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New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Construction Commences on Enel’s Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota

Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), the US renewable energy company of the Enel Group, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota.

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Industry News

Pollution-free, Fossil-fueled Power Plant Planned

LCG, Feb. 12, 2001Sometimes it does take a rocket scientist, or a handful of them. According to a report this morning by United Press International, a group of retired rocket scientists has developed a prototype power plant that burns natural gas and emits no nitrogen oxides, no sulphur dioxide, no particulate matter and none of the other things power plants are blamed for.

The exhaust contains water, in the form of steam, and pure carbon dioxide which can be sold for industrial uses or used to make soft drinks fizz. There might be so much carbon dioxide that some would have to be sequestered, but that sounds easier to deal with than spent nuclear fuel.

The rocket scientists have formed a company, Clean Energy Systems Inc. of Sacramento, Calif., and built a 75 kilowatt prototype which works so well that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory wants to build a 10 megawatt version. It goes without saying that the old rocket scientists have connections at L-Cubed, as the Lawrence Livermore laboratory is called by cognoscenti.

Steve Doyle, chief executive of Clean Energy Systems and, at 65, the youngest of the seven retired employees of Aerojet Inc., told UPI "Our goal is to become the most efficient producer of electricity in the country and to do that with zero emission."

The U.S. Department of Energy was sufficiently impressed by the 75 kilowatt model that it has awarded Doyle's company $1.8 million to help build the 10 megawatter. The rocket scientists have added $800,000 of their own money to the project.

Livermore has already set up a Zero Emission Steam Technology project headed by Ray Smith. The laboratory will ask the DOE next month for fiscal year 2003 funds to build a facility to house the 10 megawatt demonstration plant.

"When it's up and running, we get the benefit of having 10 megawatts of electricity we can use at the lab," which typically needs 53 megawatts for its operations and 8,000-person staff, Smith told the wire service.

Harry Brandt, chairman of Clean Energy Systems and an emeritus professor at University of California at Davis, said the clean burning system is based on rocket technology the men developed at Aerojet nearly 40 years ago. Natural gas is burned in pure oxygen instead of air, which results in total combustion.

The cost of natural gas fuel and oxygen might seem on the surface to be greater than just the cost of fuel for a conventional power plant, but the increased efficiency in converting gas to heat and heat to electricity would more than make up for the difference. On top of that, there would be no cost for emissions controls or cleaning up contamination.

"I think this concept represents one of the most significant potentials that we've reviewed," Smith told UPI. "It's sort of a way to have your cake and eat it too. We can continue to use fossil fuels without fouling our nest." He said he thought "pretty significant penetration of the California energy market" was possible by 2020.

Doyle said his team is up to the 20-year challenge. All but one of the original seven scientists are still on the company's board, and the missing one died. He was Rudi Beichel, who helped Germany develop the V-2 rocket during World War II and was instrumental in designing the Jupiter rocket in the United States.

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