Mild weather and rain didn’t stop the more than 30 POWER-GEN International attendees from loading onto a bus headed to Duke Energy’s (NYSE: DUK) Hines Energy Complex, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour.
“I wanted to check out the facility and see what I can learn from them,” said POWER-GEN International attendee, Lee Archer. Archer is representing Portland General Electric during the conference.
Located approximately an hour outside Orlando, in Polk County, Florida, the 1, 912-MW complex is home to four natural gas-fired, combined-cycle units.
The first unit began commercial operation in 1999, and subsequent units began operation in 2003, 2005, and 2007.
Power Block 1 features two Westinghouse Frame 501FCs, one Westinghouse steam turbine, and two Foster-Wheeler heat recovery steam generators (HRSG).
Power Block 2 is comprised of two Siemens Frame 501FD, one Siemens HE steam turbine, and two NEM HRSG. During the tour, attendees were able to take an exclusive look at Power Block 2, because the unit is currently offline for maintenance after a fire broke-out in the unit earlier this year. Power Block 2 is expected to resume operations June 2015.
Power Block 3 includes two Siemens Frame 501FD, one Siemens HE steam turbine, and two Nooter Eriksen HRSGs. In September 2002, in accordance with the Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act, previous owner Progress Energy submitted a petition for a determination of need for the third generation unit. In January 2003, the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approved the petition to add the third generation unit. The company moved forward with plans to build a combined-cycle power unit— approximately 500-MW—to begin commercial operation in late 2005. The unit, fueled by low emission natural gas, gave Progress Energy about 1,500-MW of generation capacity at its Hines site.
Power Block 4 is home to two General Electric Frame 7FA combustion turbines, one GE D11 reheat steam turbine, and two Nooter Eriksen HRSGs. Power Block 4 is currently offline due to scheduled maintenance.
All units are equipped with Selective Catalytic Reductions (SCR) systems. By utilizing emission controls, the facility is able to reduce its NOx output.
The site includes more than 8,000 acres. However, the complex itself takes up about 200 acres, while a cooling pond in the back of the facility covers approximately 2,000 acres and uses 15 million gallons of water per day.
“We typically run about two-percent forced outages per year, throughout all units,” said Mike Rabs, maintenance supervisor for the site.
Duke Energy plans to invest approximately $160 million to install chilling units at the Hines Energy Complex by 2017. The addition will increase the facility’s output by about 220-MW, bringing the power plant’s total generating capacity to 2,132-MW.
Previously, the Hines Energy Complex was known as the Hines Energy Center when Progress Energy owned the facility. Duke Energy acquired Progress Energy in July 2013.
Prior to that, the site served as a phosphate mine. According to Duke Energy spokesman Sterling Ivey, phosphate still remains in the area.
The Hines Energy Complex provides about 30 percent of Duke Energy’s overall energy needs in Florida.