California barge power plant needs approval


Anne de Rouffignac
OGJ Online


Borrowing a quick-fix solution popular in Third World countries, California's PG&E Corp. wants to move a barge-mounted power plant to the San Francisco area for emergency electricity service by mid-August.

With support from the California Independent System Operator, PG&E began seeking a barge power plant last spring in anticipation of summer problems. PG&E acquired the barge from El Paso Energy Corp. and its accompanying turbines from General Electric Co., says PG&E spokeswoman Sandra McDonough.

The 95-Mw jet fuel-fired plant will run during extreme electrical emergencies, she says. Under the permits being negotiated, the unit will operate a total of 200 hr/year through the summer of 2001 only. But the barge remains docked at Freeport, Tex., while state and local permits are pending with regulatory authorities. It will take about 1 month to move it to the Panama Canal and then up to the California coast, McDonough says.

Barge-mounted power plants are beginning to be employed in the US similar to their use in Third World countries where quick fixes to electricity supply problems are often the only alternative. In March of this year, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA)�worried about shortages of power during the summer peak in the New York area�accepted a proposal to bring in a barge-mounted 60 Mw oil-fired turbine.

Siting new power plants in urban areas can be difficult. LIPA expected the barge to provide some relief until transmission constraints could be alleviated and power more easily imported to Long Island.

Parts of California, especially in the Bay area, have been wracked by power shortages and even blackouts this summer. At times the California ISO has had to request utilities to call on certain customers to curtail electricity use.

The costs associated with emergency efforts to cut power usage when the system is strained are very high, says McDonough. Despite the state's economic growth and accompanying increase in electricity demand, new generating capacity has not kept up. Only a few new power plants are expected to be in operation in the summer of 2001and a few more by summer 2002.

The barge-mounted power plant is one way to bridge the gap between today�s demand for electricity and tomorrow�s new power plants, she says. The barge can simply be sent to a different market when the emergency has subsided.

The three sites being considered to locate the barge are Potrero, San Francisco Airport, and Redwood City.

While the jet fuel-fired turbines are not the most environmentally sensitive solution, PG&E considers the barge-mounted power plant an emergency measure to be used only when necessary until new state-of-the-art power plants come on line, McDonough says.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

Quicksilver Canada gets LNG export approval

07/02/2015 Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. has received approval from the National Energy Board of Canada to export 20 million tonnes/year of LNG from a pos...

Origin lets contract for Otway basin fields

07/02/2015 Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has let a $1.3 million (Aus.) contract to Wood Group Kenny for provision of a detailed engineering design for the onsho...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...

Woodside-led Browse FLNG venture enters FEED phase

07/01/2015 The Woodside Petroleum Ltd.-led Browse LNG joint venture has entered the front-end engineering and design phase for a floating LNG (FLNG) developme...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Construction begins on Chinese section of Russia-China Gas Pipeline

06/30/2015

Construction has begun on the Chinese section of the Russia-China Gas Pipeline, according to China National Petroleum Corp.

White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected