DOE Adv Turbine Systems Conference

This note just received from Abbie Layne, DOE program manager for the advanced turbine program.

The DOE ATS Annual Program Review Conference will be held on Nov 8-10, 1999 in Pittsburgh, PA.

The most efficient turbine systems in the world will be highlighted at our conference, a topic of high interest to the Power Generation and Turbine Industry today. This program covers all projects that the DOE and industry/academia/labs are jointly performing.

We still have about 100 slots open and believe there are many who would like to attend but do not know about the meeting. The PDF file with the meeting flyer is attached, and also more information can be obtained at the FETC website ”” under “Events”.

Thanks, Abbie Layne


Type: Portable Document Format (application/pdf)
Encoding: base64

DOE Vision 21 Energy Plants of the Future Solicitation

Here’s a major opportunity to get DOE funding for good ideas. The website has additional materials, including a download link for the solicitation itself.

| Edward Beardsworth
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 650-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 650-328-5675
| *** UFTO ***

U.S. Department of Energy

Issued on October 1, 1999

Energy Department Opens First Major Competition For Vision 21 Energy Plants of the Future

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has opened the competition for companies to begin designing a new type of energy facility that could change the way people think about fossil fuel power plants in the 21st century.

Called Vision 21, the new class of fossil fuel plants would produce electricity, chemicals, fuels or perhaps a combination of products in ways tailored to meet specific market needs.

Employing the latest in emission control systems, plus potentially revolutionary breakthroughs in such technologies as gas separation membranes, fuel cell-turbine hybrids, and carbon sequestration, Vision 21 energy facilities would have virtually no environmental impact outside the plant’s immediate “footprint.”

The plants would also be among the first to be developed and designed using advanced visualization and modeling software. Such “virtual demonstration” technology might eliminate the need for some of the expensive engineering and pilot facilities that have been necessary in other large scale development efforts.

The Energy Department will offer up to $30 million for winning projects, with each of the initial projects expected to receive from $1.5 million to $2.5 million. Private industry will be required to provide at least 20 percent of each project’s cost.

The initial set of projects would run for up to three years and would establish the design foundation and analytical capabilities for future development efforts.

The key to Vision 21 will be to integrate the ‘best-of-class’ technologies from across the fossil fuel spectrum – for example, the most fuel-flexible gasifiers and combustors, the most effective way to remove pollutant-forming impurities, the latest in fuel cell and turbine systems, and the most affordable ways to manufacture liquid fuels and chemicals.

Individually, none of these technologies are likely to achieve the increasingly stringent environmental and cost requirements that energy companies will confront in the 21st century. Integrated together, however, these advanced systems could provide consumers with affordable power and fuels along with unprecedented levels of environmental protection.

The Energy Department’s Federal Energy Technology Center is issuing the solicitation and plans to accept proposals throughout the coming year. Beginning around January 31, 2000, the department will announce project selections every four months. The due date for proposals for the first evaluation period is November 30, 1999. Proposals are being requested in three areas:

Technologies that will make up the “modules” of Vision 21 plants, for example, in such areas as advanced gas separation and purification, heat exchangers, fuel-flexible gasifers, advanced low-polluting combustion systems, turbines, fuel cells, and chemical and fuel synthesis processes.

Systems integration capabilities needed to combine two or more of the modules;

Advanced plant design and visualization software leading to a “virtual demonstration” of a Vision 21 plant.

The Energy Department has set a timetable to have Vision 21 technologies and designs ready for use by private industry in building commercial facilities by around 2015. Many experts forecast that the next major wave of U.S. power plant construction will begin around this time.

The Energy Department, however, expects the Vision 21 program to begin benefiting the energy industry well before 2015. The program is expected to produce spinoff technologies – possibly low-cost oxygen separation, better catalysts for the chemical industry, lower cost manufacturing processes, and improved pollution control systems — beginning as early as 2005.

