The Briefing on Power

The latest news, trends and data from the power industry

In Data:

power in numbers


Between 2013 and 2017, almost £82bn was invested in renewable generation assets in the UK, seen as early disruptors in the sector, according to new figures from a report titled ‘Disruption in Great Britain’s Energy Market’.


The UK Government’s Road to Zero strategy, which aims to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, is expected to drive significant growth in the electric vehicle market.


Despite GDPR legislation having already come into effect, 58% of UK businesses in the utilities sector are risking penalties, having failed to wipe the data from IT equipment they disposed of in the two months following GDPR.


Tiny solar cells measuring 3mm in length and 1.5mm in width have been proven to charge a mobile phone, after being woven into clothes. The cells are encapsulated in resin, which allows the fabric to be worn and washed as usual.


250 million

Solar projects across the Sahel region in Africa are expected to connect 250 million people with electricity by tapping into the region’s solar resources. Details of the ‘Desert to Power Initiative’ were outlined in December.

in the news:

top projects kicking off this month

Ormat’s McGinness Hills Phase 3 geothermal plant begins operations

Ormat Technologies has announced the start of commercial operations at its McGinness Hills Phase 3 geothermal plant, located in Lander County, Nevada, US. Using Ormat turbines, the third phase of the power plant generates around 48MW from two Ormat Energy Converters. With the third phase now operational, the capacity of the geothermal plant is said to have increased to 138MW.

Indonesian hydropower plant begins commercial operations

An Indonesian hydropower plant, Semangka HPP, has commenced commercial operations, which is expected to optimise the country’s energy structure. Semangka HPP, which is located in the South Sumatra region of Indonesia, generates power using discharge from the Semangka River. The plant has been developed to partially replace the energy generated by fossil fuel power plants in the grid.

Dominion Energy’s Virginia power station becomes operational

Dominion Energy’s $1.3bn Greensville County Power Station in Virginia, US, has become operational to generate power and steam. The facility can produce 1,588MW of power, enough to serve almost 400,000 homes. Construction of the facility began in June 2016. It is claimed to be one of the cleanest natural gas-powered stations in the country.

Mergers and acquisitions:

this month’s top power deals

Drax completes acquisition of Iberdrola assets

Drax Group has completed the acquisition of Iberdrola’s renewable and low carbon assets for £702m ($889m). The acquisition adds 2.6GW, or 60%, of electricity generation capacity to Drax’s portfolio. It will increase the company’s footprint in the UK while supporting its intermittent renewable capacity. The acquisition was approved by shareholders in December 2018.

Dominion Energy completes SCANA merger

Dominion Energy has completed the previously announced merger with SCANA Corporation. The acquisition will expand Dominion Energy’s presence in Georgia and Carolina and enhance the company’s growth potential. Dominion is a power and energy company, while SCANA is a holding energy company. Both are based in the US.

NextEra Energy acquires Gulf Power

NextEra Energy has completed the acquisition of Gulf Power Company from Southern Company. The sale involved Gulf Power, Florida City Gas and Southern Power’s interests in Plant Stanton and Plant Oleander. In May 2018, Southern Company signed a deal to sell out the Florida assets of the company to NextEra Energy at a price of approximately $6.4bn.

Hitachi to acquire ABB’s power grids business

Japanese company Hitachi has signed an agreement to acquire ABB’s power grids business. Initially, the firm plans to acquire an 80.1% stake for approximately $6.4bn. It expects to close the deal in the first half of 2020 and make power grids a consolidated subsidiary. This deal puts the enterprise value of the power grids business at $11bn.

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