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June 2015 Vol. 159 No.

Vol. 159 No. 6 June 2015

Women in the
Power Industry

Network Security Monitoring for ICS

Duke Energy Changes Course
Diagnosing Slagging and Fouling



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Established 1882 Vol. 159 No. 6

June 2015

Women and men work side-by-side in many sectors of the power industry. Here, Scott
Larson, maintenance mechanic, and Anita Johnson, fuel hall manager, discuss the testing
procedure for indicator lights on a motor control center at the Fibrominn biomass power
plant in Benson, Minn. See our cover stories for the latest on how women add value to
power firms as well as results of our recent survey of women in the industry. Source:
POWER/Aaron Larson


22 Women Are Essential to a Thriving Power Generation Sector
Retirements and competition for qualified employees across engineering-based industries are only the most obvious reasons to be sure your company is working to
recruit and retain female employees. Others include building a team that has a wider
range of management and problem-solving skills and positioning your operation for
stronger financial results.


30 POWERs 2015 Women in Power Generation Survey

In part because there are still relatively few women in the power industry, there have
been few reports on their experience. This survey provides a glimpse at what contributes to a successful and satisfying career in power for women in the industry.

36 Power Plant Boot Camp: Training the Next Generation of Leaders and
This article offers some practical answers to the question, How do we properly train
and prepare our people to take on leadership roles in the future? (Dont be scared
off by the military analogy; nobody will bark orders at you.)


41 Has Your ICS Been Breached? Are You Sure? How Do You Know?
What you dont know can hurt you if you are responsible for ensuring the security
of a power plant industrial control system (ICS). A security expert shares actionable
information you can use as soon as youve finished reading this article.



45 Duke Energy: Wholesale Retreat

Duke, the largest U.S. utility, has looked at the business horizon and decided that
merchant generation is not in its future. Instead, it is charting a course toward the
traditional, regulated market, powered by a fleet in transition.


49 Watts Bar Unit 2: A Deferred Nuclear Plant Gets Back into the Game
As most readers of this magazine will know, Watts Bar 2 nuclear plant has had a very
long gestation period. Details of how the plant was mothballed and revived hold lessons for any plant that may be facing extended layup for economic or other reasons.

Sponsored Report: Power in Turkey

To fulfill its future goals, Turkey must reject its past (p. 69).

June 2015 POWER



54 CO2 Blasting Restores HRSG Performance

Cleaning a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) with pressurized carbon dioxide
is generally recognized as a cleaning best practice. Two case studies demonstrate its
benefits, as well as the advantage of on-site gas pellet production.


58 Typical Causes of Slagging and Fouling Problems in Boilers

If youve got a coal-fired power plant, youve got slagging and fouling. Although
theres no way to completely eliminate these maintenance problems, you can mitigate them if you understand the contributing causes.



62 DOE Highlights Challenges to Infrastructure in Quadrennial Energy Review

Our highlights from the general sessions at the 2015 ELECTRIC POWER Conference
& Exhibition begin with a summary of the keynote speakers comments regarding
the first part of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review.

64 Clean Power Plan Is Achievable, but Challenges Loom Large

This years Environmental Mega Session panelists at ELECTRIC POWER discussed
and debated the viability of the proposed Clean Power Plan and offered their suggestions for improvement.

66 Executives Say Power Sector Faces Fundamental Changes

The proposed Clean Power Plan was also a hot topic during the Executive Roundtable. While recognizing that change is a given, panelists disagreed on what that
should mean for policy implementation.



6 From STEM to STEAM Education



A Spring Nuclear Upheaval

Fabrication Begins for ITER Fusion Reactor Central Solenoid
THE BIG PICTURE: The Job Transition
EU to Investigate Measures to Ensure Power Supply
New U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Breaks Ground
Reports: Renewables Were Revived in 2014
Last Module Is Installed at 250-MW Copper Mountain PV Project
POWER Digest

16 Optical Gas Imaging Camera Offers Hydrogen Leak Detection Solution


20 CAISO Goes Big and Leaves Home

By Thomas W. Overton, JD


Connect with POWER

If you like POWER magazine, follow us online for timely industry news and comments.
Become our fan at

84 10 Million Tons of CO2 Stored

By Christopher A. Smith, assistant secretary for fossil energy, Department of Energy

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Faraday Awards Honor Efforts in Hiring Veterans
QER Draws Praise, Fire in Senate Hearing
DTE Electric to Get NRC Combined License (COL) for Proposed Nuclear Reactor
Famous Last Words, Its Never Happened to Us!

POWER June 2015





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Contributors: Jeff Fassett, PE; James M. Hylko; Kennedy Maize; Christopher A. Smith;
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POWER June 2015

This generation is smarter.

Siemens Smart Generation Solutions optimize and manage complex,
decentralized power assets.
Todays power generation sources are diverse and
dynamic. Renewables such as wind and solar offer
clean, sustainable energy sources and are an
important part of the total mix. However, with all
these new energy sources come concerns of stability
and management. Siemens Smart Generation
Solutions help provide a reliable and efficient energy

supply while keeping up with rapidly changing

technology. More than simply filling in the energy lulls
and absorbing surges, Smart Generation customized
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they optimize it. That means exceptional performance
in terms of profitability, reliability and sustainability
a smart choice indeed.

Answers for energy.




m sure readers of this magazine have
noticed the increased emphasis in
the U.S. recently on promoting STEM
(science, technology, engineering, and
math) education. Thats a good thing,
but its not enough. To improve the odds
of achieving the goals that STEM promoters haveincluding a better-trained
workforce and economic leadershipwe
should be adding an A for arts to that
acronym. Encouraging education in both
the liberal arts and fine arts, even for
those pursuing STEM careers, would really put some STEAM into the workforce
and economy.
Im not just saying that because
STEAM is a clever acronym for a power
generation publication.
Its true that, on average, someone
with a STEM degree is projected to earn
more over a lifetime than someone with a
degree in the liberal or fine artsthough
I know one well-paid former utility executive with a PhD in philosophy. However,
someone with a background in both STEM
and the arts is more likely to leverage that
technical degree into maximum career
success, for a couple of reasons.
People who have been trained in just
one way of thinking about problems are
less likely to come up with effective solutionsespecially when contexts or resources changethan someone who has
been trained to think about situations
from multiple angles. Additionally, brilliant scientists and engineers who cannot
communicatein speech and in writing,
to colleagues, staff, and the publicrun
the risk of being less effective in advancing their ideas than mediocre peers who
have mastered the art of shaping and delivering an argument. Thats why books
such as Learning to Communicate in Science and Engineering (MIT Press ebook)
have been written.
And dont ignore the edge that the
fine arts can provide. Playing a musical
instrument, for example, enhances hand/
eye coordination and can help train the
brain to pay attention to multiple data
feeds at virtually the same time. Mak-

ing musicnot just listening to itcan

enhance ones ability to learn everything
from math to languages and can strengthen organizational and problem-solving
skills, because making music integrates
mathematical and linguistic (left hemisphere) with creative (right hemisphere)
brain functions.
For an engaging scientific and artistic
explanation of this, watch the TED talk
How playing an instrument benefits your
brain (, which suggests that the connections made in musicians minds may help them to solve
problems more effectively and creatively
in both academic and social settings.
(Incidentally, while working on this issue,
I learned that, although her father was a
math teacher and she built a career in finance, Duke Energy CEO Lynn Goodwho
has had more than her share of problems
to solve since taking the top jobstudied
piano as a child.)

Strength Comes from Balance

When I think about the value of a STEAM
background, I often recall one of my
husbands former golfing buddies during our Boston years. Shunichi, who was
employed as an engineer in Japan, was
in the U.S. for a year to study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
but what really impressed me was his explanation of why he chose a STEM career.
Although his natural abilities and interests were in the arts and humanities, he
chose something that was initially harder
for him, in order to achieve better balance, he said.
We do need to encourage students
to develop STEM competencies, but we
also should encourage them to develop
strengths in the arts so they have the
optimal set of learning modes, problemsolving approaches, and communication
skills to succeed in an increasingly complex world. Without a STEAM education,
the workforce of the future may find itself
with self-limiting skills. This goes for folks
in the trades as well.
Note that I also would encourage

al arts students to make a deeper commitment to STEM subjects, not only because
technology is working its way into many
fine and liberal arts but also because understanding STEM fields, and their history,
is increasingly essential to understanding
our world.

Reject False Limitations

Just as companies with more genderdiverse workforces and leadership enjoy
stronger economic performance (see this
issues Women Are Essential to a Thriving Power Generation Sector), individuals
with more diverse educational backgrounds
may enjoy better career success. There are
exceptions, of course, but especially in
our fast-changing global economy, those
with multiple ways of viewing and solving
problems are more likely to land on their
feet when circumstances changewhether that be a result of a business downturn,
a physical disability, or simply a desire to
try something new.
We do not need to buy into the false
choice between STEM and the arts. Surely
our students are smart enough to major in engineering while playing in the
marching band, or to major in English
while studying biology and physics so
they can craft more-accurate journalism
or more-informed public policy. A little
cross-pollination might even make for
more-interesting and happy lives outside
of work.
Im not alone in calling for STEAM education. Among those in the STEAM movement is Dr. Loretta Jackson-Hayes, an
associate professor of chemistry at Rhodes College, who wrote for the Washington
Post on Feb. 18, Our culture has drawn
an artificial line between art and science,
one that did not exist for innovators like
Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs.
If you have a story about the value of
a STEAM education in the power industry, please share it in the online comments or via the POWER LinkedIn group
Gail Reitenbach, PhD is POWERs

POWER June 2015

Using the power of moving water,

hydropower is the oldest and most
reliable form of renewable energy.
MWH has nearly 100 years of industry
expertise and is committed to providing
the engineering solutions to power the







A Spring Nuclear Upheaval

From Sweden to China, the worlds nuclear
sector saw an eventful spring.

Sweden to Shutter Two Ringhals

Units Early. On the same day that E.ON
formerly one of Europes most formidable
power companiesannounced it would
spin off its nuclear assets owing to Germanys energy transition, its Swedish partner,
Vattenfall, which is 70% co-owner of the
1975-built Ringhals 1 and 2 nuclear units
(Figure 1), said it would shutter the two
reactors between 2018 and 2020, instead
of 2025 as initially planned. The reason:
declining profitability and increased costs.
Vattenfall executive Torbjrn Wahlborg
explained in an April 28 statement that a
combination of low electricity prices and
soaring production costs in coming years
would challenge the units bottom lines.
Vattenfalls decision is business driven.
It is of course regrettable to close down
well-functioning production units but
sometimes this is inevitable, he said.
Vattenfalls five other reactors, Ringhals 3 and 4, and Forsmark 1, 2, and 3
will remain open for at least 60 years of
operational lifetime, until the beginning
2040s, he said.
Experts noted that the decision was
likely also based on Swedens December
decision to nearly double fees paid by utilities into the countrys nuclear waste fund
over the 20152017 period. The fees have

increased taxes on nuclear power from

US$0.29/kWh in 2014 to $0.49/kWh.

More Hurdles for UKs Nuclear

Ambitions. Delays on a final decision
to build two AREVA EPRs at the Hinkley
Point C site have prompted EDF Energy to
slash 400 jobs, reducing staff numbers to
250 onsite. Further doubt was cast on the
future of the project after AREVA in April
informed French regulators of manufacturing anomalies in components important for safety at the Flamanville EPR under
construction in Normandy. Project critics
point to other EPR construction concerns
at Flamanville, where delays have pushed
back startup by five years to 2017, and at
the Olkiluoto 3 project in Finland, where
construction on an EPR now lags almost a
decade behind schedule.

Indian Companies, AREVA Sign

Agreements for EPRs. Despite these
setbacks, AREVA on April 13 signed two
agreements with Indian companies in
preparation for a project to build six EPR
units at Jaitapur in Maharashtra State. The
agreement with companies like Larsen and
Toubro will prepare for the licensing of the
EPR reactor design in India.

