Dominion Energy sells natural gas assets for $9.7bn

Dominion Energy has agreed to sell its natural gas assets for $9.7bn, the US-based power company announced on Sunday. This includes 7,700 miles of natural gas pipeline and 900 billion cubic feet of storage.

The company says it is attempting to streamline its business to focus more on renewable generation. It will still use renewable natural gas, and the company estimates 90% of its future earnings will come from gas and electric utilities in five US states. 

Dominion Energy sold its gas storage and transport assets to Berkshire Hathaway, which also purchased $5.7bn of the company’s debt. It will pay approximately $4bn of the transaction in cash. Employees at the sites involved in the deal will soon transfer to working for Berkshire Hathaway Energy, with no job losses yet announced.

In a statement, Dominion Energy said it will spend the earnings from the sale to repurchase its shares. The company said the move was part of a “strategic repositioning toward state-regulated, sustainability-focused utility operations”.

Later the same day, the company announced it would no longer seek to build the Atlantic Coast pipeline with partner Duke Energy. In a statement, Dominion Energy said “ongoing delays and increasing cost uncertainty” were behind the decision. /


Coal India and NLC India form 5GW power generation joint venture

Coal India has formed a power generation joint venture (JV) with NLC India to develop solar and thermal power assets.

The two companies have agreed to develop 3GW of solar power assets and 2GW of thermal capacity across India. Sources told India’s Economic Times the joint solar investment could be worth $1.6bn (Rs120bn).

The two companies signed an initial agreement to develop thermal and solar power capacity 21 months ago.

As per the terms of the agreement from October 2018, Coal India and NLC India agreed to complete the development of solar projects within 15 months. Following this, both have given up to five years for the thermal power projects.

The reason for the delay in implementing the agreement was not disclosed. /


Enercon wins converters supply contract from Energie Burgenland

/ Enercon has secured a converters supply contract with Energie Burgenland for seven of its Austrian wind farms.

Enercon will supply 51 wind energy converters in different performance classes, with a combined capacity of 212MW, to onshore wind farms in Burgenland.

Energie Burgenland will use the converters in expansion works at the Nickelsdorf and Andau wind farms. It will also use them in construction of the Zurndorf II wind farm and the repowering of the Parndorf and Gols wind farms. Works will begin in the second and third quarters of this year.

Repowering of the Potzneusiedl and Neudorf wind farms is scheduled for next year.

Enercon Austria country sales manager Paul Dyck said: “We are very happy that Energie Burgenland has chosen to put its trust in our company and technology once again. We have a long-standing partnership expanding wind energy in Austria. We hope the new projects will add further chapters to our success story.” /


JinkoSolar wins bifacial solar modules supply contract in Chile

Chinese photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer JinkoSolar Holding has secured a 126MW solar module supply contract in Chile.

The solar modules will expand an existing 160MW solar PV park located in the Antofagasta region.

JinkoSolar LATAM general manager Alberto Cuter said: “This is the second project in Latin America to be equipped with our bifacial modules with transparent backsheets.

“Chile is the largest market for utility-scale projects in the region and we are continuously working to promote our high-quality modules there to support the development of renewable energy.

“The expansion of the PV plant equipped with our bifacial modules has already generated lower LCOE and can compete with traditional sources of energy. We are expecting to sell more bifacial modules in the coming few months across the region.” /


UK authorities approve Vattenfall’s 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard wind farm

/ UK government ministers awarded development consent to Swedish company Vattenfall’s plans for a 1.8GW wind farm in the UK North Sea on 30 June.

The Norfolk Vanguard wind farm will comprise 90 to 180 turbines with heights of up to 350m. Vattenfall has not yet confirmed which turbine supplier it will use. The wind farm will lie 47km offshore from Happisburgh, Norfolk, where the connection cable will make landfall. The cable will then continue for 60km onshore to a substation.

The company says the turbines will power 1.95 million homes. It also says it will create 150 permanent jobs, shared between the new site and the nearby Norfolk Boreas wind farm.

Vettenfall expects first power from the farm in the mid-2020s, but has not yet announced a construction date. It has also not disclosed the cost of the Norfolk Vanguard farm, or the specifications of the turbines.

The company’s wind business senior vice president Gunnar Groebler said: “This decision justifies the confidence that we have in the offshore wind sector in Britain, and we’re looking forward to developing the project and benefiting the local community. Vattenfall’s purpose is to power climate smarter living. Decarbonising our economies starts with one of the most essential resources – electricity.” /


Neoen commissions Hedet onshore wind farm in Finland

/ French renewable energy producer Neoen has announced the commissioning of its Hedet wind farm in Närpes, Finland.

Neoen holds an 80% interest in the 81MW wind facility, which uses 18 Nordex N149 turbines. Finnish wind farm developer and operator Prokon Finland holds the remaining 20% stake.

Energy generated by the Hedet wind farm will supply the country’s grid. This in turn will supply Google’s Hamina data centre, which has a ten-year power purchase agreement with Neoen.

Regional director Christophe Desplats-Redier said: “Hedet is a landmark project for Neoen, and the start of its commercial operations represents a major milestone for our business in Finland.

“We would like to express our gratitude to Google, the Närpes municipal authorities, our partner Prokon, our subcontractors, and all the local stakeholders—the population of Overmark and Finnish operator EPV— which helped us bring this project through to its fruition.” /


Elecnor wins contract to build 185MW wind farm in Chile

/ Spanish renewable energy and infrastructure company Elecnor has secured a contract to build a 185MW wind power facility in Chile.

Backed by Mainstream Renewable Power, the Cerro Tigre wind farm will supply the national grid once operational.

Located 50km from the city of Antofagasta, the Cerro Tigre wind farm will be developed in a relatively flat area of desert, at elevations of between 660m and 800m.

As per the terms of the contract, the company will install 44 wind turbines each with 4.2MW capacity and a height of 72m.

Additionally, Elecnor will construct a booster substation, a 220kV transmission line and more than 20km of track. It will also build the rest of the auxiliary civilian infrastructure. /


India to ban imports of power equipment from China and Pakistan

/ The Government of India is reportedly planning to stall power equipment imports from neighbouring countries China and Pakistan. This comes in response to recent border and cybersecurity threats between the countries.

Union Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh said power equipment that needs to be imported will also require prior permissions from the government authorities.

Singh was quoted by The Economic Times as saying: “Today we manufacture everything that is required for power generation, transmission and distribution. In 2018-19, we imported Rs710bn [$9.4bn] power equipment of which Rs210bn [$2.8bn] are Chinese.”

Singh added that power systems are vulnerable to malware attacks, which can shut down the country’s communications database

as well as defence systems. For this reason, Singh says all imports require inspection and some countries must be banned.

He also urged state governments to support the decision by stopping imports of power equipment and products such as transformers, conductors, tower elements, and meter parts. ​​​​​​​/