Hydroelectric, Retrofits & Upgrades

Multiple Dispatch

Issue 4 and Volume 106.

I would like to correct some information in the article about Tenaska’s Frontier Generating Station (Power Engineering, December 2001). The article states that this is the first generating station with the ability to dispatch power to multiple grids. This is not the case.

Fort Peck Power Plant, a five-unit 210 MW hydro plant on the Missouri River in Montana, has units routinely dispatched either to the western grid (WSCC) or the eastern grid (MAPP) in various combinations, and has been operated this way for at least 30 years. The plant is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and dispatched by the Western Area Power Administration. The plant was built in the 1930s and the east-west separation is normally at the Fort Peck switchyard.

Yellowtail Power Plant, a four-unit 288 MW hydro plant on the Big Horn River in Montana, has operated in a similar fashion for about three decades. This plant is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and dispatched by the Western Area Power Administration. In recent years the plant has been run entirely on the western interconnection (WSCC) and some of the output is brought east by the Miles City DC converter station. The capability still exists to connect units east or west if desired.

The Laramie River Station, a three-unit 1650 MW coal-fired power plant owned by the Missouri Basin Power Project near Wheatland, Wyoming, is also able to switch units east or west. This is not done on a routine basis, but the capability has been built into the switchyard and it has been utilized when one of the units is undergoing a major repair or overhaul and partners on one side or the other had certain resource requirements.

I believe Fort Peck is definitely the pioneer concerning multiple grid dispatch capabilities.

Mark L. Meyer
Western Area Power Administration