Turkey Breaks Ground on First Nuclear Plant. Turkey officially marked the
launch of construction at Akkuyu, its first
nuclear plant, which will feature four 1.2GW AES-2006 VVER pressurized-water reactors. Russias Rosatom is building the

1. A foggy future. Swedish utility Vattenfall will permanently shutter the Ringhals 1 and
2 nuclear units in Sweden early in large part due to declining profitability and increased costs.
Courtesy: Vattenfall

reactors on a unique build-own-operate

model. The $22 billion project is expected
to be complete by 2020. In April, meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved parliaments ratification
of an agreement with Japan to build the
countrys second nuclear power plant, at
Sinop on Turkeys Black Sea coast. That
4.8-GW plant will consist of four Atmea 1
reactors to be supplied by an AREVA and
Mitsubishi consortium, with construction
to begin in 2017.

China Greenlights Construction of

Hualong One Pilots. In China, where the
bulk of the worlds new nuclear plants are
being built, the government on April 15
approved construction of new units using
Hualong One reactor designs. The 1,100GW, three-loop pressurized-water design is
based both on China General Nuclear Power
Groups CPR-1000 and on China National
Nuclear Corp.s ACP-1000 reactor technology. The two firms have been ordered to
develop the design on a 50-50 partnership
basis. Chinas State Council did not provide
details on the chosen site or construction
timelines, but experts say two possible
sites are at Fangchenggang in Guanxi Province and Fuqing in Fujian Province.
Sonal Patel, associate editor

Fabrication Begins for

ITER Fusion Reactor
Central Solenoid
Workers at San Diegos General Atomics
(GA) on April 10 began the years-long
process of winding the 1,000-ton superconducting electromagnet that will power
the ITER fusion reactor under construction
in southern France.
The $16 billion ITER project, a consortium of the U.S., the European Union,
Russia, China, Japan, and other nations,
aims to test reactor-scale nuclear fusion
using plasma contained within a magnetic
field. ITER has been under development
for nearly a decade and will be the largest tokomak (toroidal magnetic chamber)
ever constructed. The ultimate goal, once
the facility is online in the 2020s, is to
produce net power from fusion for the first
timeup to 10 times the energy required
to generate the magnetic field.
The central solenoid, being manufactured in a specialized facility built by GA
for the project, will form the heart of the
tokomak. It will be composed of more
than four miles of superconducting cables

POWER June 2015

2. Spooling up. Workers at General Atomics in San Diego begin the process of winding
the superconducting modules that will form the central solenoid of the ITER fusion reactor.
Source: POWER/Tom Overton

wound into six individual modules and will

stand nearly 60 feet tall (Figure 2). The
cables are composed of copper, niobium,
and tin components within a steel jacket,
but because the superconductor material

is brittle, it must be created by heating

the modules after winding.
The wound modules will be placed inside a large oven, where they will be baked
at 650C over a five-week process, with the

heat converting the cable interior into a

superconducting niobium-tin ceramic. After the winding and heating processes, the
cable will be wrapped with fiberglass insulating tape and fused together with resin
to create a single solid module.
Each module, composed of 3,000 feet of
cable, will take two years to complete. GA
expects the seven modules it is manufacturing (one is a spare) to be completed by
2019. They will then be shipped to Texas
for transport across the Atlantic to the
ITER site in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, France.
The individual components of ITER, including the solenoid modules, are so large and
heavy that specialized transport vehicles
had to be produced and the French government spent 110 million to upgrade the
roads and bridges leading to the site.
When operating, the central solenoid
will achieve a peak field strength of 13.1
Teslas and store enough energy to lift a
Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The field will
contain plasma heated to more than 200
million degrees Celsius, where the fusion
reactions will take place. ITER will initially
use hydrogen in the plasma, later transitioning to deuterium, and ultimately, a
deuterium-tritium mixture.


June 2015 POWER

THE BIG PICTURE: The Job Transition

The dramatic changes in the power sector between 2008 and 2012 are typically documented by shifts in fuel use for
generation. But another telling data set from a recent Duke University study shows how those shifts affected domestic
employment in the coal, natural gas, wind, and solar industries. The study analyzes direct and indirect jobs supporting
operational activities for coal, gas, wind, and solar generationincluding coal mining, natural gas production, rail transport, and natural gas transport and sectorial supporting goods and servicesbut it ignores nuclear and hydro, whose
generation was relatively unchanged between 2008 and 2012.
Copy and artwork by Sonal Patel, a POWER associate editor




(37% share of U.S.
generation mix in 2012)


Total jobs in 2008: 695,803

Total jobs in 2012: 790,505






Total jobs in 2008: 120,000

Total jobs in 2012: 199,016





(3% share of U.S.

generation mix in

(<1% share of U.S.

generation mix in



(30% share of U.S.

generation mix in



Total jobs in 2008: 430,385
Total jobs in 2012: 380,851

= 10,000 direct/indirect power

sector jobs

Sources: Employment Trends in the U.S. Electricity Sector, 2008-2012. Drew Haerer and Lincoln
Pratson. Energy Policy, March 20, 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.03.006. Energy Information


POWER June 2015

Ned Sauthoff, director of the U.S. ITER

Project Office, said power density is what
sets fusion apart from all other generation resources. Theres a factor of 20 million between the amount of energy you
get per pound of fuel from fusion relative
to chemical processes. If fusion can be
made economic, he said, It would really
change the world.
The ITER group is officially shooting
for first plasma by 2020, but Sauthoff
told POWER he thinks 2025 is a more realistic date.
The ITER project will test a wide variety of heating, control, diagnostics,
and remote maintenance technologies
that would be required for use of fusion
for power generation. If successful, ITER
could lay the groundwork for commercial
fusion reactor plants that could be online
by the 2040s.
Thomas W. Overton, JD, associate

may expand the sample of member states,

depending on preliminary results. It will
also seek details from generators, power
suppliers, and network operators. A draft
report is expected at the end of the year
and a final report by the summer of 2016.
The bulk of Europes generators are
seemingly on board with the idea that
capacity markets must evolve from national to regional solutions. According
to Hans ten Berge, secretary general of
industry group EURELECTRIC, capacity

markets should strengthen rather than

undermine ongoing efforts to complete
the Internal Energy Market. We therefore urge policymakers to make sure that
capacity markets go beyond national
borders. In addition, capacity markets
should follow a set of basic design features: they should be market-based,
technology-neutral, open to new and
existing plants, and open to generation,
demand response and storage.
Sonal Patel, associate editor

EU to Investigate
Measures to Ensure Power
The European Commission (EC) this April
launched an extensive investigation into
subsidies that 11 European governments
provide to utilities to ensure future power
reliability, saying it is concerned that the
measures may distort competition.
The sector inquiry into capacity mechanisms is the first under European Union
(EU) state aid rules introduced in May
2012, which prohibit government aid unless justified by reasons of general economic development.
The EC said it recognizes that capacity
mechanisms are designed to fill expected
capacity gaps, encourage investment in
new power plants, and ensure that power plants continue to operate, providing
enough capacity to avoid blackouts.
But, typically, capacity mechanisms
offer additional rewards to capacity providers, on top of income obtained by selling electricity on the market, in return for
maintaining existing capacity or investing in new capacity needed to guarantee
security of electricity supplies, it said.
Depending on how they are implemented,
capacity mechanisms could potentially
fragment the EU single market, distort
competition by favoring certain producers
or types of technology, and create barriers
to trade across national borders, it added.
The sector inquiry will initially focus on
Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain,
and Sweden. However, the EC said that it

June 2015 POWER


3. Coming to America. Alstoms Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine, one of the
largest ever installed in sea waters, is currently being tested off the coast of Ostend harbor at
the Belwind site in Belgium, but it could soon be the first commercial wind turbine of its size
in the U.S. if erected as part of Deepwater Winds Block Island wind farm in Rhode Island. This
image shows a nacelle and blades that are ready for transport in Ostend, Belgium, in November
2013. Courtesy: Alstom

New U.S. Offshore Wind

Farm Breaks Ground
On April 27, the U.S. saw yet another significant milestone for its so-far nonexistent offshore wind sector as Deepwater
Wind broke ground on the Block Island
Wind Farm in Rhode Island.
The company says that the five-turbine
30-MW wind farm will produce enough electricity to power all of the islands homes and
businesses when it comes online in 2016.
The Alstom 6-MW Haliade 150 direct-drive
offshore wind turbines (Figure 3) could replace diesel generators that the islanders
currently rely on. It will also send power to
the mainland through an undersea cable.
The project was originally conceived in
2009 when Deepwater Wind signed a contract with National Grid to provide 100%
of its power to Block Island. Environmental groups the Sierra Club, Audubon, and
the National Wildlife Foundation testified
in favor of the project in rounds of hearings that followed the projects proposal.
According to the American Wind Energy
Associations (AWEAs) 2014 annual market
report, at least 11 offshore wind projects
spanning 10 states are in various stages of
development. The projects represent more
than 2,500 MW of capacity with turbine
sizes ranging from 3 MW to 6 MW.
One of those projects, however, the
486-MW Cape Wind project planned for offshore Massachusetts, suffered a crippling
setback this January when two utilities
terminated contracts to buy the projects
power because the company failed to
meet a Dec. 31 deadline to obtain financ12

ing. This March, Cape Wind president Jim

Gordon said the company is pushing on
with the $2.5 billion project, seeking to
restore the agreements with National Grid
and Eversource Energy.
Meanwhile, the three projects selected
in May 2014 by the Department of Energy
to each receive up to $46.7 million over
four years and accelerate their completion
by 2017 are seemingly thriving. Those
projects are Fishermens Energys 25-MW
project offshore of Atlantic City, N.J.; Dominion Powers 12-MW project offshore of
Virginia Beach, Va.; and Principle Powers
30-MW project offshore of Coos Bay, Ore.
Sonal Patel, associate editor

Reports: Renewables Were

Revived in 2014
Despite plunging oil prices, 2014 was a
formidable year for renewables, according
to two reports released in early 2015.
According to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015the
annual report prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating
Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy
Finance, and Bloomberg New Energy Financeenergy investments in renewables
rebounded, surging 17% over the previous
year, to $270 billion worldwide.
A primary reason for this was that 2014
marked a rapid expansion of renewables
into new markets in developing countries.
While China, predictably, saw by far the
biggest renewable energy investments (a

record $83.3 billionand a stunning increase of 39% compared to 2013), the top
10 investing countries also featured the
U.S., Brazil, India, South Africa, and, on
a smaller scale, Indonesia, Chile, Mexico,
Kenya, and Turkey.
The U.S. saw investments of $38.3
billionup 7%. Comparatively, the rise
in investments in Europe was small, less
than 1% to $57.5 billion. That includes
$3.8 billion for the largest-ever single
renewable energy asset finance deal outside large hydro for the 600-MW Gemini
offshore wind project that will be located
in Dutch waters.
The UNEP report notes that wind, solar,
biomass, waste-to-power, geothermal, small
hydro, and marine power accounted for an
estimated 9.1% of world electricity generation in 2014, compared to 8.5% in 2013. Investments jumped particularly for solar (29%
compared to 2013) and wind (11%).
In its annual market survey released in
February, the Global Wind Energy Council
(GWEC) noted that 51,477 MW of new wind
capacity was added in 2014. The recordsetting figure is a solid sign of the recovery of the industry after a rough patch in
the past few years, it said.
Total cumulative wind installations
worldwide stood at 369,553 MW at the end
of 2014, GWEC noted (Figure 4). Growth
surged in Chinawhich now represents
45% of the global marketwith 23,351
MW of new wind power. Indias 2,315 MW
was a distant second in Asia, although the
stage is now set for a new round of market
growth in that country, said GWEC.
The European market grew marginally in
2014, with 12,820 MW of new capacity,
just shy of 2012s record. Brazils 2,472
MW in new installations led Latin American installations of 3,749 MW, although
Chile (506 MW) and Uruguay (405 MW)

4. Countries with the top cumulative wind capacity in December

2014. Courtesy: GWEC
Rest of the world

PR China



POWER June 2015

also made strong showings. Meanwhile, the U.S. market recovered in 2014 from 2013s nadir with 4,854 MW, Canada (1,871
MW) set a new record, and Mexico (522 MW) was solid.
Australias 567 MW showed that the renewables industry in
Australia is not dead, despite the best efforts of the government
to kill it, GWEC said.
Sonal Patel, associate editor

Last Module Is Installed at 250-MW

Copper Mountain PV Project

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June 9 11, 2015
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The installation of more than one million solar photovoltaic (PV)

modules at Sempra U.S. Gas and Powers and Consolidated Edison
Developments 250-MW AC Copper Mountain Solar 3 project in
Boulder City, Nev., was completed in early April. Cupertino Electric and Amec Foster Wheeler said on April 6 that the last module
was put in place at the 1,400-acre, fixed-tilt, ground-mount project that broke ground in early 2013 (Figure 5).
Sonal Patel, associate editor

5. New under the sun. Electricians from construction company Cupertino Electric install the millionth solar module at Copper
Mountain Solar 3 in Nevada, marking a key milestone in the 250-MW
project built in conjunction with Amec Foster Wheeler for Sempra
U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development. Courtesy:

POWER Digest
Australias First ERF Carbon Abatement Auction Results Surpass Expectations. Australia held its first Emissions Reduction
Fund (ERF) auction under the Abbott governments Direct Action
plan on April 15 and 16, and figures released by the Clean Energy
Regulator indicate that the mechanism that replaced a controversial
carbon tax and cap-and-trade program could result in four times the
carbon reductions. The ERF is essentially an A$2.55 billion fund that
pays Australian emitters (via voluntary bids at reverse auctions) to
slash carbon emissions. The government pays for the lowest-cost
abatement, and the Clean Energy Regulator sets a benchmark price
and buys 80% of abatements offered below that price.
The mechanism seeks to achieve Australias emissions reduction target of 5% below 2000 levels by 2020. The results of the
first auction indicate that the government is on track to buy
about 180 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by
2020 if the current price of A$13.95 per metric ton holds. About
A$660 million in carbon abatement contracts were awarded in
April to 43 contractors covering 144 projectsmostly relating
to sequestration, landfill gas capture, and waste treatment. Contract lengths range between three and 10 years, with the majority being for seven years.

