COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 28, 2001 -
American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has completed a two-year repowering project to boost generating capacity at its Northeastern Station (NES) generating plant in Oologah, Okla., about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa. NES is operated by AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO).
The repowering increases the generating capacity of the natural gas-fired NES Unit 1 from 160 megawatts (mw) to 475 mw. The $135 million project, begun in late 1999, represents the largest increase in capacity at a PSO power plant in two decades.
The project added two GE 7F combustion turbines and heat recovery steam generators to Unit 1’s existing steam turbine in a combined-cycle operation. The Unit 1 steam turbine had been scheduled for retirement in 2005. Instead, the unit’s turbine was refurbished, extending its life by 15 years while boosting its capacity by 10 mw.
The project is the result of a PSO Request for Proposals issued in April 1998 for 280 mw to be online in the summer of 2001.
The original 160-mw NES Unit 1 went into service in 1961. It has operated as a mid-range plant, meaning it has been used less than a base load unit but more than a peaking plant. The increase in capacity from 160 mw to 475 mw has changed the way the plant operates, according to plant manager Shelby Berryhill.
“With the increase in power and the improved efficiencies of combined-cycle operation, we’re now a first-on and last-off unit, meaning we operate almost continuously,” Berryhill said. “That’s required us to change our old mindset to meet the challenges and opportunities of operating in a new way."
NES Unit 2 is a 470-mw gas-fired unit that went into service in 1970. The expansion of NES Unit 1 brings the combined capacity of NES Units 1 and 2 to 945 mw. Two adjacent units, NES Units 3 and 4, are base load units that use coal as their fuel. NES Units 3 and 4 have a generating capacity of 910 mw.