The generator at Power Plant 3, located at 1486 17th avenue, is undergoing some maintenance. The 17 year old generator is the largest of the 4 BPU generators. This generator is capable of producing 80 MW of power; that’s close to the equivalent of 32 large wind power generators combined.
This generator has seen an increase in usage since McPherson’ BPU’s generation is now dispatched by theSouthwest Power Pool (SPP)’s located in Little Rock, Arkansas. SPP is one of nine independent service operators or regional transmission organizations mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity. Before2014, the year BPU became part of the SPP’s dispatching territory, the average start history was about 12 times per year; since 2014, the generator has averaged around 70 starts per year.
One of the main reasons for the maintenance is to replace the worn iso-pad under the generator’s stator to help isolate vibrations. Doing this will help reduce wear and tear on the generator.
Power Plant Maintenance Superintendant, Gunner Peterson, said that many times projects like this might be contracted to GE contractors or some other specialized contractors due to technical knowledge and skill level needed to maintenance our generators. However, He said BPU has the manpower to do it and knows his crew is more than competent and capable of tackling the project themselves. Peterson said that he expects the project to complete in October of this year.