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Ontario Joins Carbon-Curbing Initiative. The eastern Canadian province of On-

tario on April 13 announced it would set

limits on greenhouse gas emissions in each
sector of its economy by joining a cap-andtrade system under the Western Climate
Initiative. The initiative, originally established in 2007 by the governors of five U.S.
states, now consists of California, British
Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.
Ontarios government said it would reinvest funds raised through cap and trade in

a transparent way back into projects that

reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help
businesses remain competitive. Per its longterm energy policy, Ontario has shuttered all
its coal-fired power plants or converted them
to burn biomass. Ontario Power Generation
on Feb. 9 converted the last coal-fired plant
in the province, the Thunder Bay Generating
Station, to combust biomass pellets made
from lumber mill sawdust.

URENCO Gets License to Expand

Eunice Plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Com-

855 PM 55Chevy 042213_Layout 1 4/21/13 9:42 PM Page 1

mission (NRC) in March granted URENCO USA

a license to increase enrichment production
capacity to 10 million separative work units
(SWU) from the current 3.7 million SWU at
its Eunice, N.M., uranium enrichment plant.
According to the World Nuclear Association,
the expansion means the facility could be
able to supply about 60% of U.S. needs in
the 2020s, boosting competition for AREVA,
Centrus (formerly USEC), and Global Laser
Enrichment. The NRC also amended the
companys license to allow it to use highassay depleted uranium (DU) tails from early
military enrichment as feed for the new improved centrifuges it has been using since
2012. URENCO subsidiary Louisiana Energy
Services (LES) intends to add three new separation building modules to the facility over
the next several years. Last year LES asked
the NRC to increase its licensed limit to possess up to 2.2 million kilograms of enriched
uranium and up to 251 million kilograms of
uranium in all forms.

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years of negotiations, the U.S. and South

Korea on April 22 reached a provisional 20year deal that will revise a 40-year-old civil
nuclear pact allowing South Korea to produce nuclear plant fuel for its 23 reactors
but which still curbs its ability to reprocess
spent fuel. For the U.S., the economic benefits include exports to South Korea, U.S.
exports to third countries to supply South
Korean projects and joint ventures, and imports of materials from South Korea to supply projects to the U.S., said the industry
group the Nuclear Energy Institute.

E.ON Spins Off Conventional Generation Assets to New Company: Uniper.

German utility E.ON will spin off its coal,

oil, gas, and nuclear assets to a new company, Uniper, while retaining its renewable
business at E.ON, the company announced
on April 28. The new company will start operations on January 1, 2016, and have its
headquarters in Dusseldorf, while E.ON will
move to Essen. E.ONs current finance chief,
Klaus Schaefer, will be Unipers future CEO,
while E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen will continue to head the company that intends to
focus onrenewables, energy networks, and
customer solutions. Forced to compete with
subsidized renewables, E.ONs conventional
business activities have proven difficult in
Germany. This March, it informed the Federal Network Agency of plans to shutter the
2010-built high-efficiency gas plants Irsching 4 and 5 effective April 1, 2016, as they
are no longer profitable. However, the company has also reported losses from business
in the UK, Sweden, and Italy.
Sonal Patel, associate editor

POWER June 2015

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Optical Gas Imaging Camera Offers Hydrogen Leak

Detection Solution
The operation of an electric power generator produces large amounts of heat that
must be removed to maintain efficiency.
Depending on the rated capacity of the
generator, it might be air-cooled, hydrogen-cooled, water-cooled, or, in the largest capacity generators, a combination of
water for the stator windings and hydrogen for the rotor.
Hydrogen cooling offers excellent efficiency thanks to the gass low density
and high specific heat and thermal conductivity. However, hydrogen is highly
combustible when mixed with air and can
be dangerous if the concentration level
builds in an unwanted area. Turbine generators will leak some hydrogen during
normal operation and rely on proper ventilation to keep the hydrogen levels from
being a safety and explosion risk. Thus,
hydrogen gas safety is critical for power
plant operators.
Hydrogen molecules are very light and
small, and therefore hard to contain.
Between outages, the wear and tear on
valves, seals, and equipment can allow
large leaks to form and hydrogen levels
to build in areas that could affect plant
safety. The amount of hydrogen added
each day is carefully monitored. An increase in makeup hydrogen would need
to be investigated to find the source of
the leak.
Traditional methods for leak detection
and repair (LDAR) tend to be slow and
may not find the leak quickly enough
to avoid a shutdown. A shutdown period could last two to three weeks, with
multiple days dedicated to leak detection alone. The cost associated with an
unscheduled shutdown can run into the
millions of dollars for a generating plant.
The industry would prefer to perform
LDAR online to avoid unscheduled outages, but until now the ability to do so
was limited.

leak in an unknown location could take

weeks. Also, this method only works for
tiny leaks because too much hydrogen
flow will push the solution aside without
forming bubbles.
The sniffer is a hand probe that produces
an audio-signal when in proximity of a leak.
Although this is a relatively affordable detection method, the sniffing test has some
drawbacks. Generators are typically well
ventilated. This can dilute the hydrogen,
making it difficult to detect unless one is
in close proximity to the source. Ventilation airflow can also move the hydrogen
quite far from the source, leading to hits
without adequately narrowing down which
component needs repair. Sniffers do not
allow operators to see a leak, so there is
always some guesswork involved and time
lost in the search for the source.
A New Approach
As a more recent evolution in gas detection technology, infrared cameras have
become much more popular with maintenance teams. Infrared, or thermal imaging cameras as they are also called, have
been used successfully to detect insufficient insulation in buildings or to find
heat-based safety hazards in electrical

Optical gas imaging with thermal cameras came into use a few years ago, using
sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) as a tracer gas.
However, some utilities have concerns
with using SF6 as a tracer gas due to the
cost, global-warming potential (GWP =
23,900), and, in some cases, restrictions
on expanded use of SF6.
FLIR Systems partnered with the industry to develop a new generation of optical
gas imagers (OGIs) using a tracer gas that
eliminates those concerns. The new FLIR
GF343 optical gas-imaging camera (Figure
1) uses CO2 as a tracer gas, which is readily available at generating stations. CO2 is
inexpensive, has a much lower GWP, and
has a lot fewer restrictions on use versus
SF6. This will allow broader application of
OGI for finding leaks.
Because only a small concentration of
CO2 (generally 3% to 5%) needs to be
added as a tracer gas to the hydrogen
to make leaks visible to the OGI camera,
the purity level of the hydrogen in the
turbine is maintained, and normal generating operations are allowed to continue. The FLIR GF343 gives engineers a
new tool for finding the source of leaks,
without a shutdown.

1. Seeing is believing. An optical gas-imaging camera allows detection of even small

leaks from a safe distance. Courtesy: FLIR Systems

Traditional Detection Methods

Methods for detecting leaks range from
using a soapy solution to create bubbles
on each potential component to using microelectronic hydrogen sensors (sniffers)
to detect hydrogen over a wide area. The
soapy solution is sufficient for checking
a single component, but checking for a

POWER June 2015

break through


Better Signal-to-Noise Ratio Means

Better Level Control Performance

While transmit pulse amplitude (signal size) has helped to make

guided wave radar technology the standard for accurate, reliable level
measurement, the fact is signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) represents a far
more critical indicator of level control performance. For superior SNR
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2. Needle in a haystack. A leak in a pressure gauge may not be easily found using traditional methods. Courtesy: FLIR Systems

3. Pinpointing trouble. Gas leaks are clearly visible on the thermal image. Courtesy:
FLIR Systems

Detecting CO2 Tracer Gas

By adding a small concentration of CO2 (less
than 5%) as a tracer gas to the hydrogen
supply, the generator will still operate at
a safe and efficient level. This allows the
operator and maintenance teams to monitor and check for hydrogen leaks during
full operation.
During tests in the U.S. and Italy,
it was proven that the FLIR GF343 can
visualize a small amount (approximate18

ly 2.5%) of CO2 as a tracer gas in the

system when there is a leak, therefore
helping maintenance crews find and
pinpoint leaks (Figures 2 and 3), tagging them for repair during shutdown
or for immediate repair of any significant leaks.
The benefit that the GF343 offers
over other detection technologies is
that leak detection can now be performed under full operation, saving time

and money by reducing shutdown time.

Shutdown time could be reduced by two
or even three days, and with each day of
shutdown costing as much as $100,000
(depending on the type and size of the
generator) the payback and return on
investment afforded by using CO2 as a
tracer gas and the FLIR GF343 CO2 camera is significant.
But small leaks are not only very
frequent; they can also turn into large
leaks. With the new camera, maintenance teams can keep the atmospheric
hydrogen concentration below the explosion limit more easily.
How the FLIR GF343 Works
The FLIR GF343 camera uses a focal
plane array indium antimonide (InSb)
detector, which has a detector spectral
response of 35 micrometers (m) and
is further spectrally adapted to approximately 4.3 m by use of cold filtering
and cooling of the detector by a Sterling engine to cryogenic temperatures
(around 334F or 203C). The spectral tuning or cold filtering technique
is critical to the optical gas imaging
technique and, in the case of the FLIR
GF343, this makes the camera specifically responsive and ultra-sensitive to
CO 2 gas infrared absorption.
Practically, the gas absorbs the background energy in view of the camera,
such as from the sky, ground, or other
sources. The camera shows this energy
absorption by way of thermal contrast
in the image. The camera not only shows
the spectral absorption but also the motion of the gas; hence, you visualize the
gas as a smoke plume.
The GF343 has an additional frame
subtraction technique, which enhances
the motion of the gas.
The high-sensitivity mode (HSM) has
been the cornerstone of detecting the
smallest of leaks. HSM is in part an image
subtraction video processing technique
that effectively enhances the thermal
sensitivity of the camera. A percentage
of individual pixel signals from frames
in the video stream are subtracted from
subsequent frames, thus enhancing the
motion of the gas and improving the
overall practical sensitivity of the camera
and the ability to pinpoint the smallest
of CO2 gas leaks, even without the use of
a tripod.
Steve Beynon is business development manager for GF cameras and
optical gas imaging systems in the
European, Middle Eastern, and African
markets for FLIR Systems Ltd.

POWER June 2015

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CAISO Goes Big and Leaves

Thomas W. Overton
o one can accuse the officials who oversee Californias energy market of lacking ambition.
Fresh on the heels of Gov. Jerry Browns January promise to raise the states renewable generation target from 33% in
2020 to 50% in 2030, the California Independent System Operator
(CAISO) in April announced that it and Oregon utility and Berkshire
Hathaway subsidiary PacifiCorp were beginning discussions on PacifiCorps joining the ISO as a participating transmission owner.
PacifiCorp and CAISO are already cooperating with the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) they launched in November. This move would
go further, to put PacifiCorps grid under CAISO control. The plan
which would expand CAISOs territory by a whopping 40%is certain to shake up energy markets throughout the western U.S.

