Extell, Starwood alums seek $500M for “contrarian” investing

first_imgShare via Shortlink TagsExtell DevelopmentStarwood Capital Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Lanhee Yung and Sush Torgalkar (Photos via Cornell; Getty)Two former executives at Starwood Capital Group and Extell Development are starting a fund to capitalize on undervalued properties in and around New York City.Sush Torgalkar, who until August was CEO at Extell Development, and Lanhee Yung, who was previously head of fundraising and investor relations at Starwood, hope to raise $500 million for their first fund under the auspices of Sage Hall Partners, the New York-based firm the two founded, Bloomberg News reported.Read moreTorgalkar out as CEO of Extell: sourcesMeet the new CEO of Extell DevelopmentInvestors bank on urban real estate comeback The fund will focus on hotel, industrial, office, retail and residential properties in the greater New York area, including Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey and Southern Connecticut. The pair hope to debut the fund in early 2021.In an interview with Bloomberg, Torgalkar said that the move was “contrarian,” but added that lower valuations would present an opportunity to buy. “I have a hard time believing that this pandemic is going to kill the dream of people wanting to move to New York City,” Torgalkar said.Torgalkar and his partner Yung met at Cornell University, where one of the buildings is named Sage Hall. In August, Torgalkar, who has a reputation for his connections to institutional investors, ended his two-year stint as Extell Development’s CEO. Extell Chairman Gary Barnett told The Real Deal in August that he will serve as a “potential investor and advisor” at Torgalkar’s new firm.Other firms are eyeing opportunities as the pandemic wears on, too. In September, Blackstone Group closed its biggest real estate debt fund ever, raising $8 billion in the span of one year. The fund will make new loans, buy real estate debt securities and make other investments. The asset management arm of JPMorgan Chase is looking to raise $700 million to develop single-family and multifamily rentals in Sun Belt states.[Bloomberg News] — Georgia Kromrei last_img read more

