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The U.S. power generation industry is changing at warp speed, via regulatory changes, consolidation, mergers, and sales of assets at yard-sale prices. New players have entered the market and become major players overnight, while several mainstays have gone bankrupt. Though many of the latter blamed high gas prices for their woes, well-diversified merchants enjoyed a record year. Whatever changes are in store for the business of combined-cycle generation, you can be sure that innovations in plant design and O&M such as those described in this special section will keep pace with them.
With U.S. combined-cycle plants increasingly being cycled—rather than being run continuously, as they were designed to do—owner/operators worry that units expected to last two or three decades may survive only a few years without an expensive overhaul. Cycling takes as much of a toll on heat-recovery steam generators as it does on gas turbines. Whether you’re procuring a new HRSG or adapting an existing one for cycling service, robust design features should be what you’re looking for.
Operating a combined-cycle power plant profitably is no walk in the park, even under ideal conditions. But the extreme conditions at the Beluga Power Plant—from isolation to volcanoes—challenge its staff every day in ways that operators in the lower 48 can only imagine.
The U.S. needs to add 600 to 800 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas storage capacity ASAP. Independent storage providers (ISPs) are the entities best equipped to build this needed infrastructure, but they continue to be restrained by anachronistic regulatory policies. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) December 2005 rule-making to modify its […]
Paris-based Alstom just handed the keys to the new, 1,200-MW Cartagena combined-cycle power plant (Figure 2) to Barcelona-based Gas Natural. The facility was finished in 24 months and 12 days following its ordering in December 2003, and nine weeks ahead of schedule. Peter Papert, project manager for Cartagena, said, "It was built more quickly than […]
GE Energy’s latest "first" is in Turkey, where the Frame 6C gas turbine-generator—a younger cousin of the popular Frame 6B—has made its commercial debut. The turnkey 130-MW combined-cycle plant, called the GE206C, comprises two 40-MW Frame 6Cs, one GE steam turbine-generator, two heat-recovery steam generators, and a distributed control system. The gas-fired plant (Figure 1), […]
Munich-based Siemens Power Generation (PG) recently finished building the 384-MW combined-cycle Tahaddart Power Plant in the city of the same name in Morocco (Figure 2). The turnkey project, which is about 20 miles south of Tangier, was completed in 25 months. The plant’s natural gas fuel comes through a new, 8-mile-long spur that connects to […]