Too Much of a Good Thing

The reason this move matters so much is that CAISO and PacifiCorp operate the two largest grids in the Western Electricity
Coordinating Council. Putting both under the same management
means not just a broader pool of power supplies to draw on but
also more resources to balance the regions substantialand rapidly expandingwind and solar generation. That means fewer
curtailments for renewable generators.
A harbinger of things to come can be found in CAISOs fourthquarter report on the EIM, which it released in February. The
report estimates that gross benefits to the participants in November and December alone came to almost $6 million. Most of
thisabout $4.73 millionaccrued to PacifiCorp. (These figures
do not include additional benefits from reduced flexibility reserves.) During that period, PacificCorp sent 180,786 MWh south
to CAISO, while CAISO sent 27,361 MWh to PacifiCorp. Though
these numbers are not huge, they represent a significant amount
of generation that would likely have otherwise been curtailed.
Electricity oversupply events have been a perennial problem
in the Pacific Northwest for decades, one that has grown worse
as the regions wind capacity has expanded. Spring is typically
the worst, as this is when peak runoff coincides with peak wind
volumes and low demand. Dam operators can only spill over a
certain amount of water without causing problems for aquatic
life, so this has often meant wind generation has to be shut down
so water can keep flowing through the turbines. Neither wind
farm owners nor transmission owners like this solution, but with
nowhere to put the excess power, there has been little choice.
PacifiCorps entry into CAISO would help change this.
Regional Tensions
Some observers in the Pacific Northwest have complained for years
that generators in the region have been unfairly blocked from the
California market because of that states regulations. One of the biggest issues is AB32, Californias cap-and-trade greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions scheme, which has been in force since 2012. Among other things, it places certain restrictions on power generated out of
statethe price asked must reflect the cost of GHG emissions.
How this will affect PacifiCorpwhich has about 8 GW of coal

and gas generationshould it join CAISO, remains to be seen.

Currently, EIM participants have to include a price adder if they
want to avoid dispatch into CAISO, something neither the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) nor some participants are
happy with. In response to FERCs concerns, CAISO has proposed
a different method by which participants can flag bids they do
not want dispatched into California.
The complication here is that there are constitutional limits on
the degree to which regulations in one state are allowed to affect
economic activities in other states. One can certainly expect that
authorities in Wyoming, where PacifiCorp has operated four large
coal-fired plants for decades, will look askance at the possibility
that their generating resources might be negatively affected by
California emissions regulations.
Environmental groups in California, which have made much of
the states progress in getting off coal also will surely object to
the possibility that CAISO might import more coal-fired power.

Balancing Act
That being said, a CAISO-PacifiCorp joinder would be a clear win
for renewable generation.
Ive written in the past about the issues surrounding renewable intermittency, issues that have continued to grow. Dealing
with renewable intermittency generally requires three things:
dispatchable generation (typically gas-fired), robust energy storage resources, and enough transmission capacity to balance fluctuating generation across a large grid. This proposal would be a
big contribution to the latter element.
California, with its Mediterranean climate, can often suffer
from stifling heat in the spring (trust me on this one), the very
period when the Pacific Northwest has traditionally experienced
overgeneration. Having an outlet south means that hydro and
wind in the Northwest can reduce the degree to which they have
been offsetting each other.
Meanwhile, Californias summer-to-late-summer spikes in solar generation, which have had CAISO officials worried for years as the states
installed capacity continues to explode (California installed about as
much solar as the rest of the U.S. combined in 2014), would have an
outlet north to replace the fall lull in hydroelectric generationa lull
that would require less fossil generation to backstop.
The losers here are merchant generators in CAISO with gas-fired
plants, who are already complaining that the proposal threatens
their bottom lines. With the large amounts of gas-fired power added
to the CAISO grid in recent yearscapacity built with expectations
of profiting off renewable fluctuationsthis isnt a trivial concern.
Obviously, much work remains before a seamless integration
between CAISO and PacifiCorp can be achieved. But with other
utilities like NV Energy and Puget Sound Energy moving to join
the EIM, and the Bonneville Power Administration looking at
starting its own EIMone for which CAISO submitted a bid to
operatethe hopes of renewables advocates for widespread grid
integration appear bright.
Thomas W. Overton, JD is a POWER associate editor.

POWER June 2015


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A World of Solutions


Women Are Essential to a Thriving

Power Generation Sector

Courtesy: Platte River Power Authority

With the increasing number of technical and economic changes affecting the power
industry, the value of women in the workforce has never been higher. This follow-up
to our 2008 special report, Workforce Management Lessons from Women in Power
Generation, looks at how having women visible throughout the industry can make
it more successful.
Gail Reitenbach, PhD

or our November 2008 issue, at the

suggestion of my predecessor, Dr. Robert Peltier, PE, I researched and wrote
Workforce Management Lessons from
Women in Power Generation, the first substantial examination of women in this industry. Bob was curious about why there were
so few women in power. When he went to
meetings at plants or with companies serving
the industry, hed usually find, at most, one
woman at the table. Things havent changed
much since then, but if the power industry
is to achieve optimal results going forward,
employers should look seriously at recruiting
women for jobs in all areas, from engineering
and chemistry to the crafts and compliance.
One can take a short-term view of the
challenges, which might focus on the exit of

the Baby Boomer generation and the need to

fill jobs, or a longer-term view, which would
seek to build a sustainable supply chain that
includes a diverse pool of potential future
candidates for positions at all levels. In either
case, there are increasingly compelling reasons to develop a more diverse workforce.
One is that the new variables that both
power generators and their supporting industry partners must jugglefrom an increasing number of regulations to new industry
entrants to unfamiliar market changesrequire something other than business-as-usual
thinking and operations. Greater complexity
requires greater creativity, which often results
from teams that can bring a variety of experiences, perspectives, and problem-solving approaches to the table.

Why Women in Power Matter

Yes, that subhead has a double meaning.
Most studies of women in the workplace
focus on women in higher-level roles, especially in executive positions and on corporate
boards. Thats important, both for womens
value as role models and the economic value
they bring to their organizations.
However, especially in fields like power,
where women have been traditionally underrepresented, looking at career entry points is
equally important. After all, unless women
are interested in a field, they are unlikely to
enter it, build a career, and reach the highest levels. There are more signs now than
in 2008 that efforts to encourage girls and
young women to consider science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education

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are building momentum. The Engineer Girl
website (see the web supplement Resources
for Women in Power Generation associated
with this issue at is just one.
Others include local, industry, and government initiatives.
Ill get to why having women in power
matters to the industry shortly, but heres one
reason that having women in power and other
STEM fields matters to women: Women in
STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those
in non-STEM occupations and experience a
smaller wage gap relative to men, according to the White House Office of Science
and Technology Policy (OSTP). Another, according to OSTP is that STEM careers offer
women the opportunity to engage in some
of the most exciting realms of discovery and
technological innovation.

Women at the Top Improve the

Bottom Line
If youve been reading or listening to any
mass media in recent years, youll have
heard about some of the many research studies that have found that having women in
management and on corporate boards results
in higher earnings. That pattern holds true
around the world and for different types of
businesses, as multiple reports by the likes of
McKinsey & Co. have shown.
For a global view of this issue from a woman who holds one of the most powerful positions in the world, consider comments made

an economic cause. It just makes economic

sense. Its a no-brainer.
In particular, she noted that Japan and
South Korea policymakers have decided to
put women at the center of their budget and
policies going forward. Why is that? Well,
first of all, they have aging populations and
they need to respond to that problemthey
need more people to come to the workforce.
They have available talented, well-educated,
very often hard-working female workers that
they can tap. Does that sound like any scenario in the power industry that youre familiar with? (For the full interview, visit http://n.
Within the power industry, a March report by Ernst & Young LLP (EY), Talent
at the Table: Women in Power and Utilities
Index 2015, found that utilities with more
women in leadership ranks performed better than their peers. Its analysis showed that
the top 20 utilities for gender diversity, with
a combined average return on equity (ROE)
of 8.5%, significantly outperform the lower
20, with a combined average ROE of 7%. As
the EY report notes, Given the asset-heavy
nature of this industry, a 1.5% difference in
ROE between the two groups can translate
into millions less in profit.
At the top of its global top 20 list for women in boardrooms is Eskom (South Africa)
with seven women on its 12-member board,
followed by Duke Energy (U.S.) and Sempra
Energy (U.S.). Looking at senior manage-

The top 20 utilities for gender diversity,

with a combined average return on equity
(ROE) of 8.5%, significantly outperform
the lower 20, with a combined average ROE
of 7%.
Ernst & Young LLP
by Christine Lagarde, the first woman to head
the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In a
March 2014 interview, Managing Director
Lagarde mentioned an IMF study on women
in the workforce: We found that if females
were working in the same proportion as men
do, the level of [gross domestic product] in a
country like Egypt would be up 34 percent,
up 27 percent in a country like India but also
up 9 percent in Japan and up 5 percent in the
United States. All economies have savings
and productivity gains if women have access
to the job market. Its not just a moral, philosophical or equal-opportunity matter. Its also

ment teams (SMTs), the utilities with five or

more women were:

BC Hydro (Canada)
CLP Holdings (Hong Kong)
CMS Energy Corp. (U.S.)
Dominion Resources (U.S.)
Empresas Pblicas de Medellin (Columbia)
Manila Electric Co. (Philippines)the
overall leader, with eight women on an
18-member SMT
NRG Energy (U.S.)
Singapore Power Ltd. (Singapore)

Whats in a Name?
As this article was being written, POWER
Associate Editor Sonal Patel was working
on a news story about a corporate name
change and passed along this timely anecdote. The French energy group formerly
known as GDF SUEZ is changing its name
to ENGIE. Deputy CEO Isabelle Kocher,
49, who is soon to replace 66-year-old
CEO Grard Mestrallet, reportedly said
the new name looks and sounds like a
womans first name. Mestrallet said a female name is a coincidence that doesnt
displease him, as the company will soon
be run by two women, Ms. Kocher and
CFO Judith Hartmann.

Whether the CEO is male or female may

in some cases be less critical to financial success than whether a company is a regulated
utility, with an ensured rate of return, or an
independent power producer, subject to the
market. In any case, one female CEO in particular, Lynn Good, has been gaining plaudits
for her leadership of Duke Energy, in part for
her decision to move the largest utility in the
U.S. away from wholesale market generation. (See Duke Energy Generation: Wholesale Retreat in this issue.)
A Nov. 8, 2014, article asks,
Is Lynn Good the smartest (new) CEO in
the energy industry? The answer that author
provides is essentially, yes. In terms of the
bottom line, in Goods first year and a half at
the helm, the article notes, Duke provided a
total return of 32%, beating the S&P 500 by
almost four points. (Profits fell in the fourth
quarter of last year, however.) True, the company has had several recent difficulties, including troubles concerning its Edwardsport
integrated gasification combined cycle facility and coal ash spills, but those problems
were many pre-Good years in the making.
Particularly during times of industry stress
and change, which the power industry is facing in spades, having a more gender-balanced
workforce and leadership can be an advantage. Lagarde has suggested that if Lehman
Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, the financial industry catastrophe might have been
To that point, she said, I do believe
women have different ways of taking risks,
of addressing issues . . . of ruminating a bit
more before they jump to conclusions. . . .
Im not suggesting that all key functions and
roles should be held by women. But I think
that there would have to be a much bigger
diversity and a better sharing of those func-

