Complying with permitted emissions limits may be the most significant operations risk for a power plant. As limits are slowly ratcheted downward, understanding the accuracy and variation of measured pollutant levels becomes even more important. To avoid misunderstandings, regulators and plant owners should factor measurement uncertainty into air quality permit numbers both as the permit is formulated and preceding any subsequent modifications.
Point Aconi’s circulating fluidized-bed boiler experienced erosion, corrosion, and fouling problems from the day it went on-line in 1993. After several frustrating years of unreliable operation, in late 1999, Nova Scotia Power discovered the right combination of engineering and fuel modifications. Today, after a switch to 80% petroleum coke and major boiler modifications, Point Aconi’s output exceeds its original nameplate rating. For having the vision and fortitude to plan and execute a multiyear, $20 million project to revitalize North America’s first in-service utility CFB boiler, Nova Scotia Power’s Point Aconi plant is the well-deserved winner of POWER magazine’s 2006 Marmaduke Award for excellence in O&M.
It’s said that pioneers take the arrows. In the case of Springerville Unit 3—a 418-MW (net) expansion of a Tucson Electric Power facility in Arizona and the first pulverized coal–fired unit built in the U.S. in more than a decade—the arrows were many. Although Tri-State (the developer), Tucson Electric (the host), and Bechtel Power (the EPC contractor) were wounded by delayed deliveries of major equipment, bankruptcy of a major supplier, and a labor shortage, the companies showed their pioneering spirit and completed the project ahead of schedule. For ushering in a new generation of clean and desperately needed baseload capacity, Springerville Unit 3 is POWER magazine’s 2006 Plant of the Year.
It would be easy to dismiss Linden—which is powered by now-ubiquitous GE 7FA gas turbines and D11 steam turbines—as just another cookie-cutter combined-cycle plant. But its size (1,240 MW), key location near New York City, and use of reclaimed water for all cooling water needs makes Linden deserving of recognition as one of POWER’s Top Plants of 2006. Perhaps its most interesting story is how the project survived more than five years from groundbreaking to commissioning.
Commercial operation of PacifiCorp’s first new power plant in more than 20 years coincided with the company’s acquisition by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company this past March. Currant Creek treads lightly on the environment, provides needed power to PacifiCorp’s eastern control area, and has demonstrated its commitment to be a good corporate citizen of the local community. By any account, Currant Creek is a model for how to develop a power project.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Cogeneration facility supplies critical electricity and steam to New York City. Situated on an historic site, the plant has earned a series of awards and was the first cogeneration plant to be accepted into both the U.S. EPA National Environmental Performance Track and OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program in 2005. Through Delta Power’s unique asset management approach that brings added value to projects, BNYC has reinvented itself from a struggling, prematurely aging facility into one of the nation’s leading plants.
A great location, a fish-friendly cooling system, and the extent of environmental remediation needed to permit it distinguish this repowering project on the Hudson River just south of the New York State capital.
Iberdrola is rapidly making a name for itself on the world stage for building large, very efficient combined-cycle plants and for being the largest owner and operator of wind power plants. The utility’s most recent achievement was the successful commissioning of the Arcos de la Frontera Group III project, which marks the commercial debut of General Electric’s Frame 9FB gas turbine.
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New York City has an insatiable appetite for power, but supplying that power from plants inside the city’s five boroughs (where 80% of its peak demand must come from) is tough. So it’s nothing short of miraculous that a 500-MW combined-cycle plant in Astoria, Queens, began commercial operation at the end of 2005. What did it take to bring this plant on-line? The largest state-owned power organization in the U.S.—The New York Power Authority.