The oldest engines in the GE 7E fleet served by the 7EA Users Group are approaching a half-century of service. This fleet incorporates gas-turbine models MS7001A, B, C, E, and EA, numbering 1168 units at 216 plants worldwide in mid-2017. The first unit, a 52.9-MW, oil-fired MS70001A, commissioned by Long Island Lighting Co in 1971 at its Shoreham Plant, is still in service, now owned and operated by National Grid Generation LLC.
What all the stats suggest is that given today’s topsy turvy generation world, the 2018 7EA Users Group meeting at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, Garden Grove, Calif, October 8-11, is the best place for owner/operators to find out what their colleagues are doing to meet demanding grid requirements and still turn a profit.
Presentations and discussion sessions will be dripping with ideas and experience on strategies to accommodate must-take renewables, what upgrades others have found worthwhile for maximizing availability and starting reliability, when you should replace—not repair—parts, etc. You probably could sit down now and write scores of questions you’d like answers to for helping to guide O&M strategies at your plant.
Then use the list to justify your participation in the meeting. Even if you get only a fraction of your questions answered, the financial benefit associated with not making uninformed decisions could be enormous. Think of the meeting as free consulting. After all, the admission fee for users is only $50 before August 9—and that includes most of the food you’ll require. Good idea to sign up today; the price goes up to $150 on August 9 and to $250 on September 9.
Sure, there’s transportation and hotel charges to add in and that will raise the cost of attendance, but most will be able to participate for about $1000. No budget? That’s no excuse for an opportunity like this; put off buying something budgeted until next year.
This is the 7EA Users’ first meeting on the West Coast since Monterey in 2013 and travel is convenient. LAX is 35 miles from the Hyatt Regency, and the Orange County/John Wayne Airport only 13 miles away.
If you have never attended a 7EA Users Group meeting and have to do more “research” before you hop off the proverbial bubble, consider that last year’s meeting in St. Augustine, Fla, attracted 100 users, in round numbers (about 40% by show of hands were first-timers), from six countries; 109 companies were represented at the vendor fair.
The 2018 conference agenda is available on the group’s website, but that doesn’t speak to the level of detail shared by both the user and vendor speakers. You can get this by reviewing a few presentations from previous years.
Finally, consider perusing the user group’s e-mail forum, moderated by Greg Carvalho of Simplified Technology Co, and also easily accessible online. It contains hundreds of solutions of value. The first post by a user was July 28, 2003; same time last year the number of postings available to users topped 17,000.
Those who have participated in previous meetings sponsored by the 7EA Users Group might want to review the agenda: The conference format has changed. This year, GE Day is Monday and the widely valued annual presentation, “What We Are Seeing in the Fleet from Our Borescope Inspections,” by Mike Hoogsteden, director of field services for Advanced Turbine Support LLC, moves to the first hour on Tuesday.
The editors believe this presentation alone is worth the registration fee—particularly for first timers. It brings you up to speed quickly regarding what’s going on in plants like yours and what to look for during inspection and maintenance outages, and includes a review of the most relevant Technical Information Letters (TILs) issued by the OEM.
Consider that most users are “land-locked” at their plants and with the significant turnover in personnel these days a knowledge vacuum may exist at your facility. This and the other presentations will help you break that vacuum.