POWER June 2015


Fairbanks Morse Leverages the Benefits of Diversity

Women in the power industry include those who work for power
generators as well as for the wide variety of firms supporting
those generators, from equipment manufacturers to service providers to consulting and legal firms. Work on the vendor side
of this industry poses many of the same challenges for women
as working in a power plant, explained Sheila Gailloreto, marketing director for Fairbanks Morse Engines, a power systems
equipment provider.
Women who participated in POWERs 2015 Women in Power Generation online survey were invited to contact the editor if they had
additional information to share. One who followed up was Gailloreto, who is based in Beloit, Wis. In an April 28 phone interview,
she told POWER that women in firms like hers also face some of
the same day-to-day issues as women in power plants, including
gaining a seat at the table and ensuring that their voices are
heard. However, she feels good about the executive team of 10
that she sits on, which recently added its third woman.
As at most companies that are dedicated to fostering all kinds
of workforce diversity, the commitment to that goal comes from
the top. Gailloreto said that Fairbanks Morse President Marvin Riley
holds a high level of awareness with regard to the diversity of the
team, and we talk very openly about it. The company wants
women on its leadership team not only for their individual contributions but also because it knows that companies with women on
their boards tend to do better financially.
But the company doesnt stop at hiring a diverse team; its also
leveraging that diversity by developing a learning organization.
Teams throughout the company have read Professor Edward D.
Hesss book Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge
Learning Organization, which promotes continuous learning and
innovation. In an interview with Columbia University Press, which
published the book, Hess said, many of us are good learners but it
is highly probable that we are suboptimal learners. We know from
research that cognitively we are fast reflexive thinkers who seek
to confirm what we already know. We are confirmation machines.
Emotionally, we tend to be defensive thinkers protecting our views
and ego. Emotionally, we defend, deny and deflect. The saboteurs
of learning are ego and fear. That is our humanness. To be a great
learner requires one to overcome those natural proclivities. Learn
or Die puts forth a blueprint of how to do that.
Among Hesss predictions for the future of business organizations: The required humanization of many business organizations
and the increased importance of soft skills such as empathy, humility, emotional and social intelligence, mindfulness etc. could be
challenging to many men. Men can learn these skillsbut many
men need to learn to lean out. I predict the upcoming learning

tions and roles. If you look at the studies

. . . its apparently very clear now that those
companies that have several female directors on their boards and females in their top
management actually do better, are more
profitable, and actually give a better return
to their shareholders.
The EY report also noted the glacial pace

June 2015 POWER

1. Book work. Shown here is a Books@Work session held live at

the Fairbanks Morse headquarters office in Washington, D.C., as well
as virtually using a Google Hangout for staff members located at the
companys manufacturing location in Beloit, Wis. Courtesy: Fairbanks
Morse Engines

revolution in business will propel more women into C-level positions and that will likely accelerate in many cases the humanization of organizations.
To enhance the collaborative and creative business environment
that supports that goal of building a learning organization, Fairbanks Morse recently began using a program called Books@Work
(, which, according to the nonprofit organization, brings professor-led literature seminars to workplaces and
community settings to build confidence, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
Gailloreto explained that once a month, the leadership team,
as well as other teams formed throughout the organization, are
assigned a book or, more often, a short story, to read individually.
Then, as a group, on work time, their discussion of the reading is
facilitated by a local professorfrom Beloit College for Wisconsinbased groups or from George Washington University for the team
located at the companys D.C. office (Figure 1). Readings have
included stories by two American writers: John Updikes Trust Me
and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.
The sessions allow the team to explore how men and women
interpret pieces of the story differently, giving them a non-work,
non-personal way to discuss those differences. Both men and
women have enjoyed the discussions so much that the sessions
have run over their allotted time. The benefits have been twofold, Gailloreto said, were having dialogue outside of work or
sports related topics, and were boosting our creative and critical
thinking skills as a team.

of change in the power and utilities industry. Only 5% of board positions are held by
women (a 1% increase from last year), while
non-executive directors are at 17%, down 1%
from last year. In order to benefit from the
value of having women in corporate leadership positions (see sidebar Whats in a
Name?), it helps to have a plan for career

development that provides industry entry

points all along the way.

So, Why Arent There More Women

in Power Generation?
Determining the percentage of women in the
power industry, even in just the U.S., is difficult. There is no single industry group that

gathers such data, even by fuel or technology breakout, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data is difficult to parse
for exactly these purposes. However, BLS
data for 2014 indicate that in the Electrical
power generation, transmission, and distribution industry, women accounted for 23.3%
of all employees. Note that this accounts for
all job functions across the industry, from
power plant operators to line workers to office workers.
Other estimates place women in the industry at between 1% and 25%, depending on
the sector. Kristen Graf, executive director of
Women of Wind Energy, supplied POWER
with a June 2013 National Renewable Energy Laboratory report (A National Skills Assessment of the U.S. Wind Industry in 2012)
that found: According to our survey, which
only captures a segment of the domestic wind
industry, women comprise approximately
20% of the known wind workforce. The variance across occupations is large. Six occupations of the 26 in our survey exhibited a
majority of women in their workforce. These
six included paralegals, admin/clerical, government regulatory workers, operations and
maintenance accountants/bookkeepers, supply chain/purchasing managers, and development finance. The occupations with the
lowest female representation were assembly
workers, construction laborers, transportation/logistics workers, and wind technicians,
each with less than 10%. One note of caution
in this section is that according to BW Research staff, companies asked about numbers
of female employees tend to over-report the
number of women working in their company (emphasis added).
A 2013 job census by The Solar Foundation found that 19% of all solar workers were
I was unable to find numbers for the thermal power sector, despite contacting major
industry groups.
Respondents to our 2015 survey (the largest share of whom are working in the coal
sector) indicated that the percentage of women in their plant or division was no more than
10%. (For full survey results, see POWERs
2015 Women in Power Generation Survey
in this issue.)
Many, often competing, theories have
been advanced to explain the under-representation of women in STEM fields in general
and in the power industry in particular. There
are surely some women, as well as men, who
rule out this industry because many plants are
located in remote or sparsely populated areas. Some people enjoy small town, rural life;
some dont. Others will rule out the thermal
generation sector of the industry because they
dont want to work in a sometimes noisy and

dirty environment. On the other hand, Ive

talked with one woman in charge of a coal
yard who beamed when she spoke about her
job. Another cohort of workers and potential
employees will be interested in only specific
generation typeseither for environmental reasons or technology reasons. Someone
who is fundamentally opposed to fossil fuels
is unlikely to seek a job at a coal plant, while
someone who is fascinated by physics will
likely be drawn more to the nuclear or solar
sector than the others. Personal preferences
are neither right nor wrong; they just are.
Beyond personal preferences, the reasons
for a dearth of women in any given industry
are typically a mix of factors that cut across
industries and ones that are more industryspecific. For example, an August 2014 Associated Press story noted that the construction
industry is increasing its efforts to recruit
women. In addition to stereotypes about that
industry, the National Womens Law Center found that pervasive sexual harassment
of women at work sites was another factor
responsible for low numbers of women in
Generally speaking, Gender bias,
workplace exclusion, and a lack of support structures are some of the factors contributing to the lack of women working in
engineering and computing, according to
a March 2015 report by the American Association of University Women (youll find
a link to that report in the Resources for
Women in Power Generation web supplement associated with this issue in the archives at
In the power industry, shift work may pose
an obstacle for some, whereas others may find
the work and schedules manageable but the
work environment less conducive to job satisfaction. I have heard more than one woman in
the power industry comment that you have to
have a thick skin and a strong sense of humor
to survive the culture of power plants. Some
women may be willing to put up with everything from snarky to sexist comments and attitudes; some of those women may have little
choice because of where they live or want to
live. But others may decide that their energy
is better used where it is appreciated.
Some, after giving a particular plant or
company a try, may decide that the effort
and growing ever-thicker layers of skin just
isnt worth it. Women in that situation, when
they can, may decide to move to a different
segment of the industry or may leave with
their skills and talents to seek their fortunes
in completely different areas. (See the previously mentioned survey article for more on
job satisfaction and career change plans.)
Even someone as clearly qualified as
the IMFs Lagarde has faced such decision

points. When starting out as a lawyer, she

interviewed at a high-profile French firm
that bluntly told her shed never be more
than an associatebecause she was a woman. She rejected their offer. And I just left
because I wasnt going to waste my time
with those people, she said in the previously mentioned interview. And I went to
another firm which was great and which was
based on respect and on equal opportunity
for those who delivered.

The Culture Challenge

How can power companies avoid that sort
of talent loss? No solution will be equally
successful everywhere, but one effort that is
never wasted is cultivating a workplace culture that is conducive to professional success
for all workersmen and women, young and
old, military veterans and other career-shifters, and promising employees from diverse
cultural and economic backgrounds.
Workplace culture is shaped by a combination of leadership, written and unwritten policy, and individual workers at any
given location. For example, does a company
CEOs attitude toward women in general and
women within the company demonstrate respect or something else?
A recent case in point comes from Schneider Electric. A March 10 press release announced that Chairman and CEO Jean-Pascal
Tricoire was awarded one of five awards
from the Womens Empowerment Principles
(WEP) event this year for his demonstrated
commitment to and implementation of policies that advance and empower women in the
workplace, marketplace and community. The
2015 Business Case for Action Award recognized [Schneider Electric] for its Diversity
and Inclusion policy, which prioritizes communicating the business case for diversity
and creating a company-wide gender balance
environment that extends beyond the parent
company to more than 10 Schneider Electric
CEOs of its international branches in countries from Viet Nam [sic] to Turkey.
Commenting on the award, Tricoire said,
Addressing gender diversity and equality is
a business and growth challenge. It is a key
priority which impacts not only the performance of our organization, but also its reputation as world-class employer. For many
reasons, that we know all, gender diversity
and equality is no more an option but a business imperative!
Fields that have been historically maledominated may have a tougher time adapting
to these new business imperatives and cultural shifts. Doing so requires more than just
hiring women or even setting up mentorships
(see sidebar, Fairbanks Morse Leverages the
Benefits of Diversity).

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2. Positive results. Sara McMurray,
materials scientist for ADA Carbon Solutions
LLC, says, I like working in the power industry because I feel that the work is relevant,
important, that I have a positive impact, and
the job engages a very diverse skill set. Courtesy: Sara McMurray

From Education to Career

One explanation for the small number of
women in the power industry has been that
too few women have the right technical education. Assuming that is true, measures to
encourage more girls and young women to
consider STEM education would be a necessary first step toward increasing their visibility. But even once women enter STEM
fields, they may not stay in them. One recent
three-year study of 5,300 women who had
earned engineering degrees within the previous six decades found that, Compared with
other skilled professions such as accounting,
medicine and law, engineering has the highest turnover of women.
According to a report by National Public
Radio, the study, by University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee psychologist Nadya Fouad,
found that only 17 percent of women left
engineering because of caregiving reasons,
which Fouad said dispels the notion that
pregnancy plays a big part in keeping women
out. But she does note that many of those
who did leave to stay home with children did
so because their companies did not offer flexible enough work-life policies.
The same NPR report quoted aerospace
engineer Elizabeth Bierman, president of the
Society of Women Engineers, as offering a
slightly different perspective: The work
environment may be one reason, but for the
majority it is not the case.
A Society of Women Engineers retention
study found that although women do leave
the engineering workplace faster than men,
they do so for a variety of reasons. Many of
those reasons, such as lack of work-life bal28

ance, also resonate with men, Bierman said.

