The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized a gas-fired Tennessee Valley Authority power plant as the first to implement specific energy management improvements.
The TVA’s Magnolia Combined Cycle plant in Mississippi was deemed as 50001 Ready by the DOE. Magnolia would be the first plant to meet voluntary steps under the guidelines of ISO 50001, the global standard for energy management system in industrial, commercial and institutional facilities.
“It’s exciting for TVA to have the first plant with this recognition because the DOE certification demonstrates TVA’s continued leadership and innovation in the utility industry,” said Cindy Herron, TVA EnergyRight vice president. “As the largest public power utility in America, it is important for TVA to be energy efficient in its internal operations, to make improvements to lower costs and keep grid reliability at 99.999 percent.”
TVA EnergyRight identified an opportunity to use this program as a self-guided approach to gain energy efficiencies at the TVA Magnolia plant. Since May 2018, the Magnolia plant was able to save approximately 18 GWh of energy and nearly $1.2 million annually with no additional capital investment.
“The utility industry is evolving and we’re changing the way we think about our day-to-day operations,” said Erick Watson, Magnolia operations manager. “Prior to this, continuous improvement efforts had led us to install LED lighting and now we’re thinking on the next level, with input from operations and maintenance teams, to safely make better decisions around energy use.”
Energy efficiency opportunities were identified by the team who walked through the 50001 Ready process to identify when equipment such as pumps or fans could be run more efficiently or reduced in normal operations.
TVA also partnered with the Industrial Assessment Center at Tennessee Tech University. Funded by a DOE grant program, professors and students identified and made recommendations for additional energy efficiency gains that could be achieved through capital improvements.
“Teaming up with Tennessee Tech added the fresh perspective of the professors and students to the working knowledge of plant employees who together identified energy savings which ultimately resulted in cost savings for TVA supporting our commitment to keep rates low,” said Watson.
The International Organization for Standardization originally created ISO 50001 in 2011 with a new edition released two years ago. The ISO 50001: 2018 provide a framework for organizations to develop energy efficiency policies, fix targets and objectives to meet the goals, use data to better understand and make decisions on energy use and continually improve outcomes, according to the ISO website.
The TVA is a corporate agency of the federal government which provides electricity to nearly 10 million customers in seven states. It receives no taxpayer funding but generates all revenue from the sale of electricity.
The Magnolia combined cycle plant was commissioned in 2003 and is located in Ashland, Mississippi. It generates about 920 MW from three units.
In addition to the Magnolia gas-fired plant, the TVA has more than 70 power generation facilities in its portfolio. Overall, the agency generated about 163 TWh of electricity in fiscal 2020, more than half of that carbon free, according to the TVA website.
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Lowering Carbon in Thermal Generation, Gas-fired Turbines and Technologies and Optimizing Plant Performance will be three of the content tracks offered at POWERGEN International happening December 8-10 in Orlando. The POWERGEN 2020 call for abstracts is now open!