POWER [September, 1 2009]

Cover Stories

Top Plants: Edward W. Clark Generating Station, Clark County, Nevada

The Edward W. Clark Generating Station, which has supplied electricity to the Las Vegas Strip for more than half a century, has learned the secret of life in the desert: adaptability. The plant’s early years featured conventional steam plants operated around the clock. By mid-life, Clark had been upgraded with two combustion turbine combined-cycle power blocks operated as intermediate-load resource. Today, the old steam plants have been replaced with fast-start peaking gas turbines.

Top Plants: Goodman Energy Center, Hays, Kansas

Midwest Energy has a history of thinking and acting independently, especially since breaking away from the Rural Utilities Service almost 15 years ago. Two years ago, when its board of directors grappled with finding a balance between purchasing and generating electricity, it decided to construct its first power plant in 37 years. A matched set of nine 8.4-MW gas engines at Goodman Energy Center now provides efficient peaking electricity, improved overall system reliability, and backstop capacity for a 325-MW electrical system that features 16% wind power generation.

Top Plants: Livorno Ferraris Power Plant, Vercelli Province, Italy

Northern Italians are enjoying la dolce vita (the sweet life) even more today than they have historically, thanks to the additional electrical capacity provided by the new Livorno Ferraris power plant. Well-received by locals due to its environmentally progressive operations and low-profile appearance, the 800-MW plant is powered by combined-cycle units that burn natural gas. The plant, which generates more than 5 million kWh per year, is part of a comprehensive renewal of the Italian energy sector and will make an important contribution toward ensuring that the country’s power supply is more secure.

Top Plants: Portlands Energy Centre, Ontario, Canada

Construction of the Portlands Energy Centre was a logistical dream: A mothballed power plant next door had an active switchyard, natural gas pipeline, and cooling water structure. The new facility put peak power into the Ontario Power Authority’s grid from its two combustion turbines only two years after collecting the necessary permits. The entire plant entered commercial service on April 23, 2009 — six weeks early.

Top Plants: Riverside Repowering Project, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Xcel Energy has completed the third and final project required by its 2003 Metropolitan Emissions Reduction Project agreement: repowering the Riverside Plant with a gas-fired 2 x 1 combined-cycle plant and tearing down the old coal-fired plant. Saved from demolition was the Unit 7 steam turbine system that now serves the new plant. Xcel staff expertly managed the project to an on-time start-up and accepted many important construction tasks, harkening back to the days when utilities took a more active role in the design and construction of projects.

Top Plants: Royal Pride Holland Commercial Greenhouse Cogeneration Plant, Middenmeer, North Holland Province, Netherlands

At Royal Pride Holland’s commercial tomato greenhouse, green thumbs and green energy go hand in hand. With a total energy utilization of 95% in this application, GE’s new Jenbacher J624 natural gas – fired engines offer the innovative greenhouse an economical supply of on-site electrical and thermal power, as well as CO2 fertilization, to support its operations.


Combined-Cycle Carbon Capture: Options and Costs, Part I

Uncertainty about CO2 emissions legislation is prompting power plant owners to consider the possibility of accommodating "add-on" CO2 capture and sequestration solutions for coal-fired plants in the future. Those same plant owners may be overlooking the possibility that future natural gas – fired combined cycles will also be subject to CO2 capture requirements. This month we examine the capture options. In a future issue, Part II will present the installation and operating costs of different carbon capture technologies.

New Natural Gas–Fired Projects on an Upswing

Over the past decade, the development of new natural gas – fired generating assets has been similar to an amusement park roller coaster ride — very high peaks and the lowest of lows, with fast and stomach-churning movement between. Expect the ride to continue into the near future.

Optimizing the Life-Cycle Cost of Human Capital

Is it possible to develop a business model whereby an economic dip can be used to a market advantage? One client uses a sports analogy to describe this opportunity: "We are between seasons, and we have an opportunity to recruit and retool our team for the future." This just might be the right time to retool your human resources processes to avoid past hiring mistakes and adopt new hiring practices that will maximize the life-cycle value of your company’s human capital.

Pressure-Sensing Line Problems and Solutions

Improper pressure-sensing line design or installation is often found to be the cause of poor sensing system accuracy and response time. Here’s how to identify and solve those pesky pressure sensor problems in short order.