Journey to the Savage Planet and an adventure in optimism

first_imgJourney to the Savage Planet and an adventure in optimismTyphoon Studios co-founders Alex Hutchinson and Reid Schneider describe the vision for their indie game, and how it will stand alongside AAA titles Rebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterSaturday 8th December 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareLast night at The Game Awards pre-show, Typhoon Studios co-founder Alex Hutchinson was the embodiment of optimism.He appeared alongside host Geoff Keighley after showing a teaser trailer for Typhoon’s upcoming adventure game, Journey to the Savage Planet. The trailer was scant on gameplay details but heavy with wacky sci-fi vibes and a sense of eager, naive adventure. According to both Hutchinson and fellow co-founder Reid Schneider, those feelings alone are how they want the game to be perceived for the time being. “We’re trying to make a more personal game,” Hutchinson said. “We’re a studio of 23-25 people, and we’re trying to make sure that we all have our hands in the content as much as possible and that it really is a strong and unique flavor that you wouldn’t get from one of the big studios. It’s a pulpy, sort of hopeful science-fiction adventure game where we send players to their own little bespoke planet where they get to explore, survive, catalog the flora and fauna that are there, and hopefully uncover all the secrets and mystery of this strange new world.”Journey to the Savage Planet looks to be another in a small but growing niche of games straddling the line between AAA and tinier indie studios. These games usually come with mid-sized budgets, aim for higher production values, and attempt to carefully restrain their scopes.Hutchinson, Schneider, and many other members of the team at Typhoon Studios are coming to this smaller adventure with years of AAA experience, which both co-founders said has necessitated shifts in mindsets as they begin work on their game.”There’s always a fantasy that when you start something, you get a blank piece of paper and infinite money and the first project you’ll launch is your dream project,” Hutchinson said. “Everything we’re doing, we’re excited to do, but we’re still constrained by reality in many respects.”Reid Schneider”When we started the studio, there were a lot of things we had to think about differently from how you’d think about them in a AAA,” Schneider continued. “For example, when you have these large AAA studios, by nature of the fact that you’ve got hundreds of people working on them, you end up with this hyper-specialization. ‘What do you do?’ ‘I make the grass,’ or ‘This guy makes the trees.’ But we really need people who think of everything in more of a general and holistic sense.”It’s no longer about one guy who does trees and one guy who does grass. If we have an artist, they could be doing concept, models, textures, everything from start to finish. That takes a special type of person. It’s easy when you’re in a larger company to say, ‘This is the thing I do, I do it super well, and everything else is scary and there are dragons there.’ But the people who we’re excited about are the people who want to get back to having their hands dirty in all parts of the production.””Hiring well” was a topic that came up multiple times during our interview, with Hutchinson saying it was the most important aspect of striking out on their own as a new indie studio. And it appears that at least in terms of experience, they have hired well. The vast majority of Typhoon’s employees joined the studio from places such as Warner Bros, Ubisoft, and EA – unsurprising choices given Hutchinson’s former role as creative director at Ubisoft and Schneider’s work as executive producer at both WB Montreal and EA.”Everything we’re doing, we’re excited to do, but we’re still constrained by reality in many respects” Alex Hutchinson”Both Reid and I have been doing this around 15-20 years,” Hutchinson said. “If you’d asked me when I started what I imagined game development to be, it would’ve been a version of, ‘A bunch of people with different abilities getting together in a room and talking about a game, then trying to make it.’ It was a very naive way to look at it, because as Reid said, you end up realizing all the different job roles that you need. But this is the first time where I feel like we’re living that naive fantasy of everyone in one room, and everyone saying, ‘What can I do today to make the game better?'”That means people reach beyond their comfort zone sometimes, learn new skills. Reid does HR, I’m writing the script and working on marketing materials, and it’s fun. It really is just trying to find the best use of your time to make the best games.””My Microsoft Excel skills have gone through the fucking roof,” Schneider added. “This was never my goal. But it’s whatever has to get done. All the money we bring in, whether it’s from investors or our publisher 505 [“or ourselves,” Hutchinson added], it all goes to the game. We run light. We have no admin.””Everyone is actually making the game,” Hutchinson concluded.While the team’s job descriptions have gotten broader in the move to an indie studio, the game itself they’re making has gotten more specific than the team is used to. For Hutchinson and Schneider, that means getting rid of a lot of “extra” features that AAA games seem to always have that are not important to Journey to the Savage Planet, in order to focus on making what’s actually there high-quality.”The AAA experience is both broad in tone and broad in content,” Hutchinson said. “AAA by definition is going to be relatively contemporary, relatively grounded, relatively believable, because you need to be to capture a big audience. As soon as we go hyper-genre, we’re carving out a unique space where we’re not going to compete one-to-one against any of these huge games that have a bigger budget and team. We’re sci-fi, we’re very much more in the fiction side of science fiction, we’re optimistic, we’re upbeat, we like the idea that we can leave reality behind to allow us a gameplay space that’s fresh and fun, whereas if I’d been at an Ubisoft or an EA a lot of time they want it more grounded.”I think we can still offer roughly the same level of quality as segments of that game – we’re not going to be doing a PvP experience at all, which means that whole chunk of development is something we don’t have to spend money on, so our small team is punching above its weight…Or in terms of story, we don’t want to tell a big linear story, so that means we can cut our cinematics budget down massively, and the amount of script required is much less.”Alex Hutchinson”It also means that we can really invest in gameplay systems that are going to give the player more bang for the buck and are just more fun,” Schneider added. “The Uncharteds of the world, those are awesome games. But it makes zero sense for a small, independent company to say, ‘Let’s go beat that.’ What we really need to think about is how to make something that’s fun, unique, and interesting. Hellblade is a great example of that.””It’s focused,” Hutchinson concluded. “It’s a much shorter experience than a AAA, but second-for-second, it could sit alongside them.”Now untethered from AAA studios, Hutchinson has spoken in the past about the struggle to market an indie and get the word out to the right people. The Game Awards announcement was one way the studio is trying to make a big splash on entry into the industry, but finding a good publisher was another one. The two told me that in looking for a publisher, the most important thing to the team was keeping ownership of their IP, and the studio was fortunate enough to have multiple offers before it came to an agreement with 505 Games.”The worst possible version of the future would be to leave the financial stability of a big studio, start your own project, and then end up in a low-paid version of your old job where you didn’t actually own the things you were making,” Hutchinson said. “It’s important for us that if we’re going to take all this risk then the potential to create something that was special to us and eventually special to an audience was something we could retain control over.””The worst possible version of the future would be to leave the financial stability of a big studio…and then end up in a low-paid version of your old job where you didn’t actually own the things you were making” Alex HutchinsonJourney to the Savage Planet’s trailer at The Game Awards didn’t show any gameplay, and the game is slated for release in 2019. Hutchinson and Schneider feel they are currently on schedule, and said they were focused on getting the game to an alpha build as soon as possible.”Our bet was that if we could hit an alpha as early as possible, this is what would give us an ability to take a holistic look at the game and say, ‘What’s good and what’s crap?'” Schneider said. “Generally, nothing is really great on the first shot and it just requires iteration.””Because everyone is hopeful and optimistic, you tend to overpack your schedule,” Hutchinson agreed. “And no one likes to cut things because they think it’s going to lower quality, so you tend to run up really hard against your alpha date, and if that alpha date is right at the end of your project without much wiggle room, you lose your chance to edit intelligently, you lose your chance to polish, and sometimes you end up with things that are screamingly obvious after release that you could have fixed with even a couple of weeks, that you just didn’t have enough time to get to.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Though it clearly has some downsides, the hope and optimism at Typhoon was another topic that came up repeatedly in our conversation. Hutchinson and Schneider told me that this optimism is pervasive throughout their development team, and is a key feeling they want to get across in their game both to make it stand out, and because they themselves value it as creators.”It’s not retro at all, but Journey to the Savage Planet has this tone of sort of early science-fiction of hopefulness, that you should journey beyond earth for adventure and because it’s humankind’s mission to grow and explore and all these nice feelings, and not escaping a nuclear winter or disaster,” Hutchinson said.”I miss the blue skies of the Sega games of my youth, where you’d boot up your Genesis or Mega Drive and it would always be that cerulean blue that would kick in, whether it was Sonic or whatever of those games. They always felt positive and happy and warm. I’m sick of the greys and browns and negativity, so I felt if we were going to make something new, let’s be a voice for good.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 11 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 14 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Mid-Sized New Generation: Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines or Combustion Turbine?

