US Considers Financing Part of $12 Billion Hydropower Project in Congo
Rajiv Shah, head of the US Agency for International Development, said that the US will consider financing some of Congo’s $12 billion Inga 3 hydropower project. The U.S. may add the project to a $7 billion U.S. government energy program known as Power Africa, Shah said by phone from Kinshasa, where he is meeting Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo and Energy Minister Bruno Kapandji. The current groups bidding for the 4,800 MW project are China Three Gorges Corp. and Sinohydro Corp.; Posco and Daewoo Corp. of South Korea; and Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA and Spain’s Eurofinsa Group.
Siemens, MidAmerican Secure 1 GW Turbine Agreement for Iowa
With a wind PTC expiration potentially days away, MidAmerican has ordered 1 GW of turbines from Siemens for its wind farm projects in Iowa. The blades will be built in Siemens’ Fort Madison, Iowa plant while the other components will be assembled in Kansas. The wind projects still officially qualify for the PTC as it currently exists, says Adam Wright, VP of wind generation at MidAmerican. Iowa is one of the leading U.S. state adopters of wind energy, ranking third for MW installed.
U.K. Pressed to Auction Clean Energy Deals to Cut Electricity Bills
The United Kingdom should hold competitive auctions for renewable power contracts in order to curb technology costs as and reduce consumer electricity bills, says an analyst from the ruling Conservative Party. Energy prices have been a political issue in Britain, with the opposition Labour party promising to freeze bills should it win the 2015 elections. That initiated measures by the ruling Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to cut some charges. Onshore wind, biomass and energy-from-waste could all compete against each other for electricity generation contracts from as early as next year, Policy Exchange said in its recent report.
Hochtief Commisions New Offshore Jack-up Vessel
Hochtief has commissioned a new jack-up ship for the construction of offshore wind farms. Called “Vidar”, the vessel carries a 1,200 ton crane and was designed for assembling the foundations for wind farms in the North and Baltic seas in water depths of up to 50 meters. Vidar has already been chartered and will be used this month for blade installation at the North Sea wind farm Global Tech 1. The powerful vessel speeds up construction thus reducing costs, says Hochtief CEO Marcelino Fernandez Verdes.