By Tim Miser
The winners of the 2016 Projects of the Year awards were announced Dec. 13 in front of a capacity crowd during the keynote session at POWER-GEN International in Orlando, Florida.
In addition to the year’s greatest honor—an overall POTY chosen from across all power industry segments—winning projects were also selected from industry-nominated projects in four categories: natural gas, renewables, coal, and combined heat and power (CHP). To be eligible, projects had to come online between Aug. 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016.
“Companies like those represented by this year’s project finalists are instrumental in meeting public demands for cleaner, more efficient electricity,” said Richard G. Baker, publisher of Power Engineering and senior vice president of PennWell’s Power Generation Group. “Power Engineering and Renewable Energy World are once again pleased to be able to recognize some of the exceptional power projects that were completed in the past year.”
Finalists were selected based on four criteria: technological innovation, local impact, logistical challenges and creativity, and capacity. Before deciding winners, editors of Power Engineering and Renewable Energy World magazines analyzed dozens of nominations from representatives across the power generation landscape.
So without further ado, here are the 2016 POTY award winners:
Brunswick County Power Station
Dominion Virginia Power
This year’s Overall POTY honor belongs to Dominion Virginia Power’s gas-fired Brunswick County Power Station in Southside, Virginia.
Commissioned in April 2016, the 3-on-1 combined-cycle facility generates 1,358 MW of power via three Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems M501GAC combustion turbines outputting 275 MW each, alongside three GE/Alstom heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) that contribute an additional 530 MW through Mitsubishi steam turbines. Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and CO catalysts ensure strict compliance with environmental regulations at both cycling and base loads. A 140-foot tall, 72-cell air-cooled condenser (ACC)—the largest in the United States—significantly reduces water usage at the plant.
The facility was needed to meet increasing demand and to replace power from older fossil-fired facilities being retired to comply with federal air standards within Dominion’s service territory. With state-of-the-art design and technology, the station has a low carbon-intensity rate and meets best available control technology (BACT) standards.
In the first full year of operation, the project is expected to provide approximately 9 percent of Dominion Virginia Power’s total energy requirements. As one of the most efficient power plants in the country, the facility is expected to create savings exceeding $1 billion over its lifetime, compared with the cost of purchasing power from the market.
Fluor served as the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, beginning work at the site in August 2013. The project required 38,000 cubic yards of concrete, 142,000 linear feet of pipe, and 420 miles of cable. At the height of construction, more than 1,500 workers were on hand.
Project components were delivered by ship and rail from three continents: North America, Europe, and Asia. For final nighttime delivery to the site, local roads and bridges were temporarily reinforced to accommodate the project’s heaviest load, which exceeded 100,000 pounds. The project also weathered Hurricane Joaquin, which dumped 5.84 inches of rainfall at the site in 10 days. Despite these logistical constraints, the project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
Natural Gas-Fired POTY
Brunswick County Power Station
Dominion Virginia Power
Dominion Virginia Power’s Brunswick County Power Station also won the 2016 Natural Gas-Fired POTY award.
Runner-Up: Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center, Florida Power & Light
Village of Minster Energy Storage Project
Half Moon Ventures
Winning this year’s Renewable POTY award, the Village of Minster Energy Storage Project is one of the largest facilities of its kind to be connected through a municipal utility in the United States. Developed by Half Moon Ventures (HMV), the energy storage installation relies on a utility-scale, 7-MW/3-MWh battery provided by LG Chem. The facility is co-located with a 4.2-MW solar plant and is capable of providing multiple revenue streams (flowing to multiple parties) by integrating frequency-regulation services, transmission and distribution deferral, demand response services, and voltage support.
The facility in Minster, Ohio is one of the largest energy storage installations in the state. HMV participates in the PJM frequency regulation market , capitalizing on this relationship for revenue. The Village of Minster avoids costs associated with peak load contribution (PLC) charges assessed by PJM by utilizing energy storage to lower their coincident peaks and subsequent demand. Additionally, the village was able to cancel a planned purchase of power factor correction equipment, instead utilizing the concurrent reactive compensation characteristics of the PureWave SMS system installed at the facility.
The Village of Minster benefits from three of the four revenue streams from the project—demand response and transmission, voltage support, and distribution deferral. In addition, because the system is co-located with 4.2 MW of photovoltaic solar power, the village is able to reduce its carbon footprint while simultaneously increasing the reliability and decreasing the operating costs of the system.
S&C Electric Company served as the project’s EPC contractor, reducing project expenses and eliminating scope gaps to ensure the best long-term solution. The project faced logistic hurdles incumbent to Ohio’s winter weather. S&C Electric countered this by completing all foundation and underground work in late fall. All batteries and inverters were installed in mid-January.