first_imgGasOn-Site PowerReciprocating Engines Mid-Sized New Generation: Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines or Combustion Turbine? Peaking GenerationFor peaking applications, both RICE and CT can be viable options. Most of the literature advocates RICE for its fast start capabilities and broader load range as a better match to changing grid needs. Reciprocating engine facilities can reach full load within 3-5 minutes, and depending on the number of units, can operate from 10-100% of total plant load, or even lower. As stated above, they do not decrease in efficiency at reduced load operation, and can withstand many load changes and starts and stops without penalizing maintenance costs. When evaluating the cost implications of these attributes (reduced fuel and maintenance costs), RICE may very well be superior. However, CTs can still be an attractive option for peaking applications depending on the specific conditions. For example, many regional organizations have excellent peak prediction tools. This information allows operators to make informed decisions regarding start-up and run time for their CT plants, reducing concerns about response time and cycling operation, as they can choose to respond only to longer duration peaks. Frequency Stabilization and Renewable SupportDifferent from peaking applications, the use of generating facilities for frequency stabilization requires fast response. This is most often needed to support the grid as a result of the increased use of renewable generation, due to the non-synchronous generation of wind and solar power. Wind and solar may account for 20% of installed power capacity by 2035, but only contributes about 2% of firm capacity that can be relied on to generate at any given time. Other factors that can lead to grid instability include fast variations in consumption, errors in forecasting, and unexpected disturbances in capacity or loads. As a RICE facility can ramp quickly, it is the rational choice if this is the goal of the facility. Reliability and Resiliency Recent natural and man-made disasters have placed reliability and resiliency of our electric power supply at the forefront of national discussion. Both RICE and CT facilities are highly reliable, with up to 98% availability with proper maintenance; this equipment can be counted on to operate when called upon. However, RICE does have some advantages in this area. For our 50-MW plant, a single CT would be employed, as that would be the most economical installation. Since there is only a single unit, versus multiple RICE, the RICE installation has inherent redundancy that the CT could not match. In the event one engine was out of service, the remainder could still produce power. In the unlikely event emergency power was required during a turbine rebuild/replacement, there would be no option for generation. Additionally, RICE facilities can be used for black-start support, as they can be started without auxiliary power. Combustion turbines require auxiliary power to start system components. By Melanie J. Schmeida, P.E. Facebook BackgroundInexpensive shale gas has resulted in an increased interest in natural gas-fired power generation in many parts of the nation. The profusion of this new generation, its implications on the utility and distributed generation markets, and project viability are topics of many publications. For the purposes of this paper, it is sufficient to say new natural gas-fired electricity generation is attractive for an owner in the Midwest, and evaluation of their needs indicates approximately 50-MW electric generating capacity is the appropriate size. Additionally, the purpose of the facility is electric generation only; no thermal energy in the form of steam or hot water is being considered.For all generating facilities, the best-fit technology needs to be evaluated carefully. Developers and owners are making large investments, and need to consider many factors to ensure appropriate returns on that investment. However, conventional wisdom would dictate that a “small” natural gas-fired generating facility is best served by reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE), as it would be expected to operate intermittently, and that a “large” generating facility is best served by a combined cycle system(s) as it would be expected to operate nearly continuously. But what about this 50-MW facility, which is “mid-sized”? What is the appropriate technology for this installation? When this study was first contemplated, the primary technology options were intended to be RICE, a simple cycle combustion turbine (CT), and a combined cycle system. However, we quickly determined that the combined cycle arrangement was not going to be cost effective. It is conceivable that a combined cycle plant might be the right choice for a mid-sized facility if the thermal energy can be used and/or the facility will run continuously, but with our premise that the thermal energy has no value beyond additional electric generating capacity, the payback for the additional capital expense was not reasonable. Therefore, this article focuses on a comparison between RICE and simple cycle CT for this application, contemplating the major questions of:How much should it cost?How will it be used?Where will it be located?How much will it actually cost?It is also worth noting that, while this study utilizes a specific example site, the items evaluated can be applied to any project. Linkedin 1.1.2018 For any new natural gas-fired power generation project, a developer or owner must wrestle with the question “what is the right technology?”