Archive: O&M


Reliant Energy Commits $350 Million for Environmental Upgrades at Two Key Facilities Reliant Energy has announced plans to install state-of-the-art emission control systems at two Pennsylvania power plants, a major step in the company’s strategy for maximizing the long-term value of its power generation assets while reducing air emissions. The utility, Reliant Energy, estimated it […]

Scrubbing: Optimizing Flue Gas Desulfurization Technologies Is Essential

New flue gas desulfurization (FGD) units are being installed at utilities in many parts of the U.S. and a large percentage of the new scrubbers are of the wet limestone type. Although wet limestone scrubbing is a well-developed technology, it may be unfamiliar to employees at plants that have previously not required scrubbers. This article […]

Focus on O&M (July/August 2006)

Safer, "virtual" reactor walkdowns; Beating the heat with inlet cooling; Reaching remote substations without fiber; One-year payback for lightning protection systems; Reaching remote substations without fiber

Profiling your plant engineering staff

The latest benchmarking study by the EUCG examines the engineering and technical staffing of 62 plants, 92% of which burn coal. If you benchmark your units, plants, or fleet, the results may raise some eyebrows. But they also may help justify your plea for more intellectual capital during the upcoming budgeting cycle. Though the detailed results of the study are proprietary to EUCG member companies that participated in it, POWER was given access to the complete findings. If you want details at the plant/unit level, you’ll have to join the EUCG and participate in the study, which is ongoing.

Mergers present challenges—and opportunities—for plant managers

The sale or merger of any company takes its toll on employees. Though it’s merely a hassle adapting to a different T&E form, the sudden uncertainty about health-care coverage and pension can be truly stressful. For plant managers, the impact is even greater—adapting to a new budgeting process and reporting requirements, not to mention answering hundreds of subordinates’ questions about the future, even before the deal closes. However, plant managers may actually end up better off as a result of a merger or acquisition.

Improving the reliability of turbine lube oil supply

Five years ago, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 3 turbine experienced substantial damage after the supply of oil to its bearings failed. Because the turbine coasted down without oil after it tripped, its bearings, journals, and steam path needed extensive repairs. A follow-up investigation revealed lube oil system vulnerabilities that were subsequently corrected. The lessons learned might also improve your turbine-generators’ lube oil reliability, saving you many millions in lost revenues.

Standardizing PdM, fleetwide

The pressure on power producers to supply reliable electricity is unyielding. Forced outages, which usually are caused by unexpected component failure or systemic problems, can prove very costly to both bottom line and reputation. To reduce the frequency and duration of unscheduled outages, many gencos are implementing comprehensive predictive maintenance (PdM) programs. Such is the […]

Monitor your fluid levels online

Although fluid monitoring technology has come of age in recent years, its level of sophistication varies widely across industries. Some users of bulk chemicals, fuels, and other fluids use state-of-the-art systems with bells and whistles like automated data gathering and transmission. At the other extreme, some tank farms still “stick the tanks.” Although 95% of large […]

Computer-based hydro plant scheduling

Hydroelectric power plant managers face unique scheduling challenges. They have a finite amount of water in their reservoirs available for energy production, and they need to schedule generation according to market demand to maximize profits from their limited “fuel” supply. Hydro power plants are capable of producing products other than electricity. Among them are ancillary […]


Kansas City Power & Light Installing SCR at La Cygne Generating Station Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy, has awarded The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) a contract for the installation of new emissions control equipment on Unit 1 at its La Cygne Generating Station. When completed, the selective […]