Because of the pre-work completed in the fall, the team was able to install technology efficiently over a six week period. Following commissioning and startup, the facility met PJM commissioning deadlines with the help of Viridian. From start to finish, S&C Electric put units on the market 10 weeks after setting the first building.
Runner-Up: Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Center, SolarReserve
Mill Creek Generating Station Air Compliance Project
Louisville Gas & Electric
This year’s Coal-Fired POTY goes to Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E), whose 1,472-MW Mill Creek Generating Station in Louisville, Kentucky—the largest coal-fired power plant in the utility’s fleet—undertook one of the largest air-quality control system (AQCS) installations in the United States, upgrading AQCS equipment on all four of the plant’s units.
Zachry Group served as the project’s EPC contractor, managing an onsite project team of more than 1,600 employees and 140 engineers and designers at the project’s peak. The plant remained in operation through demolition of old equipment, and through installation and interconnection of new equipment.
The facility’s four units share a common coal-handling system, requiring them to be closely located. Because of this, construction and installation of new equipment took place in highly restrictive environments, amidst a plant that continued to generate power. To facilitate construction within these tight spaces, the engineering and design team created a three-dimensional (3D) model from a digital laser scan of the existing facilities. The end result is an impressive interweaving of new construction with old, one in which new installations stand only inches from existing equipment.
Work at the plant included the installation of four new sorbent injection systems, three wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) systems with Stebbins Absorbers, four pulse jet fabric filters (PJFF) with sulfuric acid mist mitigation (SAMM) systems and powder activated carbon (PAC) injection systems, flue gas induced draft fan upgrades for all units, as well as ancillary balance of plant systems/components. Additionally, all units received new chimneys in shared configurations.
The project demonstrated the integrated project delivery capabilities that an EPC team can achieve through effective use of laser scanning and 3D modeling. The model served as the foundation for design and fabrication/construction drawings, and also as the basis for regular constructability reviews, to illustrate the sequence of work, and to conduct web-based reviews with the design team. The model provided a forward-looking view of the work and scope of different crafts throughout the project. Zachry also embedded a designer in the field to support construction, using the model to address any questions.
The plant achieved final mechanical completion in June 2016, having met or exceeded all performance testing guarantees.
Runner-Up: Longview Power Plant Rehabilitation, Longview Power
Combined Heat and Power POTY
Eight Flags Energy CHP Plant
Chesapeake Utilities Corp.
Chesapeake Utilities Corp. takes home the CHP POTY in 2016. The company’s new ~20-MW Eight Flags Energy CHP plant on Amelia Island in Florida uses natural gas to generate three sources of energy: electricity, hot water, and steam. Chesapeake subsidiary Florida Public Utilities (FPU) will purchase the electricity for distribution to its 16,000 retail customers on Amelia Island, while Rayonier Performance Fibers (Rayonier), a pulp mill owned by Rayonier Advanced Materials, will purchase the hot water and steam for use at its cellulose specialties production facility. The project is a perfect example of the ways in which utilities can take advantage of the high efficiencies and lower environmental footprints associate with CHP technologies.
Discussions between FPL and Rayonier revealed a need for more thermal energy at Rayonier’s plant. Additionally, FPU was seeking to lower costs and improve electrical reliability for their customers. To meet these potentially synergistic needs, Chesapeake Utilities created Eight Flags Energy and constructed the CHP plant. Prior to construction, the company did not own any generation facilities and relied exclusively on wholesale power contracts delivered through a marsh to the island via a single transmission line.
The new plant relies on a 21.7-MW Solar Titan 250 gas turbine operating at over a 95-percent capacity factor. A Rentech HRSG recovers waste heat to produce over 75,000 lbs/hour of superheated steam at 150 psig. The system also includes a secondary hot water economizer to route over 600 gpm of heated demineralized water to Rayonier’s boilers, recovering another 16 mmBtu/hour of waste heat. In the end, unutilized heat leaves the exhaust stack at just over 210°F, in the process raising Rayonier’s demineralized water from ambient temperature to over 140°F. Design efficiencies at the plant break 80 percent after factoring for improvements to losses during transmission and delivery.
In order to be adjacent to Rayonier’s facility and increase the overall efficiency of the CHP plant, Eight Flags was built on challenging site conditions. It sits at just eight feet above sea level, requiring an advanced structural design to elevate all critical components above category-4 storm surge elevations. The site also required underground vaults for electric and natural gas lines. Upper structure elements were built on 600 piles driven 60 feet into the site’s soft soil below. Inclined piles were also installed to meet Florida’s standards for high wind loads.
Sterling Energy served as owner’s engineer for the $40 million project, while C.R. Meyer Construction served as project construction manager. The plant was commissioned in June 2016.
Runner-Up: Coldwater BPU Peaking Plant, Michigan South Central Power Agency