O&M budgets vs. personnel

Issue 3 and Volume 99.

O&M budgets vs. personnel

Operations and maintenance (O&M) is certainly one of the major expenses in the production, transmission and distribution from all sources of electric power. However, non-fuel O&M is typically just a fraction of total O&M and payroll an even smaller fraction of that. Dumbsizing staff has become quite popular, perhaps because of the agonizing personal and personnel noises it generates, impressing boards of directors and stockholders. These people haven?t a clue about power, but they know to the penny this quarter?s expected returns!

Too many CFOs would rather keep their utility in the black playing financial shell and pea games with amortization, CWIP, retained earnings and dividends, and just forego the nuisance of actually running those dirty noisy power plants!

Pressured by the PUCs, utilities tend to build cheap and then balk at maintaining the consequences of their, Olowest $/kW, under budget, ain?t I a VP hero!O decisions. Innovative, competitive power ideas are generated by experienced, talented and sufficient staff, not the pulverizers and boiler feedpumps.

Which contributes most to a utility, three journeyman level craftsmen each making $45,000 a year or one vice president making $150,000 a year? Put that to your readers!

Nick Shroeder

Colorado Springs, Colo.

IPP power plant

ABB Power Generation Inc. (ABB) and Midland Cogeneration Venture (MCV) take strong exception to your statement in Power Engineering, December 1994, page 53, that Othe largest IPP owned combined-cycle plant in the United States features GE technology.O Had you properly researched and verified your information, you would have discovered that MCV is the largest base loaded IPP in the United States at 1,370 MW. MCV commenced commercial operation in March of 1990 utilizing ABB power generation technology, four years prior to the plant mentioned in your article.

We?re rather surprised that your magazine which promotes itself as Othe engineering magazine of generation, construction, retrofit and maintenanceO would erroneously publish such an article. To date, numerous articles have been published recognizing MCV at the first successful conversion on an incomplete nuclear plant to a natural gas cogeneration facility.

The MCV facility has been, and continues to be, a successful story. After less than two years of construction, modification and testing, MCV was ready for commercial operation ahead of schedule and under budget.

On February 12, 1992, MCV established production records with an hourly record of 1,491 MWhr and a daily record of 34,842 MWhr. Up to 1.35 million pounds per hour of process steam are produced for industrial use.

Bob Schubert

ABB Power Generation Inc.