The 501G Users Group is a small organization of well-connected engineers and technicians who have “grown up” together—so to speak—and very familiar with their colleagues’ plants and equipment. The first Siemens/Westinghouse 501G, installed by Lakeland Electric, began commissioning operations in April 1999, but COD wasn’t until March 2001—only one month before the second machine began commercial operation at Millennium.
Chair (acting): Mark Winne, plant manager, Millennium Power Partners
Scott Wiley, outage manager, Vistra Corp
Guy Taylor, plant engineer, Lakeland Electric
John Wolff, technical support/compliance manager, Ironwood, LS Power
Fleet size is small by industry standards—24 engines at 13 sites in the US and one in Mexico (sidebar). Four plants are equipped with one engine each; seven have two gas turbines; two are equipped with three machines each, arranged in 1 × 1 combined cycles.
User meetings typically host one-third to one-half first-timers, so many discussions are similar from year to year because newcomers have to be brought up to speed. But there’s not much turnover in the top positions at G facilities which means each meeting pretty much picks up where the last one left off. This contributes to presentation efficiency because there’s a minimum amount of repetition.
Most user groups serving GT owner/operators organize their technical programs by sections of the engine—for example, compressor combustion section, turbine, etc. By contrast, the G users generally begin with an “annual report” from each plant and follow that nominal half-day program with user presentations on emerging and significant plantwide issues of importance to the fleet.
Excerpts from plant reports and abstracts of selected presentations made during the pandemic and not previously presented in CCJ follow the summary agenda for the 2023 conference, immediately below, which is based on information made available to the editors on January 17. An updated conference program is available at the conference registration desk.
W501G fleet: 13 plants, two-dozen units
Ackerman Combined Cycle Plant, TVA, Ackerman, Miss
Athens Generating Plant, operated by NAES Corp, Athens, NY
Ennis Power Plant, Vistra Corp, Ennis, Tex
Fuerza y Energia Naco Nogales SA de CV (FENN), Gas Natural Fenosa México, Agua Prieta Sonora, México
Granite Ridge Energy Center, Calpine Corp, Londonderry, NH
Harquahala Generating Facility, operated by NAES Corp, Tonopah, Ariz
Hillabee Generating Station, Constellation Energy Corp, Alexander City, Ala
Ironwood, operated by EthosEnergy Group, Lebanon, Pa
Magic Valley Generating Station, Calpine Corp, Edinburg, Tex
Magnet Cove Generating Station, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp, Malvern, Ark
C D McIntosh Jr Power Plant, Lakeland Electric, Lakeland, Fla
Millennium Power Partners, operated by NAES Corp, Charlton, Mass
Wise County Power Plant, Vistra Corp, Poolville, Tex
501 G Users Group agenda highlights
Tuesday, February 21:
- Morning session (first half) features a highly interactive workshop on Human Performance, complete with (1) an explanatory presentation by an experienced user, (2) learning teams, and (3) tips on how to avoid the Blame Game.
- Presentations and discussion on retubing of rotor air coolers (RAC) and the fuel-gas heater complete the morning program. User experiences and challenges are shared by attendees.
- Siemens presents after lunch. A technology review of the inlet and compressor sections, plus a general discussion on debris contributors and management, get the afternoon program rolling. A technology review of the combustor, turbine, and exhaust sections follows, with updates on NextGen and Row 1 vanes completing the day.
Wednesday, February 22:
- Morning session (first half) reviews fleet statistics and key issues, which are incorporated into the plant reports presented by representatives of all facilities participating.
- User presentations on HP bypass replacement and OST valve replacement close out the morning program.
- Afternoon session includes two interactive roundtables:
- Generators, focusing on:
- Major maintenance.
- Risk/reward and how it may change based on a variety of factors.
- Major spares, rewind kits, and contingency planning.
- O&M considerations for fuel-gas heaters:
- Identifying fuel-gas leaks and operating with them.
- Alarms versus trips—prudent engineering guidance.
- Bundle replacement options.
Thursday, February 23:
- Two user presentations before the morning refreshment break address Row 3 turbine-blade ring deflection and AVR upgrades.
- One user presentation is scheduled after the break but the topic was not available at press time.
Useful Conference Links
- 501F and G users meet together—again (includes Monday highlights)
- 501F Users Group program for 2023
- 501G Users Group program for 2023
- 501F 2022 conference recap: User sessions
- 501F 2022 conference recap: Vendor presentations
- Excerpts from recent 501G plant reports
- Abstracts of recent 501G user presentations
- Remembering Steve Bates