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Grand River Dam Authority Dedicates New Generation Unit

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Officials with the Grand River Dam Authority dedicated its new power unit, which incorporates the first J-class turbine to become operational in the Americas, according to Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.

The $500 million project at the Grand River Energy Center began construction in January 2015 after the adoption of GRDA’s new, long-term electric generation plan. GRDA’s Unit 3, which replaced a coal-fired generator, includes an M501J advanced-class gas turbine, the first to be constructed by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems at its Savannah Machinery Works facility in Georgia, and an MHPS steam turbine.

The MHPS turbine was delivered on time to the site and achieved First Fire on March 14 in its first attempt. Two days later the turbine was synchronized to the grid to produce electricity for GRDA and Southwest Power Pool customers. The commissioning team achieved this contract milestone 35 days of ahead of the June 1st contract deadline. During the startup process, the M501J turbine exceeded its performance guarantee and GRDA was able to sell power to the grid ahead of schedule.

GRDA’s “grand and greener” plan also includes a retrofit of the emissions control equipment located on GRDA’s Unit 2 coal-generator, as well as a commitment to increase wind generation capacity within the GRDA energy portfolio of coal, hydro, wind and other gas generation.

“This is a customer-driven plan that complements the ever-increasing percentage of renewable energy in the regional market, and positions GRDA as a leader in the transformation of the U.S. energy sector,” GRDA CEO Dan Sullivan said. “With our customers' long-term, supportive commitment, GRDA invested in their collective future with the best technology available in the U.S.”

“The Grand River Dam Authority asked us to provide the people of Oklahoma the most efficient and reliable power plant available," said Paul Browning, president and CEO of MHPS Americas. "We’re proud to announce that the first J-series in the Americas beat our performance guarantee and achieved 62% combined cycle efficiency. GRDA now owns the first 60 hertz combined cycle power plant in the world to make this claim.”

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