Combined Cycle, Gas, O&M, On-Site Power, Reciprocating Engines

Diesel engines providing black start backup to Ohio gas-fired plant

The inclusion of four diesel-fueled reciprocating engines will enable a 700-MW natural gas-fired power plant in Ohio to independently restart in the event of a grid outage.

On Tuesday, Kansas City, Mo.-based contractor Burns & McDonnell announced that startup and commissioning of the new “black start” unit had been completed at the Carroll County Energy facility. The four engines can provide up to 15.6 MW of continuous power over a 24-hour period.

With this added capability, Carroll County Energy will be one of the first power generating facilities to help restore power to the PJM transmission system, according to the release.

“Many people in Ohio remember the 2003 blackout where power could not be restored for five days,” says Andrew Degon, senior vice president, engineering and construction for Advanced Power, equity partner and operator of Carroll County Energy. “Adding black start capacity to Carroll County Energy means we can restart almost immediately in the event of a widespread outage, which is a critical step to add resilience to the PJM grid and help prevent a similar disaster in the future.”

The diesel generators are from Caterpillar. They are used to start the GE 7FA Gas Turbines on-site.

Burns & McDonnell provided services on engineering, procurement and construction for the black start units. AZCO Inc., a Burns & McDonnell subsidiary, performed a majority of the construction work, done while Carroll County Energy was still operating commercially.

“It’s a prudent additional investment that requires a very complex engineering assessment to determine how much black start power is needed to get the main plant back online,” Rick Halil, president of the energy group at Burns & McDonnell, said in a statement. “In addition to sizing the diesel generators properly, we had to modify the turbine controls to enable isochronous, or island mode operation, plus modifications to the switchgear that allowed us to tie in the black start engines. We’re very proud of our role in turning Carroll County Energy into an important generating resource that will add grid stability for PJM as more and more renewable energy sources come online.”

Carroll County Energy is a combined cycle power plant which has been operating since December 2017.  It is owned and operated by Advanced Power LLC.

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Burns & McDonnell and Foley Power Systems will team up present a session on “Black Start: Where On-Site Power meets Conventional Generation” in the Future of Conventional Power hub on the POWERGEN International exhibit floor.  POWERGEN happens Nov. 18-21 in New Orleans.