A new 495 megawatt combined cycle power plant equipped with a Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) M501J gas turbine at the Grand River Energy Center in Oklahoma has achieved a significant milestone by sustaining reliable power generation just 45 days after first fire. Achieving reliable power generation output means the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) is now able to sell electricity to the grid.
“This is our 23rd J-Series gas turbine installed globally, and our first in the Americas. This is an important milestone for our company, and we’re proud to announce that the MHPS gas turbine at the Grand River Energy Center has responded flawlessly during the startup process and has significantly exceeded its performance guarantee,” said Paul Browning, MHPS Americas President and CEO. “GRDA is now able to sell power to the grid ahead of schedule. Successful and smooth commissioning is critical for MHPS, because our team is preparing to commission eleven more J-Series turbines in North America during the next 12-24 months.”
The gas turbine was delivered on time to the site, successfully achieved 1st Fire on March 14 in its first attempt and only two days later synchronized to the grid to first produce electricity for GRDA and MISO Power Pool customers. Since then, the facility successfully conducted steam blows well ahead of schedule and quickly resumed operation on time. On April 27, (less than 45 days after 1st Fire), while operating in combined cycle, the test team successfully demonstrated sustained operations above GRDA’s “Sellable Power” milestone. The commissioning team achieved this contract milestone 35 days of ahead of the June 1 contract deadline. Since then, the plant has completed its fine screen removal outage and is currently finishing tuning as it approaches final performance demonstrations scheduled for June 2017. Thus far the GRDA “J” machine exceeded all performance expectations.
Upon reaching the Sellable Power milestone, Charles Barney, GRDA Vice President and Assistant General Manager for Fuel & Generation Projects stated in a letter of commendation to MHPS, “I want to bring to your attention the overall excellent performance of the MHPS team working on commissioning GREC Unit 3.” From the EPC’s perspective, “MHPS delivered their turbine on time, they’re exceeding their performance guarantee and the unit has been exceptionally reliable. Our team remains ahead of schedule,” said Kevin Kimball, Project Sponsor for TIC.
The MHPS turbine installed at the Grand River Energy Center is the first J-Series to be built at the Savannah Machinery Works in Savannah, Georgia. It is paired in combined cycle with a steam turbine that was built at the MHPS Nagasaki Works in Japan. The unit also features a generator from Mitsubishi Electric Co. As part of the project, GRDA signed a 25-year long term service agreement with MHPS.
“GRDA issued an aggressive challenge to MHPS when they told us they wanted to build the most efficient combined cycle power plant in the United States,” Browning said. “This is the 23rd straight turbine that we’ve delivered to a site on time and we’re confident it will be the 23rd J-Series gas turbine to exceed its performance guarantees. Record-breaking performance, combined with an unparalleled reliability record, make the J-Series the gas turbine of the future. We have received orders for an additional 13 J-Series turbines in the Americas, several of which have already been delivered to site.”
GRDA broke ground on Grand River Energy Center Unit 3 in January 2015. The environmentally friendly natural gas facility will replace an older, coal-fired facility on the same site. The new power plant is on schedule to be fully operational this summer.