Kiewit close to completing 625-MW Hill Top CCGT plant in PA

The 625-MW Hill Top Energy Center is still expected to go online this summer despite the workforce challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Kiewit reported that the combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant  is on track despite the previous work suspension in April 2020. The construction team accelerated its schedule to make up for the lost time and make Hill Top ready for commercial operations.

“We look forward to finishing on the original contract date despite working in the COVID environment and with the April work delay,” project sponsor Joe Grier said. “When we do that, it will be a pretty spectacular completion to the project.”

Hill Top Energy Center, located in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, will utilize a single GE 7HA.02 gas turbine and one hybrid steam turbine. The facility is developed by Hill Top Energy LLC with financial backing by Ares Management.

NAES will handle operations and maintenance oversight once the Hill Top Energy Center is commercially operational by the end of May or early June. Kiewit has handled complete oversight of EPC duties on the project.

“We’re responsible for the full scope on this project. That includes a two-mile raw water intake pipeline and pump facility located on the Monongahela River, along with a three-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line to our substation,” Grier said. “Our base contract also includes the centerline equipment supplied by our partner GE.”

The power plant is being built on a brownfield site originally owned by a coal mining operation. Hill Top is directly above the prolific Marcellus Shale gas play.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ Series happening April 28-29 around Optimizing Plant Performance. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com).

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