Peaking power will also provide grid stability and bring down the average tariff of the consumer, Harsh Shah, MD, Pratt & Whitney Power Systems – India, informs R Srinivasan.After an earlier interview with Peter Christman, President, Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (PWPS), in 2010, we met Harsh Shah, MD, PWPS, India, on the sidelines of a conference and we spoke about various elements of peaking power plants, how such power stations can help stem the acute peak power shortage, apart from a penalty clause for SEBs that resort to load-shedding during peak hours, etc. Excerpts of the interview:Kindly give details of running costs, energy efficiency, low emissions, issues and challenges in setting up and operating a peaking power plant?Peaking plant’s economics are set typically by supplying power at the lowest installed costs. In the US, peaking plants are paid by a monthly capacity charge ($/kw installed capacity). The peaking plant needs to be reliable, flexible, quick start under 10 minutes, and have minimum limitations on starting or minimum run time. Efficiency is not as important compared to other factors because the plant is operated typically under 2,000 hours per year.The emissions are typical 25 ppm or +/- 5 ppm on gas fuel depending on the location of the plant. The 25 ppm plant can be in compliance with either water injection or dry low NOx technology. For plants needing to meet +/- 5 ppm NOx require a hot SCR system. For non-regulated power companies to build peaking plants there has to be a system in place to pay for capacity. The US ISO organisations have a bidding process to allocate capacity payments. These bidding processes are very competitive. Thus a peaking capacity ends up being the most expensive power to purchase because the cost of the plant is spread over a minimal number of operational hours. The aero-derivative gas turbine with its cyclic advantages and maintenance philosophy are a great fit for this type of application.The country faced a peak power shortage of 10 per cent last year. To what extent can such power stations help stem the current power shortfall?India is in need of reliable power. The country experiences power outages and shortages and PWPS can help India meet its energy demands. The company is a global leader in providing safe, reliable and cost-effective power through its industrial gas turbines. We can provide a solution for India’s power shortages through our portfolio of quickly deployable generation equipment. Having a structured peaking power infrastructure will significantly reduce the peak deficit and ensure reliable power and a stable grid at all times. The company has more than 20 GW of experience in peaking power plants running across the world with power plant sizes ranging from 25 to 720 MW. Some of these are in developed economies like the USA and Western Europe, while others are in comparable economies to India, such as China, Russia and South America. Every country has its own approach to eliminate peak deficit and they develop a regulatory framework to support this. P&W would bring our global perspective and expertise and work alongside the stake-holders in the Indian power sector.The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission had proposed the setting up of ‘peaking power plants’ to produce electricity only during peak hours. Some welcome the proposal but the per unit cost from such a plant is double that of the cost of power from a base-load plant (it may be in the range of Rs 5-6 per unit depending on the fuel of the power plant) Is it feasible and if not, then what should be done to make it so?Various parts of the country continue to see high power deficit. Power distribution companies do not see any major incentive to fulfill 100 per cent of demand and do not face any immediate penalty for falling short. When faced with power shortage, load-shedding is done. However, as per published data from the national load dispatch centre (NLDC), the value of lost load varies anything between Rs 34/kWh to Rs 112/kWh. Even at the lower side of this range, the shortages we see add up to a significant amount of the GDP of the country.Your views on a penalty clause for state electricity boards that resort to load-shedding during peak hours and differential tariffs for peak hours so that customers pay more for costly power that is supplied to them during that time of the day.It is essential that grid-based power be available 100 per cent of the time to 100 per cent of the economy. A conducive framework for peaking power, which includes a cost-reflective tariff and proper allocation of fuel (natural gas) for peaking power is essential for one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world like India to eliminate load shedding. Introducing peaking power in the generation mix will not only improve the power supply but also provide grid stability and bring down the average tariff of the consumer. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and is far cleaner than coal which is predominantly used today. In addition, our organic rankine cycle products can work with renewable resources such as geothermal, biomass and municipal solid waste, solar and industrial waste heat, which would otherwise be an untapped by-product.What products do you plan to introduce in the Indian market?We will offer our full range of products in India. Our gas turbine product is the FT8 which we sell in two packages. One is a Mobilepac, which is a 25 MW mobile gas turbine that arrives at a site in two trailers, provides a substation and has the ability to take 25 MW of generation. It can be up and operating in less than 24 hours and is ideal for large industrial or electric utilities that need to move generation capability in response to growing demands or emergency situations. For stationary generation, we have the FT8 Swiftpac, which is two engines driving a common electric generator and is a 60 MW product. It is modularly designed and it can be installed in three weeks. We will also offer our next generation FT4000 Swiftpac, which will provide the highest power output (120 MW) of any aero-derivative gas turbine on the market.The speed with which both (Mobilepac and Swiftpac) units can be up, running and generating power is much quicker than what any of our competitors can offer from both an installation and operational perspective. They can be installed so quickly because most of the building of the product is done at our manufacturing facility before they are shipped to their destination, leaving less work to be completed at the site. In addition, we also offer organic rankine cycle (ORC) systems that can be fuelled by a variety of sources including biomass, geothermal and industrial waste heat. ORC technology is applicable to anyone interested in energy saving and reducing fuel costs in India.What are your company’s plans?We have installed over 2,000 industrial gas turbines units on six continents. Last year was a very busy year for us. After the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, our company provided emergency mobile generation equipment to alleviate power shortfalls. We delivered three FT8 Mobilepac gas turbines as well as two half Swiftpac gas power plants. Power disruptions only add to disruption in the day-to-day lives of people and this capability helped restore their electricity needs as fast as possible. We also received an order to deliver 18 FT8 Mobilepac self-contained gas turbine-powered power generating units for a number of locations in Algeria. We are presently installing our FT8 products around the world with a particular focus on emerging markets that require operationally responsive generation and generation assets that are re-deployable within electric utility grid systems. That way as large central generation facilities are developed and brought on-line, a re-deployable aero-derivative gas turbine unit can be repositioned to an area of power deficiency. Our aero-derivative products are excellent solutions for peaking, mid-range and emergency or back-up applications.Human ResourcesThe Operations Leadership programme (OLP) was introduced in India in 2011.It encompasses the core activities that make UTC a global leader in the industries in which UTC competes. Today, one of the most important undertakings at UTC is to take these activities and the talent of the people who perform them to the next level. The goal is to help UTC maintain such a clear competitive edge that customers would be hard-pressed to do business with anyone else. Operations excellence is critical to UTC’s success.The OLP programme offers unique training and development opportunities to recent college and university graduates as well as UTC employees and focuses on career development while improving operations across UTC. OLP Associates spend the next two years — divided into three eight-month rotations - honing their operational and management skills by learning about and working on the three primary functional areas of operations: Manufacturing, quality and supply management. The OLP associates get a opportunity to work at least at three of UTC’s dynamic business units in India.UTC’s operations leadership programme (OLP) offers a remarkable combination of training, experience, skill-building and other developmental opportunities to help associates advance on a career path, which is best suited for the associate, while enabling them to have an impact on the business of one of the world’s most successful and admired corporations. OLP associates get opportunities to work on operations and projects of value and importance to UTC businesses.
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