Skip to comments.NRG to restart power plant to meet summer demand for electricity
Posted on 06/11/2013 10:36:52 AM PDT by thackney
NRG Energy plans to fire up the mothballed SR Bertron natural gas-fired generation plant to help meet the growing electricity need as the Texas summer heats up.
The plant, in Deer Park, Texas, had been in mothball status since last summer and required about 45 days of preparations to return online.
The SR Berton plant, comprising four units built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, can generate about 750 megawatts additional capacity that NRG expects to add to the grid on the hottest days of the summer, when demand typically peaks. One megawatt can serve about 200 typical Texas homes during hot summer weather.
They will be available all summer and will most likely run on the hottest days, when the temperatures rise above 90 degrees, said John Ragan, an executive vice president for the Gulf Coast region for NRG. These are plants from the 1950s and we want to save them for when the need is really there.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the grid for most of Texas, has predicted that reserves may be tight this summer. Grid planners set a 13.75 percent target reserve margin to ensure the systems reliability even in peak use conditions, but estimate that the summers capacity will be about 13.2 percent, even with NRGs added capacity.
But power emergency alerts still are likely on some of the hottest days this summer.
We are expecting above-normal temperatures throughout summer in most areas of the ERCOT region, said Kent Saathoff, an ERCOT executive adviser who has overseen various aspects of grid operations and system planning for several decades. To help ensure there is enough generation to serve consumer needs, we likely will ask people to conserve power during the hottest hours of the hottest days.
Ragan estimates that the SR Bertron units may only be used for about 100 hours in the summers peak hours, even though the costs associated with the needed maintenance to prepare the units ran into the double-digit millions.
It is a significant investment on our part, both because of the capital investment and the full- time staff required at these plants, Ragan said. One thing we face is the increased cost of maintenance of these plants. It is difficult for us to justify putting money into plants that run so infrequently. The newer plants that are more emission-friendly and faster to start are really way of the future, rather than depending on plants that are past their mechanical lifespan.
Unless they are replacing all the bearings, turbines and boilers, 10+ million seems a bit high for an oil change and steam pressure check.
45 days?.....That will put it into the beginning of August if no problems arise..........
I don’t think they just started today.
Dealer Service is always higher..........
It sounds high but they definitely are not replacing all four boilers and turbines for that low sum.
Especially with the use of the past tense “required.”
Several pictures of work being done. It included Substation and other electrical maintenance. Us sparky’s don’t come cheap like pipers.
Can’t they just buy any needed extra juice from California?
It looks to me like those are bus conductors. That bare aluminum is the current carrying conductor for the 3 phase of the power.
I know 6” Aluminum is good for 4,000 Amps. These are massive. The “relatively” short insulator leaves me guessing a 15kV system, likely 12.47kV or 13.8kV.
You can see those same bus conductors running near the top of the structure. There are multiple taps running from the main bus to the step-up transformers. This is delivering power from the generator to the transmission line. Keep in mind this station was built in the
Keep in mind this station was built in the 1950s.
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