. For very small projects, the answer often defaults to reciprocating engines. For very large projects, it is combustion turbines in a combined cycle configuration. But for the facilities in between, the right answer is not always so clear. This article compares reciprocating engines to simple cycle combustion turbines for a nominal 50 MW gas-fired plant in the Midwest, connected to the electric grid. It evaluates capital costs, operating costs, reliability, operational flexibility, system responsiveness to dispatch requirements, and site considerations. TAGSPE Volume 122 Issue 1SCE Vietnam: scaling back coal-fired plans toward gas, renewables RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleEnabling Large-Scale Renewables in the Western U.S.Next articleICS Cybersecurity and the Devil’s Rope chloecox By chloecox – EmissionsBoth technologies are efficient combustors and have low resulting emissions, and both can be outfitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems for NOx and CO control. This is an area where the fast start and response time of RICE can be a detriment, as the emissions control equipment does not respond as quickly. During start-up or fast ramping, emissions levels may fluctuate, causing temporary spikes. Average emissions limits are not likely to be a concern in most parts of the U.S., however, permits need to be reviewed carefully for instantaneous or peak allowable emissions levels. Restrictions on instantaneous levels may restrict operational flexibility, resulting in loss of function that impacts the project pro forma. Water AvailabilityAs noted above, for high ambient temperature installations, CTs will often be outfitted with an inlet air cooler, which will require high purity water. Some CT models also require water injection for cooling and emissions controls. If water scarcity, or the cost of demineralized water, is a concern at a site, the resulting operating costs may favor RICE. Reciprocating engines require an external cooling circuit, but typically utilize a closed-loop system with minimal make-up water needs.Future ExpansionBoth CT and RICE equipment can be supplied as modular units, which can reduce installation costs by shifting labor from the field to the shop. Additional units can be added on site as a path to expand generation capacity in the future. Due to the smaller size of the RICE units, it is far more practical to incrementally expand capacity by adding one engine at a time than it is for CT. If incremental expansion is a possibility for a facility, RICE will permit that expansion, whereas additional CTs will result in major step changes.Unique Site ConsiderationsThe list of potential site considerations is nearly inexhaustible. There are many unique features to any location that could impact cost and/or technology selection. In many cases, the outcome will be the same regardless of the technology selected, but consideration is still warranted. Some items to evaluate include:Does the site share utilities with other facilities? What is the impact of installing new generation capacity on these utilities. For example, will the natural gas consumption restrict capacity or impact pressure for the other users? Will a substation connection or upgrade impact operations? For a re-development site, are there opportunities to re-use existing infrastructure, such as electrical distribution equipment, water or compressed air systems, buildings, etc. to reduce capital costs?Is there the potential for unknown subsurface conditions, contaminated soil, hazardous materials, or other similar brownfield issues? In cases like these, the smaller footprint of the CT could result in significant savings over the RICE.Air permit considerations were noted above, but are there other permitting concerns that could impact the installation? Siting and connection permits can be just as challenging as air permits.Does the owner or community have aesthetic concerns or preferences to incorporate? Does the installation need to consider future development in the area?Example FacilityHow do the criteria above play out for our 50-MW example facility in the Midwest?How Much Should It Cost?As noted in the background, new natural gas-fired electricity generation is attractive for an owner, who intends to generate electricity only; no thermal energy use is being considered. The rough pro forma indicated a breakeven EPC cost of $1100/kW, dependent on the actual estimated O&M expenses. This alone leaves either RICE or CT squarely in contention. How Will It Be Used?Like most installations, the facility is intended to address many needs. Its primary purpose is peak shaving, where the owner feels they can save their customers money by avoiding utility peak rates. It is also viewed as a resiliency addition, as many customers in the area are served by a single utility feed; if the primary line goes out this generation can serve as back-up for those users. Also, if electricity prices increase in future PJM capacity auctions, this operator may choose to sell into the open market and take further advantage of their investment. Again, this blend of needs leaves RICE and CT both as viable options, although many would argue that RICE would be the better option for a peaking application as well as for redundancy.Where Will It Be Located?The site is an existing electric generating facility that has been decommissioned, but the building and some equipment remains. Figure 3 below shows an edited aerial view of the example site. Some of the typical site considerations discussed above do not heavily influence the technology selection for this site. The location is in the Midwest, so altitude or extreme ambient temperature effects are generally negligible. There is an existing gas line to the property at approximately 150-psig operating pressure. Therefore, a gas compressor will be required for CT, which will be accounted for in the EPC and O&M cost estimates; the owner has no concern with installing or operating the compressors. Water is available, and in fact an existing demineralized water system is still functional. There are no specific permitting concerns for either technology. Again, clear drivers towards one technology or the other have not presented themselves, although the added expense of the gas compression may slightly favor RICE. Facebook Venture Global LNG adds Zachry to EPC team for Gulf export terminal construction Capacity SalesSome facilities exist for electricity sales to wholesale capacity markets. In this case, either technology is well-suited for the application. Both technologies are completely dispatchable, so they can be utilized when the price of electricity is advantageous for them to do so or when called upon by a grid operator. However, some operators attempt to capture very short-term price spikes, in which case RICE may have an advantage due to its faster response time.Where Will It Be Located?Every site is unique, and specific site attributes can have a major impact on the financial viability of a project in general, and on the selection of the appropriate technology. In many cases, these will override the