Bierman told NPR that companies hoping to retain both women and men should
improve their work-life balance policies.
Even that concept can be contentious. When
I spoke earlier this year with Cindy Simpson,
chief business development officer for the
Association for Women in Science, she noted
that when conducting surveys, her group uses
the term work/life satisfaction. Theres no
such thing as balancing the two, she pointed out. Many women and men in the workforce would agree.
Yet another suggestion for attracting and
retaining women in engineering was offered
by Lina Nilsson, innovation director at the
Blum Center for Developing Economies at
the University of California, Berkeley, in
an April 27 New York Times op-ed piece.
Her experience suggests that if the content
of the work itself is made more societally
meaningful, women will enroll in droves.
That applies not only to computer engineering but also to more traditional, equally
male-dominated fields like mechanical and
chemical engineering. Nilssons examples
include designing affordable solutions for
clean drinking water, inventing medical diagnostic equipment for neglected tropical
diseases and enabling local manufacturing
in poor and remote regions.
Nilsson has found the same dynamic at
other engineering schools: The undergraduate-level international minor for engineers
at the University of Michigan reports that
51 percent of its students are women. Those
women are predominantly majoring in some
of the oldest and most traditional engineering
fieldsindustrial operations and mechanical
and chemical engineeringwhere, arguably,
gender stereotypes are most entrenched.
Similar engineering programs at other schools
that are focused on societally meaningful
challenges also report significant increases
in the numbers of women participating.
None of these programs were designed with
the main goal of appealing to female engineers, and perhaps this is exactly why they
are drawing us in, Nilsson suggested.
Note that, although many jobs in the
power generation industry do not require
an engineering degree, studies such as those
mentioned often serve as a proxy for the
range of positions because there is more
readily available data to study.
Although programs focusing on socially meaningful engineering may attract
more female students than traditional engineering programs, some women in the traditional power sector see plenty of societal
value in what they do. Take, for example,
Sara McMurray, a materials scientist for
ADA Carbon Solutions LLC (Figure 2),

3. Rawhide
Plant Chemistry Supervisor Gale
McGaha Miller. Ive been interested in
water purification since sixth grade, and highquality boiler makeup water is essential for
fossil units. It feels great to provide all the water treatment needs for the Rawhide Energy
Station, one of the cleanest, most efficient
coal-fired power plants in the nation, if not the
world. Courtesy: Platte River Power Authority

4. Rawhide Energy Station Plant

Buyer Dawn Miller. I am very thankful
to have the opportunity to work for Platte River
Power Authority at the Rawhide Energy Station. What a very productive work place with
great work/life balance. I find that working here
is very interesting and rewarding. You couldnt
ask for a better group of people to work with.
Courtesy: Platte River Power Authority

5. Rawhide Energy Station Occupational Health & Safety Specialist Natalie Parson. What we do here
every day provides so many opportunities
for people in their daily livesthe power we
provide is so important to how we all live. I
work with wonderful people and am glad to
be a part of keeping them safe, so they can go
home to their families at the end of the day.
Courtesy: Platte River Power Authority

POWER June 2015

6. Powerful panel. At the 2015 ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition in Rosemont, Ill., on Apr. 22, Colleen Campbell (AECOM, far right), moderated a Women in Power
Generation panel discussion with impressive leaders. Left to right: Tracy Ortiz, fuels superintendent, Tucson Electric Power; Sharon Pfeuffer, director of engineering, DTE Energy; Karen
Peery, vice president, IT, Exelon Generation LLC; Angela Deuitch, public affairs manager,
NiSource Corp.; Teresa Mogensen, vice president, transmission and operations services, Xcel
Energy. Source: POWER/Gail Reitenbach

who commented on the positive impact

her job has.
And then there are the women of Rawhide
Energy Station in Colorado, who, organized
by Plant Chemistry Supervisor Gale McGaha Miller, sent several photos of women at
work (Figures 3 to 5) in response to a request
posted to the POWER-sponsored Women in
Power Generation (WIPG) LinkedIn group.
Platte River Power Authority owns and operates the plant north of Fort Collins.
Rawhide Plant Operator Dana Belinski
(shown in the photo that opens this article),
said, After 27 years at the Rawhide Energy Station, I feel very fortunate to have
had the opportunity to make this my career.
I work with a great group of people and a
caring company.

What Has and Hasnt Changed

Since 2008
Over the past seven years, more professional
development and networking opportunities
for women have developed across STEM
fields and the energy industry (including
POWERs Women in Power Generation
group on LinkedIn). There has also been
high-profile encouragement of professional
women across fields, with Facebook COO
Sheryl Sandbergs Lean In book and movement being arguably the most notable.
But a career in power generation still poses gender-specific challenges. Among them
(unless you work at a plant like Rawhide) can
be the loneliness of being the lone woman on
a site. Some companies are paying attention
to the fact that such under-representation
short-changes both women and their employers. Both men and women are beginning
to recognize the value of developing more
gender-balanced teams, as was evident by
the number of men who were in the audience

June 2015 POWER

for this years Women in Power Generation

panel discussion at the ELECTRIC POWER
Conference & Exhibition in Rosemont, Ill.
(Figure 6).
Though we dont have enough space to
summarize the entire session here, a few
details will indicate the breadth, depth, and
value of comments shared.
The companies the panelists work for
have a variety of professional development
and leadership programs for both men and
women, but one of the most unusual is an
employee resource group sponsored by
DTE Energyan elder care support group.
Sharon Pfeuffer, director of engineering at
DTE (and a member of POWERs Generating Company Advisory Team), noted that
while employees and employers typically
anticipate work/life adjustments driven by
children, few have come to grips with the
challenges of managing the multifaceted
concerns of aging parents. Especially as
employees, often women, reach higher levels in their organizations, they may also become responsible for managing the affairs
of the older generation. Workplaces that can
provide access to support services for these
challenges can help retain the presence and
dedication of employees in whom they have
invested years of development.
In the question and answer period, one
man asked, What mistakes do you see men
making as managers? Karen Peery, vice
president, IT at Exelon Generation LLC,
immediately responded, Youre brave!
Pfeuffer followed with, Thanks for standing up and asking. Its understanding where
some of the gaps are. Before the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission existed, the issues were more obviouslike
being fired for being pregnant. Now the issues are more subtle and unintentional,

and women have some of the same biases,

Pfeuffer said.
Angela Deuitch, public affairs manager
for NiSource Corp., noted that the younger
generation wants more flextime. Teresa Mogensen, vice president, transmission and
operations services for Xcel Energy, added
that you have to actively think about diversity in hiring and building a team. Peery
suggested another strategy that can work
while transitioning to more-diverse teams:
Have diverse individuals from other teams
join yours periodically so you can begin to
understand the value of multiple perspectives and backgrounds.
Mogensen emphasized that in this industry, where engineers are traditionally thought
of as awkward and poor communicators,
The communication skill is key, whether
you are male or female. Tracy Ortiz, fuels
superintendent at Tucson Electric Power,
agreed, noting that shes received feedback
from some of her team that shes the best
communicator theyve had for a boss.

Opportunity, Not Preference

Did you happen to watch the 2014 WGN TV
series Manhattan, about the interplay of personal and professional lives on The Hill
(Los Alamos, N.M.) during development of
the first atomic bomb? One of the characters
was Helen Prins, a PhD physicist played by
Katja Herbers. In one episode she tells a male
colleague that she knows a black man has a
better chance of having a post-war academic
career than she does. So as long as theres a
war, she gets to do what she loves and is good
at. After the war, she says, her best hope is
an adjunct position at a no-name college. An
equal opportunity to compete and contribute
wasnt an option in that era.
Ultimately, its not about how many women, or how many people of color, or how
many individuals of other under-represented
groups are employed by any industry. Its
about ensuring that unnecessary obstacles
arent placed in the path of those who could
be good employees. As Terri Omatick, principal for the power sector at Stantec, a design
and consulting company, told me, her company doesnt promote women above men, but
women are given an equal opportunity to
add their unique voice to any meeting or professional opportunity.
We invite the other women in power to
share their stories, corporate best practices, as well as team and corporate benefits
achieved through diverse workforces. You
can start a discussion on our LinkedIn Women in Power Generation group page and/or
add a comment below this article online at

Gail Reitenbach, PhD is POWERs editor.



POWERs 2015 Women in Power

Generation Survey

Courtesy: Burns & McDonnell

How do women in the power generation businessin power plants and in the vendor communityview their jobs in this male-dominated industry? In what is likely
the first survey open to women across the industry, they told us.
Gail Reitenbach, PhD

he November 2008 issue of POWER included an industry-first in-depth look at

women in the power industry, Workforce
Management Lessons from Women in Power
Generation. When one of the women who
participated in that article suggested it might be
time for an update, I decided to take a different
approach this time around. In order to incorporate the voices and experiences of more people
at more levels than is possible with selective, indepth interviews, I launched a survey.
There have been previous surveys of
women in specific power sectors (primarily renewables) as well as broader surveys
of women in engineering, but there does
not appear to have been any prior survey of
women employed across the power sector
covering all technologies and including both
generating companies and companies that
interact with generators. (See sidebar for a
note about the woman featured in the opening photo.)
This article presents findings from POWERs
April 2015 survey. For even better results and

insights, a collaboration among multiple power

industry groups should field a study that targets
a representative sample of women in the industry. POWER would be happy to report on the
results of a more comprehensive study.
For a look at the broader context of womens participation in the power industry, see
Women Are Essential to a Thriving Power
Generation Sector in this issue.

Survey Design and Participation

POWER fielded an online survey of 21
multiple-choice questions plus one openended question between April 2 and 26.
The survey was promoted via the POWER-sponsored LinkedIn group Women in
Power Generation (WIPG); at the WIPG
panel session at the ELECTRIC POWER
Conference & Exhibition on April 22;
and via email to the leaders of Women
in Nuclear, Women in Solar Energy, and
Women of Wind Energy. The LinkedIn
group had 748 members when the survey
closed; some members may not receive

regular notifications of new posts, so they

may have missed the announcement of the
surveys availability.

High on Power
Chelsea N. Smith, shown sitting on
a beam at a construction site in the
photo that opens this article, is an assistant project manager at Burns & McDonnell. She says, I chose to work in
the power industry because there is an
endless need for innovative engineering
and construction services. In addition,
the energy sector of industrial construction provides job stability and a range
of career opportunities. Every day is a
challenge, which requires determination, critical thinking, and intrapersonal skills. I cant imagine working in any
other field!

POWER June 2015

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1. Q4: In what field did you get
your highest degree or level of
training? Source: POWER/2015 Women in
Power Generation survey (WIPG survey)
Engineering or science Business Other
Liberal arts Trade school field (such as welding

or pipe-fitting)

2. Q7: What is the percentage

of women in your work environmentplant, office, or division?
Source: POWER/2015 WIPG survey
0% to 5% 6% to 10% 11% to 15% 26% to
50% 21% to 25% over 50%


Respondent Demographics



The 52 responses received represent 7%

of the WIPG group but should not be considered representative of all women in the
power sector, because not all women in the
industry are members. Although this was a
convenience sample based on this groups
membership, this group does include representatives from multiple generation types.
Note that there are technology-specific
groups and organizations for women in nuclear, wind, and solar, whereas there are no
coal- or gas-specific power groups. (See the
web supplement Resources for Women in
Power Generation, associated with this issue in the archives at, for a
list of those groups.)
Despite the sample size limitation, when
asked in Question 5 (Q5) What type of
fuel is your current job primarily involved
with? the responses reflect reasonably well
the contribution of each fuel type to U.S.
power generation, with the exception of
nuclear (the percentage in parentheses is the
2014 number from the Energy Information
Administration)coal: 42.3% (39%), gas:
26.9% (27%), nuclear: 5.8% (19%), hydro:
3.8% (6%), solar: 0% (0.4%), wind: 1.9%
(4.4%), and other: 19.2%. Those responding other may have not been involved in
fuel-specific parts of the industry or may
have been involved in other less-used fuels
such as biomass and geothermal; three respondents identified themselves in write-in
comments as being involved with geothermal power.
Despite the small number of responses,
this survey enabled the collection of more
information, from more people, from diverse
corners of the industry, than was possible

with the in-depth phone interviews conducted for the 2008 article.
Respondents were not required to answer all questions, although most questions
were answered by all participants. The
lowest response (41) was for Q19, What
do you value most about your career in the
power industry?

Q1 asked, What type of company do you

work for? The majority of respondents,
65.4% (34), work for a Power generation company, followed by 26.9% (14)
who work for a Technical company supporting or interfacing with power generators (including equipment manufacturers,
engineering firms, operation and maintenance firms). Although Business
consultants, legal firms, finance/project
development and Regulatory agency
were other choices, those received 0 responses, but Other accounted for 7.7%
(4) of responses.
Younger respondents accounted for the
majority of survey takers, as shown by responses to Q2: How many years have you
worked in the power generation field? The
largest share, 46.2% (24) have spent 0 to 10
years in power; 26.9% (14) have spent 11
to 20 years; 15.4% (8) have spent 21 to 30
years; and 11.5% (6) have spent 31 or more
years in the field.
In response to Q3, What is your primary
work location? the majority of survey respondents, 86.3% (44), said North America;
3.9% (2) were from Western Europe; another
3.9% (2) were from Asia; and 5.9% (3) were
from elsewhere.
Q4 asked about educational background
(Figure 1). The majority, 67.3% (35), hold a
degree in engineering or science, followed by
15.4% (8) with business degrees. Note that in
all pie charts, only answers or categories that
received more than 0% responses are shown.
Q6 asked, Which of the following best
describes your job function? The largest
percentage, 45.1% (23), answered, Technical or trade (including managerial); 35.3%
(18) responded, Mid-level to senior manager; 19.6% (10) responded, Sales/marketing/administrative.

Visibility of Women
Three questions asked about the visibility
of women in respondents workplaces. The
majority, 60% (30), responded to Q7, What
is the percentage of women in your work environmentplant, office, or division? that
no more than 10% are female (Figure 2). For
other estimates of the percentage of women
employed in the power sector, see Women
Are Essential to a Thriving Power Generation





Sector in this issue.

Regarding changes over time, Q8 asked,
In the past 10 years, has the number of
women in your plant or working environment increased, decreased, or stayed about
the same? Nearly half, 49% (25), answered, Stayed about the same; 47.1%
(24) answered, Increased; and 3.9% (2)
answered, Decreased.
Since I first started covering women in the
power industry, many articles and individuals
have commented on the importance of role
models, mentors, and sponsors. There are
important differences between mentors and
sponsors that make it tricky to ask about those
supportive individuals in a survey, where respondents may not share an understanding of
these roles.
Generally, mentors are people from within
or beyond ones company or industry who
advise, encourage, and support one in a
careeroften just by listening or being a
sounding board. Mentors may have little or
nothing at stake and often expect nothing
in return. Sponsors, on the other hand, are
more-senior individuals within ones company or industry who sponsor or vouch
for their protgs and put more of their own
reputation on the line by backing someone
for a special assignment, promotion, or job
change. Consequently, sponsorship must be
earned, and the resultor paybackneeds
to be that the sponsored individual reflects
well on the sponsor.
Role models, on the other hand, are fundamentally aspirational and may be mentors, sponsors, or neither. Q9 asked, Do
you have female role models in your company or division? The majority, 60.8%

POWER June 2015

3. Q10: Relative to men in your
company with comparable education, training, and experience who
do the same or similar jobs, are you
paid: the same, less, more, or dont
know? Source: POWER/2015 WIPG survey
Less Dont know The same More

4. Q16: What has been the single

biggest obstacle to your professional success in the power industry? Source: POWER/2015 WIPG survey
Corporate and/or site management attitudes
Coworker attitudes Other Personal or family
constraints or choices Lack of on-the-job training op-






less, more, or dont know? Responses were

roughly split among the same, less, and
dont know, with 4% (2) answering more
(Figure 3).
Of the 50 who responded to Q17, Have
you ever worried about your physical safety
on the job due to the behavior of male coworkers? 88% (44) said, No, while 12%
(6) said, Yes.
In fields that have not traditionally attracted women, women who enter those
fields sometimes feel they need to work
extra hard to prove that they belong. Q18,
however, did not ask about self-imposed
stretch goals but instead asked about external expectations: Are you expected to
do more than your male colleagues with
the same or similar job titles? The majority, 68% (34), said, No, while 32% (16)
said, Yes.

Personal Success and Challenges

(31), answered, Yes; 39.2% (20) answered, No.

Men vs. Women

Three questions asked about issues of gender

equity in the workplace.

Q10 asked about salary: Relative to men
in your company with comparable education, training, and experience who do the
same or similar jobs, are you paid: the same,

Whos Behind
Pressure Parts?

No job is without its challenges, but different

factorsboth external and internalcan account for those challenges. Q16 asked, What
has been the single biggest obstacle to your
professional success in the power industry?
The most frequently chosen factor (Figure 4)
was Corporate and/or site management at-

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5. Q15: What has been the single
most important factor in your
power industry success so far?
Source: POWER/2015 WIPG survey
Personal character and perseverance On-the-job
training Mentor (within or beyond your company)


6. Q20: Would you recommend

your career to a young woman in
high school or college who shows
interest in the power industry?
Source: POWER/2015 WIPG survey
Yes No





titudes at 39.6% (21).

The nine who chose Other provided the
following explanations:


Its 2015, and the environment is still a

good old boys club.
A layer of skepticism that exists because I
am both a woman and younger than nearly
all of my colleagues.
No matter how capable I am to do my job,
I am always competing or having to prove
I am just as good or better than a male peer
in the same situation.
Listening to people from different backgrounds; getting past gender stereotypes.
I could make more money and rise higher
in a bigger company if I was willing to
give up owning my own company and
being in charge of my own time. I enjoy
working from home and make use of flextime to a great extent. I enjoy being able to
support my engineering work and clients
while also making dinner for my family
and taking time for personal health and
mental well-being (including walking the
dog, a lot).
Being a non-local female in a small community has been very challenging. I was
not welcomed with open arms when I first
joined the company.
Outage seasons getting shorter, less work.
Im getting older and the hard labor moments are reminders that I need something
less physical although Im still not ready
for a desk job.
No obstacles.
Not having engineering degree and personal confidence in assuming [I] can do
range of jobs.

For any woman in an industry where

women are a minority, a number of factors
are necessary for success, but to Q15, which
asked, What has been the single most important factor in your power industry success so
far? the clear majority, 60% (30) responded,
Personal character and perseverance (Figure 5). Education was the least-chosen response, at 6% (3).

Job Satisfaction and Professional

A number of questions asked about job satisfaction, beginning with the simple Q11:
How do you feel about your job? The majority, 60.8% (31) said they Love it; 33.3%
(17) said, Its OK; and 5.9% (3) said they
Hate it.
Work/life balance is rare. Instead, Q12
asked, How would you describe your current work/life satisfaction? Nearly half,
49% (25) responded, High; 43.1% (22)
said, Medium; and 7.8% (4) said, Low.
As noted in the 2008 article, policies
that are attractive to women in the power
industry also tend to be attractive to men,
especially those of younger generations.
Q13 asked, For both women and men, at
different life stages, and for various personal and family caretaking needs, would
you describe your companys policies
and culture as supportive of reasonable
personal life flexibility? The majority,
86.3% (44) said, Yes; 13.7% (7) said,
As for career growth, Q14 asked, Regarding opportunities for career development
and professional advancement with your current employer, do you see them as: excellent,

good, or poor? Responses were: 30% (15)

Excellent; 50% (25) Good; and 20%
(10) Poor.
Individuals may enter a field for any
number of reasons initially, but what keeps
them committed to a job or career may not
be what initially attracted them. Although
the survey did not ask what initially drew respondents to the power industry, Q19 asked,
What do you value most about your career
in the power industry? There was no clear
winner in this category, though there was a
clear loser. Responses were: The people,
39% (16); The salary, 29.3% (12); The
technical work, 24.4% (10); and The location, 7.3% (3).
One of the best indicators of respondents experience working in the industry
may be their response to Q20: Would you
recommend your career to a young woman
in high school or college who shows interest in the power industry? An overwhelming 90% (45) said, Yes; 10% (5) said,
No (Figure 6).
That result is interesting to consider
in light of the response to Q21: Are you
considering a career change? More than
a quarter, 28% (14) said, Yes; 72% (36)
said, No.
Note that, although cross-tabulation of
responses by fuel type did not yield significant patterns in responses for most
questions, for Q20 and Q21, there was a
notable correlation. Of those who said in
Q20 that they would not recommend a career in power to young women, 100% (5)
are currently in the coal sector. Of those
who are considering a career (rather than
a job) change, 7 of the 10 are in the coal

Personal Comments
Nineteen respondents provided anonymous
write-in comments at the end of the survey.
Three identified themselves as being in
the geothermal sector, and one requested that
geothermal be added as a breakout in any future survey, noting, There is a big community of females in this industry!
Multiple respondents noted that, although they would encourage young women to consider a career in power, they need
to be tough, as one woman put it. Another said, I would also advise them that
theyll need to be thick-skinned and ready
to get dirty. Most women at my plant are
cowgirls, so they are used to a rough and
tumble atmosphere.
Some expressed the view that difficulties
in professional advancement did not have
to do with gender. One noted that men
who grew-up in the company were also
disenfranchised by management. Others

POWER June 2015

said gender had been an impediment. One
commented: I have felt that my career progression has been limited due to my gender.
I also feel that to have a successful career
within the industry involves a strong sense
of humour and willingness to bite your
tongue. Another said, As a female, nonengineer, Ive had to fight hard for every
advancement. I can absolutely say that Im
not afforded the same opportunities as the
men. However, I have advanced and have
done well.
One woman, commenting in particular
on Q18 (Are you expected to do more
than your male colleagues with the same
or similar job titles?) said, Back in the
dayyes. As a group, men are getting better about female co-workers, [but] there is
still an individual here and there that thinks
you need to prove something to them. I
have already proved myself in this mans
world, and I wont play that game anymore.
If I excel past the men it is to improve my
own abilities and I do strive to be an effective team member.
Several commented on their job satisfaction. One said, I am so fortunate that I am
engaged in a career that I love. Every day is
exciting and I never wake up dreading hav-

ing to go to work. What could be better!

Another noted that, Job performance, affinity groups, networking, and sponsorship
are key elements to career advancement in
my company. I can definitely see an active
role in the company promoting minorities.
Very happy with my job. One woman, who
has spent more than 15 years in the power
industry in a broad variety of projects of
widely varying sizes and technologies,
said, For me this has been a very rewarding career and I cant imagine working in
any other field.
Multiple women commented on how
their power industry job provides a sense
of satisfaction derived from having contributed to the worldwhich is different
from personal enjoyment of a job. One
explained: Although there are hurdles for
women, especially in the engineering and
management areas of this industry, it is
very rewarding to know that ones work has
made the workplaces safer and the processes more efficient. I had some experience in
the nuclear power industry for several decades and am pleased to know that some
of the safety equipment with which I was
associated worked properly when needed.
The same can be said for the transmission

and distribution equipment.

Another respondent, who took the survey after the ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition, said, I have worked in
both the oil & gas and power sectorsboth
male-dominated industries, but just like
in our home lives, I truly believe women
are making the difference to move these
industries forward. Women attend conferences and participate in panels for different
reasonswe are there to get something accomplished, to move the needle. I feel like
men are more focused on the social aspect
of the conferences and are not always as
prepared or willing to attend to actually
learn something.
Finally, a couple of respondents recognized the need for women to support other
women in power generation careers. One seasoned veteran of the industry said, My job
now is to mentor, rather than be the mentee.
I do enjoy the peer support found through
Both the survey responses and write-in
comments indicate that corporate policies typically are not the barrierpeople
are, as suggested by responses to Q16 and

Gail Reitenbach, PhD is POWERs editor.


