By Sharryn Dotson, editor
Warm temperatures and sunny skies greeted more than 80 people Monday who took a tour of the Cane Island Power Park, a combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant located about 20 minutes outside of Orlando.
Cane Island is made up of four units and generates about 700 MW of power. Unit 1 is an aeroderivative GE LM6000 gas turbine; Unit 2 is a GE 7EA turbine generally used for peaking power, and units 3 and 4 are GE 7FA turbines used for baseload power. At the time of the tour, some of the units were down, so visitors were able to get an up close look inside two of the turbines and steam generators.
Units 1, 2 and 3 can also use diesel fuel, but workers with the Kississimee Utility Authority say the fuel hasn’t been used in almost seven years. When the power plant was first built in the 1990s, it was too far out to connect to city water, so a plant was built on-site to demineralize 200,000 gallons of water a year for use in power generation and water injection for NOx control. The plant also has its own fire brigade due to its distance from the nearest city.
Unit 1 is actually the second of its kind at the site. In November 1994, another turbine was being delivered to the site when the truck it was riding on got stuck on a railroad track and was hit by an Amtrak train. The turbine was destroyed in the accident and a replacement unit was delivered to the plant. It was placed into commission in 1995. The 40-MW fast-start unit can ramp up to full power in nine minutes.
Unit 2 was supposed to have dry low NOx technology installed on it, which would have lowered the NOx output from 25 ppm to 15 ppm, but the system was never made available. KUA had to change its permit with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental agencies in order to keep their emissions output at 25 ppm. The unit is used mostly for cycling, so it has the most run-hours out of all of the units at about 80,000.
The control room for the plant recently underwent an upgrade. It uses an Emerson Ovation system. The video monitors are similar for each unit, so the system color coordinates the monitors so workers know which unit they are working on at the time. For example, the screen would be gray when workers were checking on information pertaining to Unit 1, then the screen would change to yellow when workers were monitoring Unit 4.
The plant is jointly owned by the Kissimmee Utility Authority and and the Florida Municipal Power Agency.