well-established rules discussed above. FootprintAs illustrated in Table 1, CT systems utilize approximately one-third to one-quarter of the area needed for equivalent RICE generation. Additionally, CTs are relatively lighter weight and do not require substantial support foundations, resulting in less site work overall. This difference in footprint is accounted for in the installation cost of the project, including the typical EPC costs referenced in this paper. However, beyond the common installation costs, this difference in footprint can result in additional costs to the project. For a brownfield site, this may mean additional demolition or remediation services are required. Or for a landlocked area, the expense to purchase additional land could make selection of RICE prohibitively expensive. Ambient ConditionsReciprocating engine performance is impacted very little by changes to the incoming air conditions, therefore air pressure reductions at high altitude (up to 3,000-ft above sea level or more) and large ambient temperature ranges (up to 100 °F) do not significantly affect operations. Conversely, CT performance may degrade as much as 10-15% from ISO conditions for the same range due to incoming air properties. High altitude installations need to adjust heat rate/efficiencies in their performance model to properly represent the expected output. To combat the degraded performance for CT at high air temperatures, an inlet air cooler is often installed. This results in improved efficiency of the CT, but requires additional capital expenditure, and operating expense in the form of water usage. Either technology can be effectively utilized, but RICE has the advantage of maintaining base performance.Natural Gas PressureCombustion turbines require much higher inlet gas pressure than RICE, 300-600 psig vs 75-150 psig. If the site has access to a high pressure natural gas line, this may not be of much concern. However, most owners do not have such luxury, and therefore will need to install gas compressors for a CT installation. These compressors are noteworthy pieces of equipment in their own right, with significant capital and O&M expenditures required.NoiseBoth technologies will generate far-field noise when in operation, so proximity to receptors will be a concern regardless of selection. Typically, specifically engineered sound enclosures and/or buildings will be sufficient; however, RICE tend to generate higher frequency noise that is more difficult to control than the lower frequencies produced by CTs. If the site is in an area with sensitive receptors, additional sound mitigation measures may be required, resulting in increased capital costs for the RICE. Mississippi Power cutting stakes in coal-fired, gas-fired stations to reduce excess MW, emissions At this point, the paths start to diverge. The site is large, and has ample clear space. As shown in Figures 4 and 5 below, it appears that the footprint for CT or RICE can be accommodated.What’s not clear upon first glance are the unique site considerations. As seen in Figure 3, there are currently residences across the street from this facility, and there are plans to modify the same area as a recreational/entertainment district in the future. Therefore, the community has strong preferences to maintain the vintage appearance of the old boiler house, and keep any new equipment out of view from the road. They are also dictating noise restrictions at the road. These restrictions rule out the RICE A arrangement without erecting a barrier wall or upgraded building walls to create an aesthetically pleasing façade and provide additional sound attenuation. This is an old site, that has had equipment added and removed over its lifetime. The potential to encounter unknown subsurface utilities and structures is high, so a smaller footprint presents less risk. Specifically, regarding the RICE B arrangement, in the half of the clear area near the neighboring building, there are groundwater remediation and monitoring wells for a nearby site. Obtaining approval and relocating these wells to accommodate the RICE B arrangement would be a costly endeavor.“For a mid-sized generating facility, about 50 MW, either RICE or CT technology, can be the right choice depending on the specific attributes of the project.”In addition to the demineralized water system already mentioned, the existing stack shown is in good condition for re-use, as is the compressed air system, and some electrical distribution gear. The differentiator is the stack; the single CT could possibly utilize the stack, whereas multiple RICE cannot. The owners of the proposed generation facility also prefer to leave space for additional capacity. There is space for another CT unit, but increasing the size of the RICE facility would only exacerbate the aesthetic, noise, and subsurface situations.How Much Will It Actually Cost?Typical EPC and O&M costs were presented at the beginning of this paper. While average numbers are good to use for screening purposes, as shown in Figures 1 and 2, the actual figures can vary widely. EPC costs for RICE varied from $700/kW to $1700/kW, and from $400/kW to $1100/kW for CT. Non-fuel O&M costs varied from $0.007/kWh to $0.025/kWh for RICE and $0.004/kWh to $0.015/kWh for CT. Based on the factors presented here regarding facility use and location, the reader can gain appreciation for why that variation exists. For our example project, the system’s essential purpose and expected usage would tend to favor RICE. In a vacuum, that’s likely what the owner would choose to deploy. But footprint, noise, future expansion, and other unique site considerations favor CT. Fortunately, the financial implications of those site factors could be evaluated to select the technology best suited for the project overall. The EPC cost for the CT installation is approximately $850/kW and the cost for the RICE installation is approximately $1250/kW. In this case, the financial models showed that CT was the preferred choice. Over the lifecycle of the facility, the additional capital associated with site modifications for the RICE installation was costlier than the lower efficiency and O&M penalties associated with less than ideal operation of the CT. The owner evaluated changing the plant size to see if the financial model would favor RICE at another output. As the facility decreased in size, the