Water woes to prompt early closing of 1,067MW Tolk coal plant in Texas FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Xcel Energy intends to shutter the 1,067 MW Tolk coal-fired generating station, which provides power to Texas and New Mexico, by Dec. 31, 2032, according to a stipulation endorsed by subsidiary Southwestern Public Service (SPS), environmental advocates and the utility division staff of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC).Per the stipulation, SPS will recruit an independent evaluator to assess possible ways to replace the coal facility, and submit a report to the NMPRC by June 2021. The utility has also agreed to study earlier retirement scenarios for the plant, given its dependence on a rapidly-depleting source of groundwater.Both units of the Tolk coal-powered plant began commercial operation in the 1980s. But the facility requires water to cool its boilers and relies on only one source — the Ogallala aquifer, in the Texas Panhandle, which is drying out due to excess agricultural, industrial and urban usage. The utility reduced operations at the plant to minimum load during off-peak months in 2019, and intends to keep the plant idle during off-peak months starting in 2021, if regulators in Texas and New Mexico allow it.Even with new well infrastructure, the aquifer will not be able to support the Tolk facility until 2042, when the first of its units is currently scheduled to retire, according to SPS. The utility requested commission permission to abandon Tolk’s Units 1 and 2 in 2032 as part of its July 2019 general rate case application, which also sought a $50.8 million — or 18.7% — increase to its case rate revenue.“Under the company’s projections, if it continues to operate the plant normally, they’ll run out of their groundwater rights about the mid-2020s. If they switch to seasonal operations — which is basically June through September — they can extend that, they think, until 2032,” Joshua Smith, senior staff attorney at the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program, told Utility Dive.“All of the parties that were involved in the New Mexico case have now agreed that the plant will be retired and abandoned by 2032,” Smith said. While he acknowledged concerns over replacing the plant’s capacity and possible increases in customer rates, “in our view, there’s still a sufficient amount of lead time to mitigate those rate impacts, whatever they might be, and more than sufficient time — 12 years at this point — for the company to procure replacement capacity,” he said.[Kavya Balaraman]More: Water scarcity accelerates plans to close Xcel’s Tolk coal plant by a decade
Steel jacket and topsides from Spirit Energy’s ST-1 platform have arrived at the Dales Voe facility in Shetland for decommissioning by Veolia and Peterson.Source: VeoliaPeterson said on Monday that the structures from the ST-1 arrived in the port facility on July 15.The company added that a recycling target for the project is 97 percent, which means that around 2,500 tonnes of materials would be recovered and recycled.The ST-1 platform comprises of a 45-meter-high 1,300-tonne steel jacket and a 1,200-tonne topsides structure. It was originally installed in 1994 in the Greater Markham Area some 160 kilometers off the coast in the Southern North Sea.Production on this gas platform ceased in April 2016 and was placed in warm suspension mode in September 2017.The final part of the decommissioning program, covering the removal of the topsides and jackets, was carried out through two single lifts by Seaway 7 using the Seaway Strashnov heavy lifting vessel.Martin O’Donnell, decommissioning director of Veolia, said: “This work follows the successful recovery operations carried out at the facility […]. We have already recycled over 80,000 tonnes of materials and created new job opportunities to meet the growing demand for decommissioning.”James Johnson, decommissioning manager at Peterson, added: “This project is a great showcase of how our collaboration with Veolia is enabling us to provide a full decommissioning service which provides a better customer experience. We are pleased to be involved in the ongoing development of Dales Voe as a center of excellence for decommissioning for the North Sea.”Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.
The National Sports Authority (NSA) has announced the immediate closure of the Baba Yara Sports Stadium for renovation works ahead of the 63rd national Independence Day celebrations in March this year.The authority made the announcement on Monday via a statement signed by Acting Director of the Ashanti Regional office of the NSA, Edmond Appiah.The statement said that there were important renovation works that needed to be done at the ground and so, all sporting activities in football and athletics needed to be halted and users of the stadium would have to find other facilities to use.The decision will affect Asante Kotoko and King Faisal who use the facility for their home matches in the Ghana Premier League.The statement went on to add that that the full renovation will resume after the celebrations.Below is an image of the statement from the NSA: