This guidebook exclusively features the top nuclear and renewable plant articles, covering locations around the globe. It lists what technology is working right, and includes full charts, photographs and graphs previously featured in POWER magazine.
Delivered in a PDF format, 127 pages.
Table of Contents
Owner/operator: Tennessee Valley Authority
TVA’s 1,155-MW Browns Ferry Unit 1 returned to service on May 22 after sitting idle since 1985, when all three units were shut down to address management and operational concerns. Units 2 and 3 returned to service in 1991 and 1995, respectively, after extensive upgrades to controls, electrical systems, pumps, motors, and more. The return of Unit 1 began in 2002 with a five-year $1.8 billion restart plan to make all three units essentially identical, and that goal was accomplished in style.
A Luminant-Bechtel team completed replacement of four steam generators and the reactor vessel head—plus almost 200 other work packages—in a short, 55-day outage at Comanche Peak Unit 1. Matching or exceeding this schedule will become the goal for those who follow.
Owner: DTE Energy
Operator: Detroit Edison
Owner/operator: Omaha Public Power District
Omaha Public Power District completed perhaps the most complex nuclear power plant renovation in the history of the industry in a scant 85 days—five fewer days than the original plan called for. POWER recognizes Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station as a Top Plant for packing more work into one outage than was thought possible, and then executing the plan ahead of schedule and below budget.
Owner/Operator: FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co.
Nuclear plant owners understand the economic importance of squeezing every last megawatt-hour from their power generation assets and minimizing outage durations that cost them millions of dollars a day. When First Energy assumed operating responsibility for Beaver Valley Power Station in late 1999 the plant’s operating record was unspectacular. Today the plant has established itself as a routine top-quartile performer, thanks in part to its Full Potential Program.
Owner/Operator: Florida Power & Light
Florida Power & Light’s St. Lucie Unit 2 reactor vessel head and steam generator replacement project was an ambitious undertaking that required more than a year of intensive planning before the outage began. The highly motivated and experienced project team’s accomplishments are without equal. The team surely set a new industry standard for integrating a highly complex maintenance outage.
Owner/Operator: Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
Diablo Canyon Power Plant, which is situated in a postcard-perfect location on the central California coastline, generates electricity for more than three million households in central and northern California. In 2009 the project team at the dual-unit Westinghouse pressurized water reactor facility replaced four steam generators at Unit 1 in just 58 days. Through meticulous planning and excellent project execution, performance on this Unit 1 project was an improvement on the earlier Unit 2 steam generator replacement project.
Owner/operator: Duke Energy Corp.
Duke Energy’s nuclear fleet provides electricity to approximately half of the utility’s customers in the Carolinas. The 2,538-MW Oconee Nuclear Station is part of that fleet and has been a pacesetter among U.S. nuclear plants since it began operation in 1973. In order to maintain the plant’s productivity and reliability, its staff implemented a comprehensive controls modernization project that spanned a decade. With its new state-of-the-art upgrades, the facility has become a leader in applying digital electronic technology in the nuclear power industry.
Project designer/developer: PowerLight Corp.
The world’s largest solar electric system was dedicated in June 2005 in Mühlhausen, Germany. The 10-MW system comprises three separate but interconnected photovoltaic parks in different cities that use an innovative suntracking system to maximize their outputs. After one year of operation, all three parks are still going strong—as you’d expect, due to their dearth of moving parts.
Owner/operator: Tokyo Electric Power Co., Ltd.
With the commercial debut of the first of six planned 470-MW turbines in December 2005, the time has come to pay homage to the sheer size (2,820 MW) and longevity (13 years and counting) of TEPCO’s Kannagawa Hydropower Plant. By the time Unit 2 is commissioned in 2010, and Units 3 through 6 go on-line “in and after 2016,” two generations of engineers, technicians, and builders will have worked on the “pure” pumped-storage project since its inception. As if those stats weren’t impressive enough,Kannagawa marks the debut of “splitter runners” for pump-turbines. They increase the effective head of the plant to the highest in the world: 2,142 feet, at a flow of 135,000 gallons/second. That’s a very large pumpturbine, indeed.
Owner/operator: Arizona Public Service
We tend to forget that today’s super-sized power plant designs began life as small prototypes that grew in size only as fast as technology and economics allowed. Arizona Public Service, a long-time leader in solar energy development, has invested in the development of one such technology that is compatible with the sunny Southwest and certain to become more cost-competitive in the near future. This successful demonstration of a 1-MW concentrated solar power, trough-style energy system is the first to have put power on the grid since 1988. But it certainly won’t be the last.
The Northern Wood Power Project permanently replaced a 50-MW coal burning boiler at Public Service of New Hampshire’s Schiller Station with a state-of-the-art fluidized-bed wood-burning boiler of the same capacity. The project, completed in December 2006, reduced emissions and expanded the local market for lowgrade wood. For planning and executing the multiyear, $75 million project at no cost to its ratepayers, PSNH wins POWER’s Marmaduke Award for excellence in O&M. The award is named for Marmaduke Surfaceblow, the fictional marine engineer/plant troubleshooter par excellence.
