Now it's Gasification OR just another WAPA diversion ???
Here is the latest. This is a hell of a way to run an island. Guys "don't" show up (..... WHY.....) and things get approved. Pertinent paragraph copied.
The Public Services Commission's lack of a quorum also automatically forwarded a preliminary application by TCG Global LLC to become a qualified power-producing company in the territory. The Denver-based energy company initiated its application in August to add a 33-megawatt generator to St. Thomas. The generator would use gasification, by which a variety of fuels are cooked, or "gasified" - without being burned. The gas is combined with steam to create a synthetic fuel to power generators. The Public Services Commission in August postponed a decision about TCG Global's application, and the commission had 90 days to decide on the qualified facility request before the request is automatically approved. The commission had sought an opinion from its consultant, but because a quorum was not in attendance the opinion was not presented. "It's an opinion we don't have," said TCG Global's attorney David Bornn. "We don't know what the recommendation was. We hope and presume it was fair."
The preliminary approval will allow the group to begin discussing its plans with WAPA.
Dennis Pungitore, of Pungitore Energy Development, and a member of the TCG Global team, said the group will meet with WAPA officials at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Pungitore said the ideal fuel source for St. Thomas would be biomass, or wood chips, derived from tree farms in the southeastern United States. "There's also opportunities for on-island fuels," Pungitore said. Landscape debris could be a fuel source, he said. "Those things that aren't in the waste stream now," Pungitore said
A combustion fired 33 MWe plant at 30% STG efficiency will utilize 37.5 tons per hour of biomass that has 5,000 BTUs per pound (moisture content of less than 50%). And that is a Gross efficiency at the generator terminals (.... the plant itself will use 20% to 25% of that). Assuming 8,000 hours per year utilization that would be 300,000 TPY.
Biomass in SE of USA (wood chips or forest waste) is going for about $40 per ton and that does not include transportation costs. It costs about $2,000.00 to ship a standard shipping container (8' x 8' x 40') from the US to the VI. That is a volume of 2500 cubic feet. And depending on the type of wood the weight can range from 25 to 50+ pounds per cubic foot. So at an avg. of 40 pounds, weight in side the shipping container would be 50 tons. And let's assume that bulk shipping is 1/2 that for container shipping. So to get a ton of wood chips to the VI from Florida, it will cost $20. Total, that is $60 per ton for fuel or $0.03 per pound to get 5,000 BTUs. Fuel oil is $3.10 per gallon and has 124,000 BTUs per gallon or for $0.03 you get 1,200 BTUs.
So, biomass is a more cost effective fuel. However, what is the cost of the plant which I suspect is 1.5 times that of a normal combustion STG plant. There needs to be infrastructure to off-load And can they get long term commitments for wood. 300,000 Tons is a lot of wood a year. If they can get a lock on the biomss supply and cost, then it might be a step in the right direction.
Man, if they could use tan tan, and pay for it like scrap or recycling, the islands could be cleared of the pernicious invasve species without any overhead at all. People would just clear it and haul it in to be paid, and the island could be stripped of a very noxious problem plant.
I'm not sure of the exact energy content in TanTan, but it should be similar to straw at over 5,000 BTUs per pound and can be used in the gasification process. Or maybe more near term in the Apline Energy power plant.
I believe the bio-mass concept is part of the trash burning plant that Alpine wants to build here.
It would burn a combination of pet coke, trash and biomass, if I'm not mistaken.
One of the holdups right now is whether or not Alpine even QUALIFIED to take our money and build a plant.
A liquified gas plant would require the construction of an expensive port facility. What I've been reading between the lines is that HOVENSA itself needs/wants to have cheaper fuel costs for its power plant. It's own fuel oil is too expensive! (crazy).
Baffles me why Hovensa and Wapa can't build a jointly operated plant. O wait..... money.
Wow Neil. Your whole post just underlines how unsustainable the current energy equation is. Hovensa needs cheaper fuel.... Hard to wrap your mind around it, but once it sinks in... just wow...
Alpines plan now will only burn RDF made from MSW.
The gasification plant is something else .... but an improvement on what we have now. However, to get 300,000 tons per year for several years they will need to clear-cut all of South Carolina. Not sure that is practical.
But as Neil points out (assuming small nuclear would a non-starter) then the best long term most cost effective solution is LNG. But it would require a huge infrastructure investment and you get past the "greenies" that will assume a terminal will blow up. To get the money for development you would need an organization that has that experience in charge to replace WAPA for generation.
So the best path forward would be for the gov.t to sell the WAPA generating plants to a large IPP or US utility. And let them get the financing for LNG terminal and NG power plants. WAPA retains thr T&D portion and they use the monies from the sale to upgrade substations, etc. This could be a win-win situation.
Still in the development stages, but wouldn't THIS be nice? Paint-on solar cells!
This would be nice to solve "watt" sized problems. But we need mega-watt solutions to the tune of at least 50 MWe for each STT and STX.
Please keep solar in perspective. It costs about $7 per watt to install. As an example, you put in 1,000 watts of solar at $7,000.00. This is enough to drive 1 hair dryer or ten 100 watt incandesant light bulbs. Solar has its place and helps, but it should only get partial attention and not be used as a reason to not address the real problem.
Solar is not a large scale solution because it is weather dependent, only efficient for about 6 hrs a day, and you can't cost effectively store it for use by a grid. Wind had a similar problem though less so. The grid need a constant reliable feed.
Bill Gates is going atomic. The Microsoft founder's startup TerraPower is partnering with Toshiba to build a traveling-wave reactor. These reactors run on depleted uranium, rather than the enriched sort found in light-water reactors, only have to be refueled every 60 to 100 years, and are small enough to fit in a hot tub. it is all part of Gates' quest for zero carbon emissions in the next 40 years.
Terra-Power is an option that most likely won't be ready for at least 10 years. Current staff is all researchers. For NRC Design Certification there needs to be a significant group of detailed designers and analysts. Most, if not all safety systems, will need to be documented with scale or full size tests. It took Westinghouse (... and now owned by Toshiba) about 20 years to get the AP-600 certified, which never sold and was migrated to the AP-1000; which just last week got NRC certification. AP-1000 will now be the first new Nuc for about 30 years in the USA and will be going in at the Vogtle site in Augusta, Georgia. But the AP-600 or AP-1000 (... 1,000 MWe) are just too big for the VI.
So, the only Small Nuc that is commercially ready for prime time in the USVI is the Russian design that has been converted from their Ice Breaker and submarine fleet.