differential did close. However, concerns then arose regarding the ability to meet peak load requirements. As the facility increased in size up to approximately 100MW, the preferred technology remained CT. ConclusionFor a mid-sized generating facility, approximately 50-MW, either RICE or CT technology can be the “right” choice depending on the specific attributes of the project. Conventional wisdom exists for a reason, and often points to the best fit solution. However, like our example facility, care needs to be taken to account for many competing factors before making a final selection, some of which have been discussed in this paper, and others that may be completely unique to an owner/developer or to a specific site. With proper diligence, the proper selection emerges. Linkedin No posts to display Twitter Melanie Schmeida is Client Service Leader at Louis Perry Group, a CDM Smith Company. How Much Should It Cost?As a starting point in the evaluation, typical engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) costs for the technologies were evaluated to establish viability. Property costs were excluded, as the site was already owned, as were permitting and other owner costs since those would be similar regardless of the technology selected. Based on a sampling of published cost information, average EPC costs for RICE technology is approximately $1100/kW, and $800/kW for CT. The sample selected was based on installations in the 20-100MW size range, where such delineation was possible, and data points that appeared to be outliers were discounted.Similarly, typical O&M costs were evaluated for the two technologies. Fuel costs, which represent the largest portion of overall operating costs, were excluded, as differences in those costs can be accounted for in the differing efficiencies of the equipment. Apples-to-apples data comparison for these costs proved more difficult, since the data can be represented in a variety of ways. The non-fuel O&M costs in Figure 2 address both fixed and variable costs for a typical installation. For the most comparable data, over the expected unit life, the average annual O&M cost for RICE was approximately $0.016/kWh and $0.007/kWh for CT.Operating and maintenance costs for RICE include maintenance labor, engine parts and materials such as oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, gaskets, valves, piston rings, and electronic components, and consumables. The recommended service includes inspections/adjustments and periodic replacement of engine oil and filters, coolant, and spark plugs every 500 to 2,000 hours. A top-end overhaul is recommended between 8,000 and 30,000 operating hours, which includes a cylinder head and turbocharger rebuild, and a major overhaul is performed after 30,000 to 72,000 operating hours, which involves piston/liner replacement, crankshaft inspection, bearings, and seals. For CTs, the maintenance requirements are less than RICE, and include labor for routine inspections and procedures, and major overhauls. Generally, routine inspections are required every 4,000 operating hours to ensure that the turbine vibration is within tolerance. A gas turbine overhaul is needed every 50,000 to 60,000 operating hours, which includes a complete inspection and rebuild of components to restore the gas turbine to nearly original performance. Note that operating hours for CTs are not directly comparable to RICE operating hours, as virtual hours are added to CTs for starts/stops and excessive load changes.As shown, typical installed and non-fuel O&M costs are lower for CTs than RICE. The potential advantage of a RICE facility comes into play when operating characteristics and usage considerations are evaluated. Since maintenance costs for RICE installations do not increase with cycling and multiple starts and stops of the equipment, effective O&M costs begin to levelize between the technologies when employed in facilities that will experience this type of operation. How Will It Be Used?As engineers, we often seek an optimized solution, a “best fit”. With this mindset, the intended purpose of the generating facility can often drive the technology selection, since the technical characteristics of the equipment inherently lend themselves to different applications. However, careful consideration is still needed, and final selections are, of course, still rooted in economics. These technologies can be used for a variety of purposes in generating facilities, such as peaking generation, frequency stabilization and renewable generation support, to address reliability and resiliency concerns, and for capacity sales. As part of the comparison for these uses, some of the key differing technical features are shown in Table 1 below.RICE heat rates are lower and efficiencies higher than CT, which results in lower fuel costs for the same output. Since fuel is the single largest operating expense for a generating facility, this is an important factor. Additionally, RICE efficiency remains steady throughout the load range, whereas CT efficiency decreases at reduced loads. The load range is broader for RICE than CT, both for a single unit, as well as for the total facility due to multiple smaller machines instead of one larger machine.“For CTs, the maintenance requirements are less than RICE, and include labor for routine inspections and procedures, and major overhauls.”Reciprocating engines are also able to start-up and reach full load capacity more quickly, and can withstand dramatic changes in load and many starts and stops with minimal impacts to the equipment and maintenance cycles. The ramp rate, both up and down, is substantially higher for RICE than for CT. Although CTs can be cycled, excessive load changes and starts and stops effectively adds operating hours, dramatically increasing maintenance costs. Based on these characteristics, either RICE or CT appears to be the better fit for certain operational scenarios. When the hours of operation and load range are closer to intermediate load than to a high-cycling type of operation, the lower capital and O&M costs for the CT typically result in a higher return on investment, despite the lower efficiency. When the load profile is more volatile, the lower fuel and O&M costs for the RICE typically results in a higher return on investment, despite the higher installed cost. Twitterlast_img read more

