The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades near Philadelphia has been training power plant operations professionals for 112 years, and its graduates hold top positions at many major gencos, refineries, equipment suppliers, and design and construction companies. Testimonials indicate that it provides one of the best models for training tomorrow’s plant operators.
Today’s utility business models re-emphasize utilities’ traditional mission—producing and delivering reliable, affordable power. Tracking how well that mission is executed is the raison d’être of modern plant performance benchmarking.
With the 2006 hurricane season about to begin, climatologists are predicting that the Atlantic Ocean will spawn 17 “named” storms this summer and fall, with 9 categorized as hurricanes and 5 expected to be “intense.” Whether or not your plant lies in a vulnerable coastal area, you’d do well to learn a few lessons from Entergy’s unique experience last year.
Steven F. Greenwald and Christopher A. Hilen Utility regulators in California and other states have begun subjecting power plants to extensive oversight of their O&M activities. These oversight programs are a response to allegations that generators purposely shut operational plants down to drive electricity prices up during the 2000–2001 energy crisis. These state initiatives […]
Age is wreaking havoc on the U.S. generation industry, especially the coal-fired sector. Industry conferences are replete with hand-wringing over the "brain drain," the lack of skilled personnel, the meager number of students pursuing engineering degrees, and the accelerated retirement of the older workers who make up the industry’s experience base. On top of this, […]
An essential ingredient in the success of any business endeavor is thorough planning. We’ve all heard the axiom "proper prior planning prevents poor performance" or a variation on that theme. Why the need for peak performance? Competition within the industry has never been as intense, with utilities combining in search of economies of scale. The […]
Competition in power generation fosters technical innovation, cleaner power plants, and downward pressure on prices. Before the 1980s, such competition was almost nonexistent: vertically integrated utilities built and operated the vast majority of U.S. plants with oversight by state regulators. The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 […]
The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City was the site of the 2005 Platts Global Energy Awards (GEA). The seventh annual black-tie soiree was the most global ever. Some 400 top executives from more than two dozen countries on five continents gathered at the Roosevelt on December 1, 2005, to honor the energy industry’s "Best […]
As an alternative to purchasing new catalyst, technological and economic advantages make a compelling case for regenerating rather than replacing the metal or ceramic that enables selective catalytic reduction systems to capture NOx.