Two of the two largest coal-fired energy centers in Ameren Missouri’s generation fleet — the Labadie Energy Center and the Rush Island Energy Center — have been honored for their performance.
The Electric Utility Cost Group (EUCG) announced it has selected the two energy centers as Best Performers for 2011.
EUCG is a global association of energy and electric utility professionals who discuss current and emerging industry issues, share best practices and exchange data for benchmarking purposes.
“These awards demonstrate that our commitment to performance, cost efficiency and reliability for our customers is paying off,” said Chuck Naslund, senior vice president, Generation at Ameren. “It is one of the most prestigious honors in our industry and it reaffirms the success of the industry-leading approach we have adopted in operating and maintaining our energy centers.”
In determining its awards, EUCG examined a combination of operations and maintenance (O&M) costs and reliability as measured by equivalent forced outage rate (EFOR) of power plants across the country for 2011.
The EUCG divided plants into two groups: Small plants (average unit size less than 250 MW) and large plants (average unit size 250 MW or more). Plant performance was measured on critical performance factors such as equivalent availability, forced outage rate and unplanned outage factors.
Within each group, the plants were ranked according to EFOR and the ratio of actual O&M to regression O&M.
Rush Island and Labadie Energy centers both outperformed other large coal-fired plants nationwide in performance. The award is based on one-year plant performance between January and December of the previous year (2011).
“For years, we made periodic maintenance checks of our equipment at these energy centers,” said Dave Fox, director, Fossil Generation at Ameren.
“This meant, for example, that we would take down our boilers on a regular schedule for maintenance,” he said. “We learned, however, that this process proved unnecessarily costly. Furthermore, it reduced the availability of a unit while it was down for maintenance.
“We learned that by being proactive toward O&M costs of our equipment, we could reduce our forced outage schedule and still maintain the high standards of excellence we apply to all of our energy centers,” Fox said.
The EUCG presented the awards at its fall conference.