Platte River Also Receives Notification of Award for Rawhide
FORT COLLINS, COLO - Platte River Power Authority turned off Unit 1 at the Rawhide Energy Station on September 26 for planned maintenance on the 24-year-old power plant. Planned maintenance is now done every three years with funds allocated to the maintenance accumulated in the off years to lessen any rate impacts to Platte River's owner communities.
Maintenance goals include zero injuries, cost at or below budget ($26.3 million) and bringing Unit 1 back on-line on or before October 31. This work has been in planning for about two years and includes over 600 individual jobs and over 40 contractors employing more than 400 workers over the four weeks. Workers at Rawhide also include about 30 women from Platte River and contractor staffs.
"We intend to perform all possible repairs and preventative maintenance to ensure Rawhide maintains world class plant safety, reliability, efficiency and environmental compliance," said Jason Frisbie, Division Manager, Power Production at Platte River.
This focus on maintaining the plant in top condition is paying off as Frisbie and Platte River employees learned this week. Power Magazine named Rawhide one of the top five coal-fired power plants (www.powermag.com).
Maintenance will be performed on mechanical ($5.2 million) and electrical ($800,000) systems.
Major capital projects include replacement of air heater baskets ($1.2 million). The current baskets are at the ends of their lives (13 years) and replacement will improve plant efficiency by recovering waste heat; Replacement of the high pressure/intermediate pressure turbine rotor ($8.4 million with $4.5 million this year). This should improve plant efficiency by approximately 100 Btu/kWh and add about 4 MW (enough to power about 2,000 homes*) to Unit 1’s generating capacity (contractor guarantee); replacement of main steam and reheat piping ($1.1 million) as part of risk management as there have been recent industry failures of this type -- and age -- of high pressure/high temperature piping; and, an expansion of the reheat pendent surface area ($900,000). The expansion is required to obtain boiler/turbine upgrade efficiency balance. (see sidebar 1 information for details of each project area.)
When Rawhide Unit 1 was started up for commercial operation in 1984, its capacity rating was 262 MW. Its current 274 MW capacity is largely due to technology upgrades in turbine blade design and operations.
Platte River has received recognition for its operations over the past decade. (See sidebar 2 for details)
* An average home has a peak power need of about 2.0 kW.
Platte River Power Authority generates and delivers reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible electricity to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado, where it is distributed by each municipal utility to residents and businesses. For more information, please visit, www.prpa.org.
Mechanical Maintenance Projects
• Water wall repairs
• Bottom ash rebuild
• Pre-heat coal replacement
• Turbine control valve upgrade and repairs
• Burner replacements
• Extraction expansion joints
• Valve repairs
• Boiler feed pump rebuild
• Generator re-wedge, stator core tighten, exciter testing
• Flush Electro-Hydraulic Control system and rebuild all cylinders
• Support of all mechanical projects
• Clean and inspect over 20 large critical motors
• Clean and inspect critical electrical busses and breakers
• Rebuild and inspect electric motor valve actuators
• Calibrate all critical system controls (transmitters and switches)
• Perform required upgrades of Distributed Control System
Sidebar 2 – Platte River recognition
• 1998 -- Platte River Power and Fort Collins Utilities become first Colorado utilities to offer wind energy to customers
• 2000 -- Platte River becomes charter member of Fort Collins ClimateWise program
• 2002 -- Top 10 Utilities in U.S. for providing green pricing programs – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
• 2002 -- VERA agreement signed with Colorado Air Pollution Control Division
• 2003 -- Top 10 Coal-fired generator unit in the western U.S. based on low emission rates, high availability and low coal price -- Innovative Business Engineering, LLC, Quarterly Report of WECC and ERCOT Coal- Fired Generating Units
• 2004 -- Lowest-ranked coal-fired power plant in Colorado (among 25 coal-fired plants) in sulphur dioxide emissions -- Environmental Protection Agency
• 2002, 2003 and 2004 -- Fifth-lowest coal-fired power plant in the U.S. in sulphur dioxide emissions — Electric Light & Power, November 2002, November 2003, November 2004 Industry Report (2001, 2002 and 2003 data, respectively)
• 2005 -- Platte River joints California Climate Action Registry committing to publicly report Greenhouse Gases
• October 2005 -- last major maintenance at Rawhide, $29 million, 700 individual jobs, six weeks, installation of improved environmental controls
• 2005 -- Rawhide ranked second in the nation among coal-fired power plants for productivity as measured by capacity factor (2004 data)
• 2006 -- Rawhide becomes first utility in the nation to use biodiesel to restart a coal-fired generator for the production of electricity
• 2006 -- Platte River's Renewable Energy program certified by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e ENERGY®, the nation's leading certification and verification program
• 2006 -- Platte River awarded 2005 Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Environmental Business Award for Resource Conservation
• 2007 -- Platte River awarded 2007 Larimer County Commissioners Environmental Stewardship Award for its commitment to the environment