Owner: DONG Energy A/S
Operator: SeaScape Energy Ltd.
POWER congratulates DONG Energy and Siemens Power Generation on the inauguration of their 90-MW Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm. This project was the first commercial application of Siemens’ new 3.6-MW wind turbine and exemplifies how the right developer and supplier team can quickly add much-needed offshore wind power to a country’s generation mix.
Central Vermont Public Service developed the nation’s first farm-to-consumer renewable energy choice by using cow manure to generate electricity. CVPS gave beleaguered farms new economic hope; developed a generation system that provides clean, renewable energy; and helped solve numerous manure management environmental challenges. CVPS and Cow Power’s four member dairies are recognized as a Top Plant for generating renewable energy one cow at a time.
Owner/operator: Acciona Solar Power
Concentrating solar thermal projects fell out of favor more than 15 years ago, when the last SEGS plant was commissioned. But advances in reflective mirror, thermal receiver, and tracking system technologies have significantly improved the systems’ energy conversion efficiency at a much lower capital cost. POWER recognizes Nevada Solar One as a Top Plant for pushing the limits of solar thermal technology and for being the first of a new generation of concentrating solar projects now being developed around the world.
Owner/operator: U.S. Geothermal Inc.
Geothermal power is a unique renewable energy because it has the best potential capacity factor and is perhaps the only option for baseload power generation. U.S. Geothermal has constructed the first geothermal plant in Idaho in a generation by restoring an abandoned DOE demonstration project site that may possess a development potential of over 100 MW using proven power generation technology. The success of Raft River may well determine the future of geothermal energy production in Idaho.
Owner/operator: UPC Wind and BQ Energy
This year, for the first time, the U.S. wind power industry is poised to push past the 3,000 MW installed per year milestone. At 20 MW, Steel Winds may seem like a footnote, but its importance is measured in more meaningful terms than just size. Steel Winds is the first commercial deployment of the Clipper Windpower 2.5- MW Liberty turbine, the first installation on a former Superfund site, and is said to be the largest wind farm in the U.S. developed in an urban setting. In addition, the project anchors Lackawanna’s redevelopment of a former industrial site along Lake Erie for public use.
Owner/Operator: Covanta Energy Corp.
Covanta Energy Corp. doesn’t believe in wasting waste. Since 1995 the Covanta Onondaga waste-to-energy (WTE) plant has converted approximately 4 million tons of solid waste into 3 million MWh of clean electricity. Additionally, unlike power plants that use wind or solar energy, this 39-MW WTE facility operates 24/7, making it and similar WTE plants among the most continuously reliable sources of renewable electricity generation currently in operation.
Owner: Far West Solar LLC
Operator: Pacific Power Management
Many companies are finding that with solar energy, the sky’s the limit. As costs fall and mandates for renewable energy rise, solar energy is becoming an increasingly competitive source of power generation. Far West Rice Mill is a forwardthinking business that is taking advantage of this economic opportunity by powering its operations with a 1-MW photovoltaic system.
Owner/Operator: Eolica del Perello
Ironically, the Spanish province of Tarragona—well known for its many Roman and Medieval ruins, archeological digs, and multiple World Heritage Sites—now has one of the most cutting-edge wind farms in the world. This wind farm recently added an innovative 3-MW wind turbine, which stands 140 meters (459 feet) high and is the largest nationally manufactured wind turbine installed in Spain to date.
Owner: San Cristobal Commercial Trust
The Galapagos Islands, home of the unusual flora and fauna that inspired naturalist Charles Darwin’s roundbreaking work on evolution, are striving to promote clean energy that protects the area’s unique biodiversity. Part of that effort is the 2.4-MW San Cristobal Wind Project, which displaces diesel powered electricity generation. This new energy source will cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the risk of devastating diesel-fuel tanker spills in a highly protected environment.
Owner and operator: Edison Sault Electric Co.
Located on the border with Canada and operational since 1902, the Edison Sault Hydroelectric Plant is one of the oldest continuously operating power plants in North America. This pioneer plant continues to generate between 25 to 30 MW when operating at full capacity. Modern wind and solar projects have captured the public’s interest, but this century-old hydroelectric project shows that time is the ultimate arbiter of a technology’s value to society.
Owners and Operators: Dominion and BP Wind Energy
The tractors and combines on Indiana’s farms are getting some competition from a new harvesting technology—powerful turbines that harvest wind. The Fowler Ridge Wind Farm opened its first phase, which consists of 222 wind turbines with a total capacity of 400 MW. Phase II is currently under construction and will use 133 wind turbines with a total capacity of 200 MW. A future, third phase will add another 150 MW and give the completed facility a total capacity of 750 MW, which will make it one of the largest wind farms in the world.
Owner: The Harrisburg Authority
Operator: Covanta Harrisburg Inc.
After decades of struggling with serious air contamination issues and large financial losses, this Pennsylvania waste-to-energy facility, which was built in 1972, was in need of an extreme makeover. In the wake of an unsuccessful $84 million retrofit attempt in 2005, the faltering facility’s last hope lay with a Covanta project team that took over its operation in 2007. The facility is now producing up to 17 MW while achieving its environmental compliance goals and earning substantial revenues.
