Best Practices – Combined Cycle Journal

2024 CCJ Best Practices Awards

DEADLINE: May 17, 2024



  • Engine/fuel system/controls/emissions uprates/improvements/enhancements to enable fast starting of existing gas turbines in both simple- and combined-cycle service.
  • Improvements/enhancements to enable other grid ancillary services—such as black start, synchronous condenser, etc.


  • O&M staffing plan (permanent employees) for the next 10 years in terms of numbers, skills development required, etc, for peaking and combined-cycle facilities.
  • Training program for single plant or fleet (rotating staff).
  • Multi-skills training—e.g., operator/mechanic.
  • Specialized training—e.g. controls, cycle chemistry, etc.
  • Capturing intelligence.
  • Training for simple-cycle facilities running more.
  • Finding time for combined-cycle training at high capacity factors.
  • Scenario training—e.g., what-if problem solving, how to respond to off-normal and emergency conditions.
  • Retraining programs.
  • Qualifying employees for advancement.
  • Repurposing coal-plant personnel for peaker and combined-cycle duty.


Water-use restrictions and higher prices, plus bans in many areas on plant liquid discharges, have placed additional burdens on owner/operators. What are your best practices for such things as:

  • Water-use survey and ongoing monitoring.
  • Demand reduction—for example, reducing boiler blowdown, raising cycles of concentration.
  • Onsite treatment of drains for reuse.
  • Treatment and use of municipal and industrial wastewaters for plant makeup.
  • Alternative uses for plant wastewater streams.
  • Sampling and pretreatment of ground and surface waters.


  • Starting reliability.
  • Availability.
  • Emissions reduction.
  • Thermal performance monitoring program.
  • Benchmarking.
  • Data retention and analysis.
  • Diagnostic and analytic tools.
  • On-staff or contract service for monitoring.
  • Program for identifying/correcting deficiencies; trigger points for action.
  • Staff awareness/training.
  • Condition-based maintenance program.
  • M&D center.


Goal is to identify successful procedures for assuring compliance with critical safety standards developed by such industry organizations and professional societies as:

  • NFPA (56, 70E, 85, 850, etc).
  • ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code.
  • IEEE.


  • Planning process.
  • Outage safety programs.
  • Pitfalls to avoid from previous outages.
  • Personnel responsibilities—plant staff, fleet specialists, contractors.
  • Improving upon past performance—e.g., reducing outage cost, shortening the schedule.
  • Planned-outage strategy—e.g., shut down or run 1 x 1 while working on one GT and HRSG.
  • Forced-outage strategy.
  • Pre-outage inspection program to fine-tune outage scope.
  • Review process for OEM alerts.


Best practices for:

  • Inspection.
  • Maintenance.
  • Repair.
  • Upgrade.
  • Safety.


BOP includes condensers, cooling towers, high-energy piping systems, major valves and pumps, water treatment, fuel handling and treatment, plant auxiliaries, etc.

  • Inspection.
  • Maintenance.
  • Repair.
  • Upgrade.


Shrinking staffs and inexperienced operators demand new solutions to “watch over” plant systems and equipment for impending problems and to maintain desired levels of availability and reliability. Two such solutions are M&D centers and software packages to warn of developing issues. What best practices can you offer in these areas, among others:

  • Vulnerability analysis: How do you determine what’s most likely to cause a forced outage at your plant?
  • How do you decide which software packages best meet plant needs?
  • How to evaluate the economic value of software packages.
  • Staff capabilities/training necessary to successfully implement a software solution.
  • How to evaluate in-house versus contract M&D center
  • Capabilities required in an in-house M&D center, staffing, communication, decision-making regarding plant shutdown, etc.
  • Alternatives to predictive analytics.

Eligible plants

Gas-turbine-based powerplants (combined cycle, cogeneration, peaking) throughout the world.


Judging/recognition: All entries will receive industry recognition by way of a profile in a special editorial section on Best Practices published in the throughout the year in COMBINED CYCLE Journal. A panel of judges with asset management experience will select for formal recognition at an industry event next spring, the Best Practices they believe offer the greatest benefit to the industry given today’s demanding goals of improving performance, reliability/availability, and safety, and reducing costs, while satisfying the requirements of ever more challenging regulations promulgated by EPA, NERC, OSHA, regional grids, etc.


1. Entries accepted only from employees of powerplant owners and third-party firms with direct responsibility for managing the operation and maintenance of gas-turbine-based electric generating facilities worldwide.

2. Maximum of ten entries from the same powerplant.

3. Entries must be received by midnight May 17, 2024, via regular mail/courier, fax, e-mail or online submission.

Entry Guidelines

1. Award category (select one):

  • Fast starts.
  • New skills/workforce development.
  • Water management
  • Performance improvements.
  • Plant safety procedures.
  • Outage management.
  • O&M: Generators, transformers, HV electrical.
  • O&M, mechanical: Major equipment, BOP.
  • Predictive analytics/M&D centers
  • Environmental Stewardship

2. Title of Best Practice.

3. Challenge: Description of business or technical challenge motivating the development of a Best Practice.

4. Solution: Description of the Best Practice.

5. Results: Document the benefits gained by implementing the Best Practice. For example, percent improvement in starting reliability or plant availability, dollar or percent saving in annual operating cost or reduction in annual maintenance cost, improvement in man-hours worked without a lost-time accident, etc.

Please limit your response for Section 5 to the equivalent of three pages of single-spaced 12-pt. type. Add photos, drawings, tables, etc., to support your entry.

6. Name of plant.

7. Plant owner.

8. Plant manager.

9. Plant personnel, (and their titles and company affiliation) to be recognized for developing and implementing the Best Practice.

10. Add photos, drawings to support entry.

11. Contact for more information (name, title, company, phone, fax, e-mail).

12. Plant information (MW rating, configuration, location, OEM and model of GT, ST, HRSG)

13. Mailing address for plaque.

Email or call Scott Schwieger, CCJ Senior Editor, if you have any questions.

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