To Modernize the Grid, Think Smaller

The consumer, societal, and business benefits of grid moderniaztion are unclear, because the vast majority of grid-related stimulus funding appears destined to primarily expand, not cure, the ailing system we have today.

New Products

Advanced Diagnostic Field Communicator

Emerson’s new 475 Field Communicator extends beyond device configuration functionality to provide advanced device diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities in the field and on the bench so users can work more…

D/P Gauge for High-Static Pressure Applications

The new Ashcroft Type 5503 differential pressure (D/P) gauge provides reliable low – differential pressure measurement in high-static, wet-wet pressure applications. Equipped with wetted materials of 316SS, Monel, or Hastelloy…

Electromagnetic Flowmeter for Water/Wastewater Markets

ABB Instrumentation launched the WaterMaster series, a new range of electromagnetic flowmeters that is specifically targeted at water and wastewater markets. Part of the FlowMaster portfolio, the series includes the…

Energy Efficient Refrigerant Dryers

Industrial productivity solutions provider Atlas Copco Compressors introduced a new generation of integrated refrigerant dryers for use with the company’s GA, GA+, and GA variable-speed drive 50 to 125 hp…

Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump and Compressor

Gardner Denver Nash launched the NASH Vectra XL 750 as part of its liquid ring pump and compressor series. The NASH Vectra XL 750 offers vacuum pump operation of up…

Oxygen and Combustibles Transmitter for Coal-Fired Applications

Emerson Process Management has enhanced its Rosemount Analytical OCX8800 oxygen and combustibles transmitter for advanced functionality and reliability in coal-fired applications, helping to improve burner efficiency and reduce nitrogen oxide…

Legal & Regulatory

SWEPCO’s Construction Conundrum

"If you build it, they will come" — the litigants, that is. The lawsuit involving the construction of Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s (SWEPCO) John W. Turk Jr. ultrasupercritical coal-fired power plant in Arkansas gives new meaning to that popular quote from the movie Field of Dreams.

Focus on O&M

Accurate Online Silica Analyzers Ensure Boiler Performance, Add Boiler Life

One key area at the 800-MW Michoud power station where O&M excellence is evident is in maintaining plant water quality.

Avoid These 10 Mistakes When Selecting Your New Water Treatment System

There are a number of reasons why your plant might be looking at new water pretreatment equipment in the near future. One common reason is the addition of new generating capacity. Regardless of the type of new generation, you can be sure that it will require additional high-purity water for processes ranging from direct steam generation to power augmentation, NOx control, and washing the blades of the combustion turbines.

Global Monitor

Biomass Electricity More Efficient than Ethanol, Researchers Say

Biomass — plant matter that’s grown to generate energy — converted into electricity could result in 81% more transportation miles and 108% more emissions offsets than ethanol, according to U.S.…

DOE Funds Electrification of Transportation Sector

On August 5, President Barack Obama announced that 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects will receive $2.4 billion in funding from the Department of Energy under the American…

Nuclear Developments in Europe

Recent months brought several developments in Europe’s much-touted "nuclear renaissance." Spain Extends Life of Nation’s Oldest Reactor Spain’s government on July 2 granted a four-year extension to the operating permit…

Operation of World’s First Supercritical CFB Steam Generator Begins in Poland

The world’s first supercritical circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) steam generator began successful operation at the Lagisza power plant in Poland early this July, according to power equipment and engineering firm Foster…

POWER Digest (September 2009)

News items of interest to power industry professionals.

Report: Costs for First-Generation Carbon Capture Plants Will Soar

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has of late gained steam as the best way to mitigate emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel power plants, despite…

Scotland Officially Opens 100-MW Glendoe Hydro Plant

In late June, Scotland officially opened the Glendoe Hydro Scheme, a 100-MW project whose construction near Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands was the region’s biggest civil engineering project in…

Swiss Solar Plane Prototype Designed to Fly Day and Night

The first aircraft designed to fly day and night propelled solely by solar energy was unveiled at Dübendorf airfield, Switzerland, in late June. The Solar Impulse has the wingspan of…

Speaking of Power

Dead Man’s Hand

The stage is being set for negotiating a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. is trying to exert some leadership in the international climate change debate by attempting to build consensus for binding carbon emission reductions prior to the upcoming Copenhagen meeting. Meanwhile, carbon legislation is, thankfully, stalled in the Senate, and developing countries are rejecting our entreaties. You can’t win if other countries don’t want to play.

GBR Reports