Plants powered by 7FAs most successful in CCJ Best Practices Awards program

The 7F Users Group serves owner/operators of the world’s most successful F-class engine, in terms of unit sales. In round numbers, about 900 7FAs have been shipped by the OEM for 60-Hz power generation service. So it makes sense that owner/operators of these engines would be highly visible participants in CCJ’s Best Practices Awards program.

This year, 13 plants powered by 7FAs were recognized for their accomplishments. Two, Gateway Generating Station (Fig 1) and Gila River Power Station (Fig 2) were at the top of the Class of 2015, receiving Best of the Best Awards. Both elected to accept their awards at the co-located Combined Cycle and Steam Turbine Users Group meetings in Orlando, August 24-27. Note that these two organizations are under the Power Users Inc umbrella along with the 7F Users Group.

BoB 1, 2

Three other plants—Emery Generating Station, Riverside Generating Station, and Green Country Energy—were recognized by industry peers at the 7F meeting in Denver, May 11-15. CCJ Editor Bob Schwieger presented the Emery and Riverside award to Alliant Energy’s Jim Fleming for an innovative rail and lanyard system for GT enclosures and the Green Country award for leadership training and plant-based mini conference to J-Power USA’s Makoto Kaneko. Details of the Best Practices submitted by the staffs of these facilities follow the summary recognition for all 7FAs immediately below. Contributions to industry knowledge made by all plants participating in the Best Practices Awards program will be published in CCJ (print edition).

Awards were received by 7FA owner/operators in 2015 for these Best Practices:

Colusa Generating Station, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
Operation and Maintenance

      • Engineering study to assess cycling impacts helps prioritize future expenditures.

      • Online monitoring of dissolved gases in transformers ensures safe and reliable operation.

Performance Improvements

      • Startup emissions calculator enables compliance.

Effingham County Power, operated by Consolidated Asset Management Services.
Operation and Maintenance

      • Root-cause analysis of frequent bearing failures in the plant’s ammonia blowers led to system modifications along with maintenance and operational improvements. The site has not experienced such a bearing failure since implementation of the best practice.

      • Plant staff developed and implemented procedures, housed in a consolidated binder, to cost-effectively and efficiently undertake the in-house calibration of almost 400 instruments at the facility.

      • Equipping combustion turbine thermocouples with a new insulation design ensures higher reliability and ease of maintenance on instrumentation prone to premature failure.

      • Problematic and unreliable process sample lines from the plant’s HRSGs were replaced with a new sampling system that is more accessible to personnel and easier to maintain.

Emery and Riverside Generating Stations, Alliant Energy.

      • An innovative rail and lanyard system implemented in the gas-turbine enclosures greatly improves protection from trip and fall hazards during outages, while also enhancing productivity, reducing costs, and minimizing schedule impacts.

Essential Power Newington.
Operation and Maintenance

      • Evaporative-cooler relocation improves maintainability.

      • Smart drains reduce potential for piping damage.

      • Upgrading battery technology and system contributes to increased safety and reliability.

Performance Improvements

      • Gas-turbine liquid fuel recommissioning enhances reliability.

Faribault Energy Park, operated by NAES Corp.

Fast Starts

      • Steam-turbine warming blankets offer increased operational flexibility and reduced startup time.

Workforce Development

      • Development of a checklist and subsequent staff training to effectively write procedures greatly reduces the risk of human errors and system failures.

Gateway Generating Station, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.


      • Understanding the importance of gas line safety, the collaborative efforts of the PG&E team led to a comprehensive inspection and preventive maintenance program that ensures gas-system components remain safe and reliable.

Gila River Power Station, operated by EthosEnergy Group.

Performance Improvements

      • Plant staff developed and implemented a series of innovative operating procedures that reduce fuel gas use on startup, shorten the time taken to meet dispatch requirements, and improve extended turndown operation.

Green Country Energy, operated by NAES Corp.

Workforce Development

      • Leadership training program equips future plant leaders for the new and ever-increasing challenges in the electricity industry.

      • Training and information exchange with fellow owner/operators over the course of a two-day conference hosted onsite proves cost-effective and efficient for discussing common technical issues.

Hartwell Energy Facility, Oglethorpe Power Corp.


      • Improved stairwell design provides safe, efficient access to turbine and generator.

MEAG Wansley Unit 9, operated by NAES Corp.

Operation and Maintenance

      • Alternative pump modification saves labor and crane cost.

      • New LED plant lighting reduces costs, enhances worker safety.


      • Weekly eyewash/shower station inspections safeguard workers in case of emergency.

      • Reverse-osmosis system redesign eliminates ergonomic risks to operators.

Nueces Bay Energy Center, Topaz Power Group.

Performance Improvements

      • Replacement of traditional clipboard and pen with tablet and stylus allows operators to log rounds data digitally, making collection and troubleshooting quick and efficient.

Washington County Power, operated by Consolidated Asset Management Services.

Operation and Maintenance

      • Test switches installed on the CEMS control panel enable operators to conduct monthly tests quickly and safely without disrupting the plant’s electrical system.

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