2011 Best Practices – Combined Cycle Journal

2011 Best Practices

One of the biggest challenges facing owners and operators of gas-turbine-based powerplants in deregulated markets is the need to continually improve the performance of their facilities—to increase revenues and decrease expenses. One component of this goal of “continual improvement” is Best Practices. These are the methods and procedures plants rely on to assure top performance on a predictable and repeatable basis.

The Best Practices Awards program launched in late 2004 by the COMBINED CYCLE Journal has as its primary objective the recognition of the valuable contributions made by plant staffs—and headquarters engineering and asset-management personnel as well—to improve the performance of GT-based generating facilities. Entries for the 2011 awards in Operation and Maintenance (three categories this year: Balance of Plant, Major Equipment, Business), Design, Environmental Stewardship, Management, and Safety (two categories: Procedures & Administration, Equipment & Systems) are presented in the more than four-dozen pages that comprise this report—all edited for style, some for length. A quick read is sure to uncover an idea or two that can be repurposed at your plant to increase reliability/availability, boost efficiency, reduce air and water emissions, and/or improve safety.

The Categories and Nominees are:
(Some photos are included online, but to see all referenced photos, please refer to the print magazine.)


Effingham County Power | Jasper Generating Station | Klamath Cogeneration Plant | Whiting Clean Energy | Morgan Energy Center

Environmental Stewardship

Lincoln Generating Facility | Armstrong Energy | Jasper Generating Station | Faribault Energy Park


New Harquahala Generating Co LLC | Arlington Valley Energy Facility | Arrow Canyon Complex | Tenaska Virginia Generating Station

Safety, Equipment & Systems

Terry Bundy Generating Station | Klamath Cogeneration Plant | Green Country Energy | Beatrice Power Station | Arlington Valley Energy Facility | Armstrong Energy (2 nominations) | Tenaska Virginia Generating Station |Granite Ridge Energy

Safety Procedures & Administration

AEP Natural Gas Plant Fleet | Rathdrum Power Plant | Selkirk Cogen | Hopewell Cogeneration Facility | New Covert Generating Facility | MEAG Wansley Unit 9 | Walter M Higgins Generating Station (2 nominations) | Armstrong Energy | Blackhawk Station

O&M, Balance of Plant

Wolf Hollow 1 | Mill Creek Combustion Turbine Station | Decatur Energy Center | Blackhawk Station | Walter M Higgins Generating Station | Klamath Cogeneration Plant | Michigan Power | Armstrong Energy | Jasper Generating Station | Arlington Valley Energy Facility

O&M, Business

Brownsville Combustion Turbine Plant | Tenaska Virginia Generating Station | Osprey Energy Center | Granite Ridge Energy | New Harquahala Generating Co LLC | Whiting Clean Energy

O&M, Major Equipment

Athens Generating Plant | Whiting Clean Energy | Central de Ciclo Combinado Saltillo | Blackhawk Station | Tenaska Lindsay Hill Generating Station | Granite Ridge Energy | Tenaska Central Alabama Generating Station

The entries were judged by nine members of the CTOTF Leadership Committee, chaired by Bob Kirn of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Combustion Turbine Operations Task Force, the nation’s oldest GT user group, and the one with the broadest coverage in terms of manufacturers and models served, hosted the presentation of awards during the organization’s Spring Turbine Forum at PGA National Resort, West Palm Beach, Fla, April 11.

There are two levels of awards to recognize the achievements at individual plants: Best Practices and The Best of the Best, as determined by the judges. Award recipients will be announced in the next issue. (Additional photos will also be available in the print edition.)

How Best Practices entries are judged

Objective judging is critical to the success of any awards program. The CTOTF Leadership Committee, chaired by Bob Kirn of Tennessee Valley Authority, Chattanooga, selected from its ranks a panel of nine judges for 2011. Note that Best Practices entries were scrubbed of company, plant, and personnel names before they were submitted for judging.

Entries were received from gas-turbine-based combined-cycle, peaking, and cogeneration plants. The panel of judges reflected expertise in each of these sectors of the industry to ensure a level playing field for all participants. Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the panel’s qualifications:

  • Five judges are located at their companies’ headquarters sites and have engineering and/or management responsibilities for multiple generating resources; four are plant managers.
  • All of the judges operating out of headquarters locations are former plant or O&M managers at GT-based generating facilities; several have conventional steam-plant experience as well.
  • Two judges are experts in aero engine O&M, the others specialize in frames.
  • Plant management/operations experience of the panel is well over 150 years.

Each judge received a notebook containing the entries arranged by category: Management, Environmental Stewardship, Safety (two categories: Procedures & Administration and Equipiment & Systems) Design, and Operations and maintenance (three categories: O&M Business, Major Equipment, and Balance of Plant); plus, a score sheet. The assignment: Read each entry for a given category and rate it from 1 to 10 for the five evaluation parameters listed below. The weighting factor assigned to each evaluation parameter is in parentheses.

  1. 1. Achieve business value–both real and measurable (10)
  2. 2. Complexity of the issue (8)
  3. 3. O&M staff involvement (6)
  4. 4. Degree of coordination across multiple groups at both the plant and corporate levels (5)
  5. 5. Duration of the value proposition (9)

The next step is to multiply the score for each parameter by its weighting factor; then add the results. The entry with the lowest point total in a given category is awarded a “1,” next highest a “2,” and so on.

Each judge submits his or her rankings to the editors who then add them. The lowest point total in each of the eight categories is rated The Best of the Best.

The year the voting was tight, but there were no ties like last year. A total of eight Best of the Best plaques will be awarded in 2011.

Please judge the entries on your own, using the guidelines and scorecard presented below. E-mail Senior Editor Scott Schwieger (scott@psimedia.info) with your choices in each category and tell him why you selected the plants you did. We welcome your input and will include it in the next issue along with the judges’ results. Announcement of the 2012 awards program is made elsewhere in this issue. Alternatively, you can get details at www.combinedcyclejournal.com/bestpractices.html. Entries should not take more than a couple of hours to prepare and can be submitted to Schwieger at any time on or before Dec 30, 2011. This is one way to get the recognition your plant, your staff, and you have earned by your collective resourcefulness. Please plan to participate.

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