Repowering project complete at gas-fired power plant in California

Imperial Irrigation District’s (IID) 140 MW El Centro Unit 3 repowering project at the natural gas-fired El Centro Generating Station in El Centro, Calif., has reached commercial operation and is adding power to the local electric grid, the utility said on Oct. 9.

The $250 million repowering project consisted of replacing major components of a Combustion Engineering boiler, which had been in operation since 1957, and a Westinghouse steam turbine generator at plant. Both were replaced with a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle system consisting of two combustion turbine generators, two heat recovery steam generators and a steam turbine generator.

The repowered unit will increase IID’s generation capacity by 100 MW, improve overall system reliability and boost fuel efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the utility said in a press release.

The project’s in-service date, which was originally planned for May 2012, was delayed due to a failure during testing that caused damage to the entire turbine core. The original turbine was returned to Sweden and replaced with a new core.

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