DOE Distrib Power Review & IEEE Interconnection Working Group

** DOE Distributed Power Program Review and Planning Meeting
** IEEE SCC21 P1547 Interconnection Working Group
Arlington, VA, September 27-30, 1999


** DOE Distributed Power (DP) Program Review and Planning Meeting

— Welcome and Introduction
— Dan Adamson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Power Technologies
— Distributed Power in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
— Dan Reicher, Assistant Secretary, EE

DP covers a wide gamut of topics, from village power and rural electrification to industrial power parks, partially self-powered office towers (incl. PV), combined heat and power (CHP) and all varieties of renewable energy. There are three “elements of success” that must be met — technologies, markets, and policies. A number of DOE programs involve DP, and there are several cross-cutting initiatives: CHP, Million Solar Roofs, Buildings for the 21st Century, Bioenergy, and Distributed Power (i.e. to address interconnection issues). A DP website is under construction.

— An Industry Perspective — Beverly Jones, Consolidated Natural Gas

Broad trends are setting the stage for DP: industry restructuring, gas/electric convergence, and the role of information technology in energy. All of these are changing the buyer seller relationship dramatically, as the distinct “one-point” of contact is replaced by myriad complex and overlapping interactions. As the slow process of policy change proceeds, the action is mostly at the state level, where there are many opportunities to bring up DR issues arise. States are competing for jobs, and see energy prices/markets as a key determinant. There is less urgency at the federal level, and the lack of standardization is a big problem. One area that’s particularly important–tax policy, especially depreciation rates for DR investments, which should be faster than for traditional generation and distribution facilities.

— Creating Value Streams for Distributed Resources — Dave Hoffman, Celerity Energy

Barriers to DP growth include 100 years with a regulated monopoly system, with it’s concerns about reliability, and the credibility, reliability and costs of DR. Market pressures and technology are driving change. Celerity’s business is acquiring options on peaking capacity from existing gensets, which will be linked via networks and bid into th e power market.

— Program Overview — Joe Galdo, DOE Program Manager

A workshop Dec 98 made recommendations for DOE program actions for DP:
-Interconnection (standards, documentation of the problem,
system integration modeling, and equipment certification)
– Outreach to state regulators
– Quantify benefits
– Model (building) codes and ordinances

The program is organized around three main topics:
– Strategic Research (concepts for advanced system control, etc.)
– Systems Integration (address safety, reliability, etc issues.
Analysis, modeling, hardware testing, interface hardware
and software)
– Regulatory and Institutional Barriers

FY99 Program — $1.2 Million funding — planning, support IEEE standards working group, document interconnection barriers, outreach to stat es.

— Documenting Barriers to Distributed Power — Brent Alderfer, Competitive Utility Strategies

[DP is not new. DOE commissioned a major study to examine what is currently being done.]

A report is due in the next 2 months, detailing 70 case studies of current interconnection experience and practices. Sizes ranged from 300 watt PV to 100 MW combined cycle.

DP “barriers” are seen differently by utilities–who are concerned with safety, reliability, risk, liabilities, and who don’t want “gadgets and gizmos” on the grid. Some utilities simply refuse any (non-QF) connection.

Standby tariffs range widely ($1 to $250/kw/yr). These are arbitrary now, often set to discourage DP. In the future, however, real markets may probably show as wide a range, but for entirely different reasons.

Uplift tariffs are usually based on entire radial system, even if transaction only uses a portion.

Restructuring by states generally has no impact on barriers. Some utilities have embraced DP (O&R 10 years experience using reciprocating gensets owned by 3rd parties to defer substation additions) Southern Co, while opposing FERC restructuring of G&T markets, is actively hooking up cogenerators.

— Interconnection Standard Development — Richard DeBlasio, NREL

[brief overview of SCC21 working group progress]

— Technical Assistance to States and Localities — Gary Nakarado, NREL

Assumed (interconnection) goals are uniform technical requirements, minimized cost, standardized contracts, and costs commensurate with DP system size. PV has paved part of the way. Standards alone won’t assure adoption of DP. For example, net metering laws can limit utility’s ability to resist.

[DOE “State Energy Alternatives” — this website gives specific information on the potential of selected renewable energy resources in each state as well as background information on each state’s electricity sector ]

[The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) provides assistance to state regulators. ]

— Environmental and Economic Impact Assessment — Howard Gruenspecht, DOE Office of Policy

The administration’s restructuring proposal addresses DP issues.

