Caterpillar Inc. has announced the launch of new Cat DG series gas generator sets ranging from 30 to 150ekW for small commercial and municipal applications in North America. Featuring an updated package design, DG series gas generator sets operate on natural gas or LP vapo and they are available with optional sound-attenuated enclosures to efficiently dampen on-site noise and withstand exposure to the elements. Available now, DG series gas generator sets feature Caterpillar's EMCP 4.2 generator set controller, offering expanded engine and generator protection and monitoring. Flexibility is also increased with the addition of a Modbus RTU communication port, remote annunciator modules and expansion I/O modules to allow the EMCP 4 system to be configured to meet site-specific design requirements. Caterpillar offers seven three-phase models of DG series gas generator sets ranging from 30 to 150 ekW and five single-phase models ranging from 30 to 100ekW. The sets can be specified with the web-based Cat Electric Power SpecSizer tool. Available online at specsizer.cat.com, SpecSizer evaluates factors such as site conditions, load characteristics, and required performance to assist in specifying a properly sized generator set to best meet power needs. Caterpillar
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What’s claimed to be the world’s longest wind turbine blade was unveiled in Denmark last week. Production of the 88.4m blade was a joint project of Adwen and LM Wind Power. The blade has been designed for Adwen’s AD 8-180, a wind turbine with 8MW nominal capacity and 180 meter rotor diameter. “When you are building the largest wind turbine in the world, almost everything you do is an unprecedented challenge,” Luis Álvarez, Adwen general manager said. “We are going where no one else has ever gone before, pushing all the known frontiers in the industry.” The next step is to ship the gargantuan component to Aalborg, where it will undergo rigorous testing.

 Cyber security

Aussie energy networks vulnerable

Australia’s electricity networks are falling behind other industries and their peers in Europe and the US in their preparedness to counter cyber attacks just as the grid is becoming more vulnerable due to the addition of solar panels and batteries, experts say.

Utilities are well prepared in their corporate systems, having beefed up security around their billing and accounting systems but are still under-prepared when it comes to the security of their operational systems, said PwC’s power & utilities leader Mark Coughlin.

He said the search for efficiencies in technologies to reduce costs could have increased the risks, while the introduction of two-way flows of data between household equipment such as batteries and network companies also introduced a new vulnerability into the grid.

“It’s about making sure those vulnerabilities are protected against from whoever might want to show an interest,“ Mr Coughlin said, adding that utilities were less well protected against cyber threats than many of those in the retail, banking and defence sector.

“Customer data is of particular interest to anyone from a teenage hacker to very mature activist groups, while power networks, power systems could be an obvious terrorist threat.“

The electricity industry was placed on high alert earlier this year when the US government concluded that a mass blackout in western Ukraine last December that plunged more than 200,000 customers into darkness was caused by a cyber attack.

Just 12 months earlier a steel mill in Germany suffered major damage after hackers stole log-in data giving access to control systems and prevented a blast furnace from being shut down.

Europe’s stronger approach towards privacy and security means companies there are in general better prepared against cyber attacks, but in particular when it comes to owners of critical infrastructure such as utilities, said Julian Fay, chief technology officer at Melbourne-based encryption hardware provider Senetas.

The US has also responded to the threat, with appliance safety certification body Underwriters Laboratories looking to put in place a system to measure the security qualities of software.

Energy Networks Association head John Bradley said Australian network owners are “very aware“ of the cyber threat. But he said there was no specific sectoral initiative to address the issue, rather companies participated in the broader national computer emergency response team (CERT) program.

Mr Fay said Senetas’ customer base had grown “exponentially“ in the past three or four years because of the growing risks to critical infrastructure and industrial control systems, which expanded the potential use of the company’s systems well beyond its traditional markets of governments, defence and financial institutions.

In Europe, the Vienna Networks energy distribution business, in addition to isolating its control systems from the internet, used Senetas’ high-assurance encryption systems to prevent anyone who physically intrudes into the network from introducing commands that could destroy or disrupt the system.

Mr Fay said Senetas had recently held discussions with a water supply company in Australia which was moving to install similar encryption security but that the energy network industry hadn’t yet gone down that path.

“The industry as a whole is very well aware of the threat, but I think they are struggling to understand what to do with it: partly it’s the daunting size of the challenge in my opinion,“ he said, pointing to the age of much of the network infrastructure. — By Angela Macdonald-Smith Australian Financial Review June 26, 2016

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AUSTRALIA: New closures bring coal figures down ► EUROPE: Common day-ahead for merged regions. ► AUSTRALIA: Green grass turns brown and the dams dry up .US: Make sure it has a local application ► INDIA: Punjab moves the solar goalposts. ► US: Casino lights glitter — dim everywhere else? ► CHINA: China’s solar power station in space. ► ENGLAND: Storms help power UK.JAPAN: Don't confuse Fukushima with a bomb! ► US: Coal gone in Oregan by 2040. ► AUSTRALIA: Hazelwood charged for smoke haze. ► AUSTRALIA: Solar plants to replace costly maintenace. ► SOUTH AFRICA: CSP project turn on in SA. ► JAPAN: Logitec breaks down before the starting blocks. ► US: Usage drops for 7th year in a row. ► US: High power. ► EUROPE: Where to from $5? Carbon betting ring thrashes around looking for an answer. ► CHINA: wind power going nowhere. ► US: Underpinning clean energy! .SCOTLAND: The last coal plant switches off its lights. ► JAPAN: Retail storm unleashed in Japan. ►
overseas stories

Baker & McKenzie has advised Neoen, a French renewable energy company, on securing a long-term debt financing package for the second stage (100MW) of its Hornsdale Wind Farm project near Jamestown in South Australia. Siemens will supply and erect 32 wind turbines, in addition to the first stage of the project, which also comprises 32 turbines and is well advanced through construction. For the second time in less than a year, Neoen has secured a long-term debt facility from KFW IPEX-Bank GmbH and Societe Generale. This financing package aligns the interests of the owners, the ACT Government, and Siemens. Baker & McKenzie advised Neoen on its initial acquisition of Hornsdale Wind Farm from Investec in 2014, and then again on the project development and financing of the first stage of project.

Dubai plans to build a 1000MW solar power plant by 2030, the year it aims to turn to renewable energies for 25% of electricity needs. The first stage of the concentrated solar power (CSP) plant aims to produce 200MW in April 2021, the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority said. "This project is going to be the biggest CSP plant worldwide," said DEWA chief Saeed al-Tayer.The power authority is looking for private companies to build and operate the plant and sell electricity to the public firm in charge of distribution. Dubai opened in October 2013 a 13MW plant while another is expected to be operational in April 2017 with a capacity of 200MWs. Unlike neighbouring oil-rich Abu Dhabi, Dubai has a dwindling reserve of crude and has diversified its economy toward trade, transport and tourism. — Yahoo News 3005/2016

PPL Electric Utilities on Wednesday (20/4/2016) completed the Northeast-Pocono Reliability Project, a $350m investment in new substations and power lines. Originally projected for completion in late 2017, the work was done more than a year early, however, while construction is complete, land restoration is expected to continue to the end of this year. The work included three new substations, nearly 60 miles of new 230-kilovolt power lines, and other improvements. Northeast-Pocono is the second major transmission project to be completed by PPL in the past year. The $648m Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line was completed in early May 2015. PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to more than 1.4m homes and businesses in Pennsylvania. With 2300 employees, PPL Electric Utilities is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation. PPL Electric.