Stagecoach staff with a combined 455 years of service are honoured

first_imgStagecoach West has celebrated its longest serving staff members and recent retirees at an awards ceremony held on 21 October.With a total of 455 years service between them, 15 recipients were honoured for their commitment to Stagecoach West and the service they provide for the community.Clive Norman (pictured left) and Phil Toumine (pictured right) were among the staff honoured at the event.Phil joined Bristol Omnibus in 1965 as an apprentice mechanic and has been the Storekeeper in Cheltenham since 19070.Clive has achieved 55 years of services after joining Bristol Omnibus as a conductor at the age of 19. He joined the schedules team in 1971 and he has remained as a scheduler ever since.Operations Director, Rachel Geliamassi, says: “Of all the staff recognition events we hold at Stagecoach West, this is one of the highlights of the year.“Being in a room with the people, for whom Stagecoach has been such an enormous part of their lives, is very special.”last_img read more

Twiddle Covers ‘On The Road Again’, Jams With The Werks On Tour Opener

first_imgFresh off of extensive summer festival tours, The Werks and Twiddle kicked off their joint TWERK Tour this past Thursday, October 8th at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The two groups are riding a wave of success that is rightfully earned, as each continues to bring energetic performances on a nightly basis.The Werks started off the night strong with some interstellar jams. Along with plenty of their originals, the group opened their show with Frank Zappa’s “Peaches en Regalia” and later went on to deliver an awe inspiring version of the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”. The intimate venue made for a great experience and amazing sound quality as The Werks created a manically funky dance party. Their set was nothing less than intense coming to a thunderous end as they closed up the hour and half set with a crowd favorite, “OG”.Twiddle hit the stage after a brief break and instantly showed the whole crowd why they are one of the fastest growing bands out there. They showed their excitement to start the tour by starting their set with a cover of Willie Nelson’s classic “On The Road Again”. Twiddle’s blend of styles and genres fit seamlessly together to create quite a party amongst their fans.One of the highlights of the set included an extended jam of “Polluted Beauty” into “Subconscious Prelude”, which went right back into “Polluted Beauty”. The band showed their talent in weaving together songs. Towards the end of their set the group even paid homage to Celine Dion by playing the classic “My Heart Will Go On” before heading straight into “Jamflowman”.Twiddle then came out for an encore, joined by Chris Houser and Dan Shaw of The Werks. The encore started off with “Hatti’s Jam” and shifted into “When It Rains It Poors, sending the crowd out satisfied and full of smiles. If this first show is any indication of what is to come from these two bands throughout the tour, then this is one show you really don’t want to miss!Setlist: The Werks at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ – 10/8/15Peaches en Regalia (Frank Zappa Cover), The Answer, Guido> Psycho Killer* (Talking Heads Cover)>Waiting Room, Cruel Stone Blues, Plain White Toast, OG*Where It’s At teaseSetlist: Twiddle at Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ – 10/8/15On the Road Again (Willie Nelson Cover), Grandpa Fox, Every Soul, Dr. Remidi’s Melodium, Hein Hod’s Hoddle, Polluted Beauty> Subconscious Prelude> Polluted Beauty, My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion Cover)> JamflowmanE: Hatti’s Jam> When it Rains it Poors** W/ Chris Houser + Dan Shaw of The WerksTwiddle and The Werks ‘TWERK TOUR’ Dates:10/8    Asbury Park, NJ    Stone Pony10/9    Philadelphia, PA    TLA10/10    Baltimore, MD    Ram’s Head Live10/11    Richmond, VA    The Broadberry10/12    Asheville, NC    New Mountain Asheville10/13    Chattanooga, TN    Revelry Room10/14    Athens, GA    Georgia Theatre10/15    Birmingham, AL    WorkPlay10/16    New Orleans, LA    The Parish at House of Blues10/22    Dallas, TX    Trees10/23    Rockdale, TX    Art Outside10/24    Houston, TX    Warehouse Live10/27    Columbia, MO    Rose Music Hall10/28    St. Louis, MO    Old Rock House10/29    Urbana, IL    The Canopy Club10/30    Grand Rapids, MI    The Stache10/31    Chicago, IL    Bottom Lounge11/1    Chicago, IL    Chop Shop11/3    Iowa City, IA    Blue Moose Tap House11/4    Omaha, NE    Waiting Room11/5    Kansas City, MO    The Riot Room11/6    Fort Collins, CO    Aggie Theatre11/7    Boulder, CO    Boulder Theater11/10    Seattle, WA    Tractor Tavern11/11    Portland, OR    Star Theater11/12    Eugene, OR    The WOW Hall11/13    San Francisco, CA    The Independent11/14    Crystal Bay, NV    Crystal Bay Club11/19    Bloomington, IN    Bluebird Nightclub11/20    Columbus, OH    Newport Music Hall11/21    Cleveland, OH    The Beachland Ballroom & Tavernlast_img read more

James Richard Robbins

first_img As a boy, James attended and graduated from Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas.He also graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.At 17, James joined the U.S. Army. James loved Jesus, and attended Carpenter’s Way in Groves, Texas.James is survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Mary Inez Robbins of Port Neches; son, David Robbins & wife, Kathy of Austin; stepchildren, Nan Laing & husband, Randy of Beaumont, Vickie Giblin & husband, Robert, of Port Neches, Paul Drawhorn & wife, Cindy, of Groves, and Carolyn Wiedenfeld of Beaumont.James loved his twelve grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, and his brothers, Ted Robbins & wife, Ann of Silsbee, Charles Robbins of Nederland, Travis Robbins & wife, Angie of Lumberton.He is preceded in death by his first wife, Patsy Robbins and stepson, Douglas Drawhorn.Family and friends are invited to gather on Friday, February 14, 2020, at Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.The funeral service will begin at 11:00 am.The entombment will be a private family gathering.Serving as pallbearers are grandchildren Aaron Drawhorn, Ryan Drawhorn, Eric Laing, Logan Wiedenfeld, Roman Wiedenfeld, Ben Wiedenfeld, and Nathan Terrier, John Looper and Brad Reeves.In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in his honor to the Southeast Texas Food Bank, 3845 S M L King Jr Pkwy, Beaumont, Texas 77705. James Richard Robbins passed peacefully on February 12, 2020 in Port Arthur, Texas.James was born in Port Arthur on February 14, 1926 to Edward Theodore Robbins and Lillian Marie Breaux Robbins.He was one of four Robbins boys.center_img He received many medals as he served overseas during World War II.James found his passion in the grocery business and opened Howdy Doody Grocery on Proctor Street in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1950.He later moved the store to Mid County, where patrons continued to shop until 2001.James loved to play tennis, even teaching his grandchildren to play, and in later years, he turned his attention to horticulture and caring for the beautiful plants he enjoyed with his wife Inez.last_img read more