A pdf document (the 3rd one listed on the webpage) is an explanatory memo for the proposed legislation, and discusses DP issues in several aspects:

from CECA Supporting Analysis, Chapter 3, page 34

Distributed Power

“The revised Administration proposal includes a package of provisions designed to promote the adoption of efficient combined heat and power and distributed generation technologies. It proposes the development of nationally applicable interconnection standards, clarification of depreciation treatment to assure that distributed generation installations are not subject to unfavorable schedules for the depreciation of structural components, and State-level consideration of stranded cost recovery mechanisms that do not impede cost-effective and energy-efficient combined heat and power projects. It also promises continued efforts by the EPA and the DOE to explore and implement regulatory approaches that recognize the environmental benefits of combined heat and power technologies.”

Secretary Richardson held a “Midwest Electricity Summit” in Chicago on October 8, with several dozen invited stakeholders (utilities, regulators, local government, etc.) to discuss industry issues. Anyone is welcome in the audience. His prepared remarks are posted at:

Another is to be held somewhere in the Northeast in a couple of weeks — details tbd.

— Where Are We Going? A framework for planning White Paper on Interconnection and Controls for Large-Scale Integration of Distributed Energy Resources — Phil Overholt, DOE Program Manager, Transmission Reliability; Joe Eto, LBNL

This was a presentation of the 2nd of the 6 draft white papers.

See: 20 Sep99 UFTO Note-CERTS Draft White Papers
01 Mar99 UFTO Note-CERTS-New DOE Prog in Elec. Reliability

(There’s still time to provide comments on any of the 6 papers.
See 20 Sept note for details.)

— How Do We Get There? — Five-Year Planning (Breakout Sessions)

– Interconnection Standards, Certification and Testing
– Interconnect Hardware and Software
– Addressing Regulatory and Institutional Barriers
– Planning Analysis and Tools

These were facilitated sessions to develop recommendations for near and longer term destinations, R&D requirements, recommended program activities and resources. A summary is being prepared by DOE and should be available in 6-8 weeks.

UPDATE: It looks DOE’s DP program will have a budget of about
$4 million in FY2000.


IEEE SCC21 P1547 Interconnection Working Group
Sept 28-30

Topical Presentations:

The first morning of the 3 day meeting was a series of presentations to further the mutual understanding of technical issues.

— VAR Control from a DR Perspective (T.-E. Moen, ABB)
A detailed technical discussion of voltage source inverters (VSI) and how they can be an economic option for supplying VAR’s into a network.

— Distributed Resources in Downtown Networks (N. Ioannou, BGE) Downtown grid networks, covering perhaps 5% of the total US system, are very different from standard radial networks. There are two types which are very different from each other: grid (or secondary) and spot (or isolated). DP can be connected to either, though it can’t push power into a spot network.

— EEI Interconnection Study Update (M. Davis)
Progress is continuin g. Outlined a 7 step process to determine interconnection requirements, beginning with identifying the type of generator, i.e., induction (externally or self-excited), synchronous (cylindrical or salient pole) or inverter (line or self commutated) and then on to defining characteristics of the distribution system, etc. A great deal of material has been added to the Working Group’s “Resource Document”, a 2 inch thick compendium of information that backs up the standards development.

— Shifting the Balance of Power: Grid Interconnection of Distributed
Generation (Brendan Kirby, ORNL and Nick Lenssen,E SOURCE)

Examines the various issues that hinder DP deployment, mostly coming down to utility resistance, lack of uniform requirements and processes (which are based on large units, and are too extensive for most DP). Points out that loads aren’t very different from DP–both can cause harmonics, ripple, DC, fault current, etc., yet they receive very different treatment. Main difference is intentional injection of power. Existing system built for one way power, but in future may be configured to take better advantage of DP. DP are ideal ancillary service providers, but usually excluded from markets. Need to deal with conflict that utilities are both guardians of the public good, and a competitor in the same system. (This will be published as an E-Source report, with a summary version more generally available. I have a copy of the vugraphs if anyone wants them.)

[Note: check out re the “guerilla solar” movement–people hooking up to the grid without permission.]

— Proposed Revisions toNEC by EEI Elec Light & Power Group (P. Amos, ConEd)

— Proposed New NEC Article on Fuel Cells (K. Krastins)
(See email forwarded to UFTO list on 31 August)


I have email and tel #’s for everyone mentioned above, and some additional hard copy information. Please let me know if you want more details on any o f the above.