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Natural Gas: The Power Source of the Future - Thomas Alley, Electric Power Research Institute


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Thomas Alley Jr., a speaker at the marcus evans Power Plant Management Summit 2012, on the growth of natural gas for power generation.
Interview with: Thomas Alley Jr., Vice President, Generation, Electric Power Research Institute

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Natural Gas: The Power Source of the Future - Thomas Alley, Electric Power Research Institute

  1. 1. Natural Gas:The Power Source of the Future How can power plant executives How can power plant managers prosper in the current environment? improve efficiency and optimize aging plants? Industry executives must focus on maintaining a high degree of reliability, By building new plants in which managing costs and being temperatures can reach 1400 degrees environmentally responsible. These Fahrenheit, efficiency can be increased. three objectives must stay in balance, However, we will not see these new or else customers become upset, the plants being built any time soon due to cost of electricity rises, and reliability the pressures on the economy and coal. suffers. With the existing fleet there certainly More specific to the generation aspect, are opportunities to improve heat rateInterview with: Thomas Alley Jr., the economy cannot be avoided. and most of those opportunities are inVice President, Generation, Electric Demand has been flat or declining. We the combustion process and throughPower Research Institute have also seen a mild winter. This puts advanced tuning, controls, monitoring pressure on revenues, and when that and sensors.“Natural gas is the talk of the town,” happens, maintenance practices oftensays Tom Alley, Vice President, are adjusted to accommodate economicGeneration, Electric Power Research concerns.Institute. With some EPA regulations setto go into effect in 2015, power plant What are the latest regulations andexecutives are moving in the directionof natural gas to replace coal plants, he mandates that will have an impact on the utility industry? Industryadds. The EPA standards and rules such as the executivesA speaker at the upcoming marcus new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule andevans Power Plant ManagementSummit 2012, in Wheeling, Illinois, Mercury and Air Toxic Standards are putting pressure on the old sub-critical must focus onOctober 15-17, Alley discussesmaintaining costs and plant reliability. fleet, making it difficult to justify capital expenditures. Smaller sub-critical coal maintainingWhat are the power sources of the plants may soon be closed, or re- powered with gas. a high degree offuture? The EPA regulations going into effect in reliability,The decisions that power plant 2015 will force utilities to make toughexecutives will make in the next fewyears will shape the fleet for the next 20 decisions regarding the viability of their assets. It will also be more attractive to managing costsor 30 years. The transition we arecurrently seeing is due to the economy, move in the direction of natural gas to replace coal plants. and beingregulation, and an abundance of naturalgas. The low limits of mercury required for environmentallyNatural gas is the talk of the town and a new units under the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards is 0.0002 lb/GWh, responsiblefew weeks ago prices fell to just under which will be very challenging to meettwo dollars MMBtu. The supply side of and at this point difficult to measure, sothe equation is generally agreed upon, even those rules make the nextbut the demand side is a concern if generations of fossil plants very difficulteverybody moves there. to plan.
  2. 2. About the Power Plant Management Summit 2012 The Energy Network - marcus evans Summits group delivers This unique forum will take place at the Westin Chicago North Shore, Wheeling, peer-to-peer information on Illinois, October 15-17, 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition strategic matters, professional or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought trends and breakthrough leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. innovations. The Summit includes presentations on moving towards optimization, supplying power in a reliable manner, and minimizing risks. Contact Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the Stacey Melvin, Journalist, marcus evans, Summits Division number of participants strictly limited. Tel: + 357 22 849 400 Email: For more information please send an email to All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced. Kindly inform us by sending an email to press@marcusevanscy.comAbout marcus evans Summitsmarcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discussstrategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity toindividually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings.For more information, please visit: www.marcusevans.comUpcoming EventsPower Generation APAC Summit - www.apacpowergen.comTransmission & Distribution Summit - www.t-dsummit.comWater & Wastewater Management Summit - www.h2osummit.comTo view the web version of this interview, please click here: