the nuclear power industry in heat exchanger flanges, the institute said yesterday in a fairly technical news release.

The steam generators in nuclear power plants are sometimes called heat exchangers. They are full of hundreds of tubes hooked to big pipes. Where the big pipes connect to the reactor coolant plumbing the connections are flange-to-flange and bolted together with big bolts that can be 20 inches long and an inch and a half in diameter. The bolts have threads their entire lengths and are secured with nuts at each end.

All you see from the outside is the end of a bolt and the nut, so when the bolts are inspected workers look for discoloration. If the end of the bolt looks funny, the plant is shut down and the bolt is removed for a closer look. This is a very expensive process.

What the scientists at Southwest Research have come up with is a way to use ultrasonic energy to check for corrosion. When there is a leak in a flange even one you can't see the water gets at a bolt and can corrode it. The water has had borate added to it to minimize corrosion.

Now, the borated water doesn't corrode the bolt so it looks rusty, as ordinary water might. As the borated water corrodes the all-thread material it leaves a very smooth, almost polished surface. This smooth surface allows the ultrasonic mode-converted signals to form and produces the information needed to assess damage.

The scientists call their method the "cylindrically guided wave technique" and like to use the initialism "CGWT." Dr. Glenn M. Light, director of the Southwest Research nondestructive evaluation science and technology department, said using CGWT on all-thread bolts was something new. "We developed this technique about 20 years ago for inspecting any bolt except all-thread," he said. "Borated water corrosion presents unique circumstances that enable inspectors to use CGWT in a slightly different manner than has been used previously."

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