CARICOM vital to regional development: Grenada’s new envoy

first_img Oct 7, 2020 You may be interested in… Standards, Quality Still Important CARPHA: Leading the Caribbean’s COVID-19 Response – VIDEO “As a member you will be expected to assist in advancing the implementation of Community decisions at the national level… providing the necessary link between the regional and the national,” the Secretary-General stated. Secretary-General LaRocque applauded Grenada’s strong commitment to regional integration, exemplified, he stated, by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell’s dedication as Lead of Head of Government for Science and Technology in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet.  Prime Minister Mitchell has also been an advocate for Statistics in the sustainable economic development of the Region, the SG noted. Mr Gill asserted that Grenada’s role and influence in CARICOM has been “distinct and unambiguous”, crystallised by the 1989 Declaration of the Grand Anse Work Programme of the Advancement of the Integration Movement that paved the way for the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Grenada’s new Ambassador to CARICOM HE Arley Gill signs while Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque looks on See more photos – Accreditation Ceremony He told the Secretary-General that the vision articulated by Heads of Government in 1989 was still relevant today, to which Grenada remained resolute. “In Grenada, we continue to see CARICOM as a channel through which Member States are bolstered in the regional and international community by the positions we take and have taken as a collective on matters of tremendous importance to our development,” the Grenadian envoy stated. He underscored the need for ordinary CARICOM citizens – the coconut vendor on the streets of Roseau, the doubles vendor in Port of Spain, the water taxi operators that ply their trade on Grand Anse beach – to feel the impact of the decisions made in trade, free movement, and climate change. “It is our duty to keep them informed and engaged in our deliberations and decision making, so that they do not feel marginalised by an institution which was established in the first place to benefit them.” Mr Gill said. See video – Accreditation Ceremony Accreditation Ceremony – Grenada’s Ambassador to CARICOM HE Arley Gill from Caribbean Community on Vimeo. Oct 7, 2020 Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… CARICOM has been an indispensable force in the development of the Region, the new envoy of Grenada to the Caribbean Community said Thursday, as he submitted his letter of credence to Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. During a brief ceremony at the CARICOM Secretariat headquarters, Georgetown, Guyana, Ambassador Arley Salimbi Gill assured the Secretary-General LaRocque that Grenada “will remain steadfast to the ideals” of regional integration and support the work of the CARICOM Secretariat. In welcoming Mr Gill to the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors, Secretary-General LaRocque apprised him of his role in ensuring that integration has a greater impact on the lives of CARICOM people. Former CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General Dies Sep 25, 2020 CARICOM and UNEP extend cooperation on environment Aug 25, 2020 Grenada’s efforts to promote Regional integration appreciated – CARICOM SGGrenada’s efforts to promote Regional integration, particularly in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), have been lauded by CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation in a message to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on the occasion of Grenada’s 42nd Independence anniversary observed on 7…February 8, 2016In “CARICOM”CARICOM SG congratulates Grenada on 43rd anniversarySecretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, has commended the progress Grenada has made as it celebrates its Forty-Third Anniversary of Independence on 7 February, 2017. Grenada’s strides towards a better future, he said, is reflected in the theme of the celebration “Forging ahead together for continued national…February 6, 2017In “CARICOM”Barbados, Suriname diplomats call for more youth involvement in CARICOM(CARICOM Secretariat) Envoys of Barbados and Suriname have stressed the importance of youth participation in the regional integration movement, as they reassured the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) of their commitment to active participation in CARICOM’s success. The sentiments were expressed on Thursday, 8 November, 2018, when new Ambassadors…November 9, 2018In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Peto: values have fallen 10% since July

first_imgRobert Peto, the chairman of DTZ UK, told delegates at the RICS International Valuation Conference today that valuers should be braver about writing down property values in the wake of the market slowdown and the credit crunch.He said deals were being done at 10% below 30 June values – almost five times worse than the 2.2% decline reported last week in IPD’s third quarter index. ‘I’m disappointed….the truth is most investors do not believe the numbers,’ he said of the IPD index. ‘We are seeing transactions being done and we know that deals are 10% down in value on the June numbers not 2%.‘That is evident. Valuers are doing themselves a great disservice with this smoothing of the curve.’There is a hiatus of transaction evidence but our job is to price the market as it is now. If the evidence is historic and we feel the market has changed, we must price accordingly.’last_img read more

ASCO’s 2016: A year of success

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Topsheen and Lianyungang aim for Africa

first_imgThe agreement will allow the two parties to strengthen their cooperation on the shipping of steel products and heavy equipment, say reports.One report adds that the 47,000 dwt bulk carrier Postoina departed Lianyungang on January 8 for the service’s first voyage, and another vessel of the same size, Orion Express, is scheduled to depart the Chinese gateway on January 30.The service is said to call at ports on the West African coast, including Lagos (Nigeria), Takoradi (Ghana), Tema (Ghana) and Douala (Cameroon).A Chinese news report also claims that Topsheen is currently operating with chartered vessels, but placed orders for its first four self-owned general cargo vessels at Nanjing Wujiaozui Shipyard in 2014, the first of which is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2015. Lianyungang port. www.tsl-group.comlast_img read more