POWER-GEN International 2016: The Power to Change

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By Russell Ray, Chairman, POWER-GEN International

The greatest minds in power generation gather once a year for the world’s largest forum for power professionals. It’s called POWER-GEN International, where experts throughout the world have been meeting for 28 years to discuss the mechanics, chemistry, operation, and regulation of power generation.

More than 21,000 industry professionals from around the world will gather for POWER-GEN International 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. During the three-day event, the most innovative and cost-effective solutions for maintaining, operating, and building new power generation will be shared with attendees.

More than 1,400 exhibiting companies from every sector of the industry will be showcasing their products and services on the exhibit floor. The exhibition opens at 11:30 a.m. today following the keynote session.

POWER-GEN International offers a wealth of networking opportunities with leading professionals and key decision makers. More than 200 speakers will share their thoughts on trends, technology, and project development in 43 conference sessions. A wide range of topics, from data analytics to gas turbine design, will be discussed by high-ranking regulators, developers, power producers, and industry representatives.

Tuesday’s keynote session will feature four high-ranking executives, including Alex Glenn, president of Duke Energy Florida; Rick Halil, senior vice president and general manager of Energy at Burns & McDonnell; Willi Meixner, chief executive officer of the Power & Gas Division at Siemens AG; and Anthony Wilson, chairman, president, and CEO of Mississippi Power.

POWER-GEN also includes four co-located events: Nuclear Power International 2016; COAL-GEN 2016; Renewable Energy World International 2016; and the GenForum. That’s five conferences and four exhibitions under one roof. Altogether, more than 300 speakers will be featured in nearly 80 conference sessions during the week.

At POWER-GEN, 36 conference sessions will be held under eight tracks: Emissions Control; On-Site Power; Plant Performance; Gas Turbine Technologies; Energy Storage; Industry Trends/Competitive Power Generation; The Digital Power Plant; and Power Project Financing.

“This year, we see a lot of papers on inlet conditioning,” said Bonnie Marini, director of Power Plant Product Line Management at Siemens Energy and co-chair of the Gas Turbine Technologies track at POWER-GEN. “We’re really expanding the scope of the track and covering a lot of different topics addressing changes in the market.”

Here’s a sample of some of the sessions that will be offered: “Energy Storage Trends and Case Studies;” ELG Compliance Strategies, Options and Technologies;” “Small and Medium Gas Turbines;” “Applications in Combined Cycle; “Advancements in O&M Practices;” “Latest Combined Cycle Designs;” “Making CHP Work for You;” “Boiler Operation & Performance;” Risk Management in Modern Project Financing;” and “Data Analytics and the Plant of Tomorrow.”

Six mega-sessions are also scheduled. “Large Frame Gas Turbines,” “The Digital Power Plant is Disrupting Traditional Power Generation. What is it and Where is it Going,” “Operating Generation Assets in the New Variable Renewable World,” “Coal-Hybrid Power for Resilient Generation,” “On-Site Power Trends,” and “Power Project Financing.”

POWER-GEN International is the largest gathering of power professionals in the world. Attendees will see or hear about new technologies that promise to change the way the industry generates power. Several sessions will center on the promise of energy storage, an emerging market driven by new mandates and demands for cleaner energy.

“We’re going to be talking about case studies around what people have done, what did they learn, and what was the value?” said Raj Chudgar, president of Viridity Energy and co-chair of the Energy Storage track at POWER-GEN. “We’re going to have a session around financing and policymaking. The two big issues around energy storage are how much does it cost and how do I actually operate under the parameters of the regulatory bodies. We’re going to have a whole session around different technologies and uses. All energy storage is not the same. It’s key for us to provide this breadth and depth of orientation”

Here are some of the things you can learn at POWER-GEN this year:

  • Why Reciprocating engines are becoming increasingly popular for utility-scale power projects.
  • How more sensors and new analytics software are going to help power plants reduce costs, increase sales and boost efficiency.
  • How heavy-duty gas turbines, in combined cycle mode, are going to achieve 65 percent fuel efficiency, up from 61 percent today.
  • Advancements in energy storage technologies and how close they are to commercial viability.
  • The benefits and drawbacks of hybrid power pants.
  • Clean Power Plan compliance challenges and the likely or unlikely scenarios surrounding this controversial rule.

Several sessions at POWER-GEN will be devoted to the industry’s transition to power fueled with natural gas and renewable resources. In 2015, renewable resources accounted for almost two-thirds of new generation placed into service in the U.S. This trend will continue, which means gas-fired plants must be faster and more flexible to effectively offset the inherent fluctuations of renewable power.

In addition to speed and flexibility, POWER-GEN speakers will be exploring new methods and strategies for maximizing net fuel efficiency. Air quality control system upgrades for existing coal-fired plants and operation and maintenance practices for nuclear plants will continue to be chief staples of our conference program in 2016. What’s more, we will be taking a closer look at the technologies driving the digital transformation of power generation.

We’re glad you’re in Orlando!

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