Operator: Siemens Wind Power
The 2.3-MW Hywind facility, the world’s first large-scale floating wind turbine, was towed to a North Sea location with a water depth of about 220 meters (722 feet) and began operation. Over the next two years this turbine will be subjected to strong wind and waves in a harsh ocean environment in an effort to thoroughly test the innovative technology.
Owners: Constellation Energy and North American Power Group Ltd.
Operator: Constellation Operating Services Inc.
By 2008, the 19-year-old wood-fired Rio Bravo Rocklin Power Station’s operating performance had been significantly degraded by boiler erosion and corrosion caused by (among many other problems) poor fuel. After much consideration, the plant owners elected to invest in a comprehensive upgrade to restore the plant to its as-built performance. Today, the plant operates very reliably. A newly implemented predictive maintenance program should continue to drive down operating costs and further reduce the number of forced outages.
Owner/operator: Nevada Geothermal Power Inc.
Completed in 2009 and partially funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the 50-MW Blue Mountain Faulkner 1 Geothermal Power Plant is harnessing large amounts of renewable energy by tapping into an underground geothermal reservoir in northern Nevada. This subterranean source of heat allows the binary plant to generate pollution-free baseload electricity.
Owner/operator: American Consumer Industries Inc.
The 47-MW Colmac Energy facility is the largest biomass-fueled power plant in California. Colmac operates with a capacity factor consistently in the 92% to 95% range and at a net plant heat rate comparable to waste coal facilities. Colmac Energy has demonstrated that biomass plants using urban wood wastes as fuel can generate significant environmental benefits, including reduced air pollutants from open-air burning and lowered demand for landfill space.
Owner/operator: Florida Power & Light
The forecast is looking sunny for the 25-MW DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, which has more than 90,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels and is the largest solar PV plant in the U.S. Completed in October 2009, it is a sustainable energy solution with minimal maintenance costs. The site uses no fuel, consumes no cooling water, has no air emissions, and creates no waste products.
Owner/operator: Core Competencies Sdn Bhd/Recycle Energy Sdn Bhd
At Malaysia’s first waste-to-energy plant, municipal solid waste (MSW) is converted into refuse-derived fuel for use in an integrated steam power plant. This facility was designed to achieve the twin objectives of environmentally friendly MSW disposal and generating renewable power.
Owner/operator: Pohjolan Voima Oy, Lappeenrannan Energia, and UPM Kymmene Corp.
Located in the heavily forested country of Finland, the Kaukaan Voima biomassfueled power plant produces process steam and electricity for UPM’s Kaukas pulp and paper mill as well as electricity and district heating for Lappeenrannan Energia, a city-owned power company. Launched in 2009, the plant can provide 125 MW of electricity, 110 MWth of district heat, and 150 MWth of process steam thanks to one of the world’s largest wood-fired fluidized bed boilers.
Owner/operator: Vattenfall Wind Power
The 300-MW Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, the world’s largest offshore wind energy facility, began operation off the southeastern coast of England. The wind farm has 100 3-MW turbines manufactured by Vestas. The facility will generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 200,000 British households.
Owner/operator: Sempra Generation
The current largest photovoltaic plant in the U.S., the 48-MW Copper Mountain Solar 1, utilizes approximately 775,000 solar panels to generate emission-free electricity for about 14,000 homes without the use of water. The facility was constructed in less than a year—an unprecedented achievement for a project of this size.
Owner/operator: EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG/EnBW Renewables GmbH
Germany’s first commercial offshore wind farm—the 48.3-MW EnBW Baltic 1—consists of 21 Siemens wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.3 MW and a rotor diameter of 93 meters. Siemens constructed the facility in an area covering about 7 square kilometers in the Baltic Sea.
Owner/operator: AREVA Solar
The 5-MW Kimberlina Solar Thermal Energy Station is the first to use compact linear Fresnel reflector technology developed to generate continuous superheated steam, a key element for higher-efficiency power generation and integration with new and existing plants. The facility’s innovative technology helps deliver power even during periods of transient cloud cover.
Owner/operator: NextEra Energy Inc., a subsidiary Florida Power & Light Co.
The 75-MW Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is the first hybrid solar facility in the world to combine a solar thermal array with a combined cycle natural gas power plant. Because the facility uses a steam turbine, transmission lines, and other infrastructure from an existing combined cycle unit, financial savings of approximately 20% were achieved compared to what a similar stand-alone solar plant would have cost.
Owners: Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon
Operator: Portland General Electric
In December 2009, construction of an underwater tower and fish collection structure was successfully completed at the 465-MW Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project. The first-of-its-kind fish bypass and intake structure returns temperatures in the lower Deschutes River to historic patterns and restores downstream passage of Chinook, steelhead, and sockeye salmon while maintaining existing generating capacity.
Owner/operator: Enbridge/First Solar
The 80-MW Sarnia Solar Project is the world’s largest operational photovoltaic plant, with 1.3 million solar modules. The facility utilizes First Solar’s proven thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technology, which has the lowest environmental