June 2015 POWER



Power Plant Boot Camp:

Training the Next Generation of
Leaders and Managers
Courtesy: U.S. Marine Corps/ Cpl. Jericho W. Crutcher

At every stage along the power plant promotion track, individuals assuming new
leadership positions can find themselves unprepared to deal with new responsibilities. From contracts and regulatory and financial responsibilities to managing those
who used to be peers, this article addresses common challenges and best practice
solutions to ensure the success of your team.
Jeff Fassett, PE

ome of you may have served in the

military, and if you did, I want to thank
you for your service. I am sure that
you will remember the fun days you spent at
basic training, or boot camp, as most would
call it. Each of the branches has its own location for the training, but wherever it was,
you would have spent those early, formative
days and weeks of your military tenure with
a friendly drill instructor politely guiding you
in the finer points of military life.
You learned the fundamentals, such as how
to march, drill, shoot, make your bed, and
say Yes, Sergeant, No, Master Chief, or
Yes Sir, Gunny. From there it was on to A
schoolat least thats what it was called in
the Navyto learn your trade, craft, or specialty skill, such as how to be a mechanic, infantry soldier, or turbine tech, most of which
can be applied to life after the military.
Having had the privilege and honor of
not only being raised in a military family
but also knowing and working with many
former military personnel in the almost 30

years that I have been in the power industry, I am thankful for these men and women
and the training that they have received. I
am proud to have had the opportunity to personally hire several former military personnel. I have found them to be disciplined as
well as willing and able to be trained. They
understand work ethic and service. They are
typically motivated and hardworking.
But where do you go for basic training for
the power industry? I know some people who
started off in this industry turning wrenches
or calibrating gauges, others who began as
laborers, and some who started out as operators. I know others still who have come
in through the college route, as engineers or
business types. But once you are in the door,
how do you gather and amass the power industry acumen required to operate and manage a complex multimillion-dollar facility?
You certainly dont have the luxury of going
away for six weeks or more of camp, where
some sergeant or chief tells you how nice it is
that you are there, as they kindly and gently

teach you how to perform your assigned task

(Figure 1).
Over the years, IEM Energy Consultants
has worked with various clients worldwide,
and without fail, they all struggle with the
question: How do we properly train and prepare our people to take on leadership roles
in the future? This article explores various
methods that have been used at plantslarge

1. Welcome to the military,

Maggot! Drill instructors prepare recruits
mentally and physically for the rigors of battle.
Courtesy: U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Reece Lodder

POWER June 2015

Table 1. Skill set matrix. This abbreviated example identifies skills that candidates
were required to have (1) and additional skills
that an ideal candidate would have (2). Source:
IEM Energy Consultants

Tech 1

Tech 2

2. Understanding the proper technique to use when completing a task

is important in all occupations. In this photo, a primary marksmanship instructor and
a range coach teach a recruit the fundamentals of marksmanship. Courtesy: U.S. Marine Corps/
Cpl. Jericho W. Crutcher


Alignment (1)
Balancing (2)
BearingsJournal (1)
BearingsRoller (1)
BearingsSleeve (1)
Cathodic protection
Continuous emissions monitoring
system (2)
control system
Troubleshooting (1)
Doble testing (1)
Environmental (2)
Gas turbine
control system
Programming (2)
Gas turbine
control system
Troubleshooting (1)
breakers (2)
transformers (2)
Hot stick (1)
Load commutating
inverter (2)
Lube oil (1)
Millwright (1)
evaluation (2)
Personal computers
Pipefitting (1)
Pump repair/
overhaul (1)
Rigging and lifting
Total turns ratio (1)
Vibration analysis (2)
WeldingCode (2)
WeldingGas (1)
WeldingStick (1)

and smallboth by IEMs clients as well as

by me when I was a plant superintendent at
an F-class combined cycle power plant.

Its All in the Hiringor Is It?

It would be nice to say that it is all in the hir-

June 2015 POWER

ing process, but it is hard to see a candidates

potential for success 10 years, five years, or
even two years down the road. But hiring the
right people naturally has a lot to do with it.
IEM was tasked several years ago with
helping staff two F-class combined cycle
power plants. One consisted of two 2 x 1
power blocks and the other consisted of one
3 x 1 power block. This was in the early days
of the F technology, and the client, who had
been hearing all of the horror stories related
to infant mortality, was very risk averse.
That client insisted that all operators and
maintenance technicians have a minimum of
10 to 15 years experience with F technology
to even get across the threshold.
Recognize that this was during the bubble, when there were companies that were
hiring operations and maintenance (O&M)
technicians not for one plant, but for multiple plants at a time. It often seemed as if the
only qualification required was the ability
to spell gas turbine, so hiring competition
was fierce. The question that IEM posed to
our client was: How do you find candidates
with that level of experience in a segment of
the industry that is only five years old?
IEM convinced this particular client
that what we really needed to do was focus
primarily on appropriate skill sets, rather than on experience. Additionally, we
looked for personnel who could play well
in the sandbox together. If we found personnel who could who could be made into
a squad, so to speak, they could lean on
each other based upon the skills that each

possessed, which would serve the power

plant well. One manager at a large coalfired power plant in the South put it this
way, We look for people who reflect our
culturewith the right aptitude; after that,
we can train them.
Based upon this philosophy, a skills matrix
(Table 1) was developed, identifying the specific skill sets (not experience) that the client identified as critical to the success of the
facility. In certain cases, duplicate skill sets
were identified, such as having multiple personnel with electrical or mechanical skills,
for example.
Using the matrix, O&M technician job
descriptions were developed, and interviews
were conducted. During the interview process, a great deal of concentration was given
to personality traits, hobbies, pastimes, and
interpersonal discussions, looking for people
who were comfortable in their skin.
Although we touched on skill sets, we
were often able to ascertain those more easily
though reference checks. It must be recognized that reference checks, and the information that is available, have changed over the
years. Now, there is an ever-present threat of
litigation from angry ex-employees who feel
they may have been slandered, so this option
may not be as useful as it once was.
If candidates came with true experience,
that was considered an added advantage.
However, it has also been our experience that
in certain cases, it is easier to form individuals into a cohesive squad when they come
with no ingrained bad habits. In that case, we

have a clean sheet of paper, so to speak, to
train them to perform tasks the way the plant
wants them to and not the way they did it at
their last plant. Just as in the infantry, it is
easier to take people who have a basic familiarity with guns and teach them to shoot the
military way, rather than take people who
think they know everything there is to know
about guns who have to unlearn years of
bad habits before they can be taught the military way (Figure 2).
As positions were filled, the matrix was
reevaluated, so that we could ensure that all
identified skill sets were subsequently filled.
This approach worked well, and the staffing
process for both facilities went very smoothly. At least through commissioning and initial
operations, the staff was well adjusted and
well trained.

3. When the bullets start flying, remember your training. Preparation and
practice are critical to success in any endeavor. Courtesy: U.S. Marine Corps/ Sgt. Benjamin E.

Once you have your recruits, what is the
best way to teach them to march in formation, how to drill, and most importantly,
how not to fall to pieces when in combat situations, such as when steam vents
are lifting and it sounds like the world is
coming to an end? I will never forget my
first experience in a combat situation, so to
speak. I failed miserably because I never
received the basic training.
I had been given my gun, my fatigues, a
compass and a map, and was told to go out
and conquer the enemy, but I was still unprepared. I was fresh out of college, and there
I was standing on top of the boiler building
of a brand new 490-MW lignite-fired plant,
studying the enemy positions. Plant plot
plan in hand, I was trying to get the lay of
the land.
All of a sudden a clinker let loose, somewhere around 75 feet beneath me. It fell the
remaining 200+ feet to the ash hopper and
broke the water seal, causing the furnace to
lose pressure and the 2,500 psig boiler drum
safety directly behind me to lift. I had never
heard incoming enemy rounds hit so close,
and I had never been so scared in my entire
life. I thought my life was coming to an end.
Well, when I recovered and realized that I
was going to live through it after all, I vowed
to tell this story to all those whom I have
since hired and trained, so that when enemy
rounds come close, they will at least know
what to expect. I try to get them to expect the
I have seen training programs that run
from literally nothing more than glorified onthe-job training with little formality, to long,
drawn-out affairs that rival what some of the
best schools offer. At one facility, running a
single simple cycle combustion turbine, the
operations training program consisted of fol38

lowing the electrical technician around as he

operated the unit.
At another plant, involving a 1 x 1 combined cycle project, the initial new plant
training involved seven weeks of both classroom and hands-on training, coupled with
running and coordinating every aspect of
startup and commissioning under the supervision and coordination of an experienced
operations lead and startup manager. In both
the hands-on setting as well as the classroom setting, the instructors developed and
utilized multiple what-if scenarios, based
upon real-life O&M incidents, to test trainees comprehension of concepts and understanding of emergency situations.
At still another project, currently under
construction, the site will run three separate training courses, so that it can rotate its
personnel through, without tying them all
up at once. That program will stretch out to
seven months.
In discussions with a plant manager at a
large utility coal plant, he indicated that when
his plant brings in new entry-level recruits,
they all go through a Power Plant 101
course to learn the fundamentals. After that,
depending upon the nature of the position
that they have been hired into, the training
can stretch for up to 15 weeks, including a
combination of both classroom and hands-on
training. Control room qualified personnel
must requalify every three years.
As previously noted, in new plants, if the
opportunity presents itself, the O&M staff
should participate to the greatest extent possible in all commissioning activities. This
stipulation should be written into contracts

up front to ensure engineering, procurement,

and construction, and O&M contractors allow this level of participation. However, this
may require some level of temporary additional staffing, which can and should be
budgeted for. There are two options for this.
Extra workers can either be contract labor,
in which case they can be released as soon
as they are no longer needed, or they can be
direct labor, in which case attrition can take
the numbers back down to approved budget
levels. The latter is often preferred, as there is
a normal level of attrition that will take place
during these times.
But as with exercise, continual refinement
is necessary, or else skills, like muscles, will
atrophy. Just as the military continually
trains and drills to hone skills (Figure 3),
plant personnel must be allowed to train and
hone their skills too. Not only will this keep
them fresh and prepared, but it will also prevent the staff from becoming bored with the
routine of day-to-day operations.
Different facilities have their own unique
ways of qualifying staff to move up and
train for the next position. A good program
should include a series of written and oral
exams (administered by supervisors as well
as peers), proficiency demonstrations, and
time in grade. By the time an operator, for
example, is qualified to run the control room
alone, he or she should have mastered concepts, such as:

Plant safety procedures and practices.

Plant administrative processes and procedures.
Plant work order entry and processing.

POWER June 2015

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Basic thermodynamics (including energy

conversion and heat rate).
Plant piping and instrumentation diagrams
for all systems (most systems should be
memorized so the operator can draw on
them and describe them from memory).
Plant electrical one-line diagrams with the
same level of memory as noted above.
Any contracts that pertain to the O&M of
the plant, including fuel supply, ash disposal, power sales, tolling agreements,
long-term service agreements, labor agreements, O&M contracts, and water supply.
Operating permits relating to the plant, including air, water, noise, and waste.
Understanding of plant mechanical equipment and systems and how they operate,
including prime movers, steam generators,
fuel handling, different types of pumps,
compressors, fans, blowers, valves, filters,
and strainers.
Understanding of plant electrical equipment and systems and how they function,
including breakers, transformers, excitation, circuit switches, relays, and metering.
Understanding of plant control systems,
including a basic understanding of troubleshooting, ladder logic, control valves,
transmitters, thermocouples, and resistance temperature detectors.
And perhaps the most important thing that
all operators should know is what they
dont know. As I always used to tell my
employees, dont be afraid to pick up the
phone; know your limitations.

Beyond this, staff should be allowed opportunities, within budget constraints, for
outside training, provided that the training
is something that will ultimately benefit the
plant. At one site visited by IEM, the O&M
staff utilized a self-directed workforce that
was highly motivated, and outside training
was encouraged. One of the O&M technicians, who was already a top-notch welder,
had earned a level-2 certification in nondestructive evaluation. This individual was also
in the process of becoming a certified weld
inspector so that he could take on a more active role in overseeing boiler repairs and inspections as well as other code work that was
required on site.
Next, look for opportunities to expand
employees horizons, such as giving them
assignments outside of their regular job description. One thing that worked well for
me, for example, and I have seen utilized at
several plants since then, was assigning operators to work as project managers during
outages, such as for upgrades to water purification systems or on turbine overhauls. Ive
even seen some become outage coordinators.
This relieves them of their routine duties, al40

lows them to see the plant from a different

perspective, and gives them an introduction
to budgetary responsibility, contract management, and scheduling, while allowing supervisors/managers to see how well they do on
temporary duty (TDY).
With all that said, training must go beyond
the obvious. The men and women who staff
these multimillion-dollar facilities are trusted
to make snap decisions in the heat of battle,
and these decisions can have significant effects on the facilities, beyond generation. Do
I trip the unit, or can I do a fired shutdown?
Can the unit continue to run through the current peak hours? What changes need to be
made to prevent possible damage to the unit?
How do these decisions affect long-term service agreements, tolling agreements, or bonus
structures under power purchase agreements?
How will they influence the bonuses paid to
the employees under an O&M contract? This
is a combat operation, so to speak, so if everyone doesnt understand the mission, then
everyone might have a different perception of
the final objective.
It is imperative that employees of all pay
grades understand how their actions or inactions can affect the facility, the bottom line,
or even their paycheck. One recommendation that we make to all of our clients is that
employees should be trained on the commercial and legal sides of the business. Now that
might sound to some like pure torture, but
if these agreements affect the facility, then
workers need to understand how their actions
affect the agreements. All employeesfrom
O&M technicians to managementshould
be able to produce a simple, one-page summary of each contract that pertains to O&M
of the plant and explain how their actions
can affect that particular contract and, consequently, the plant.

Natural Born Leaders

As a lieutenant, you must always keep an
eye on your platoon, looking for those who
need a little extra encouragement. Sometimes
motivated people get bored and want to take
on additional responsibility. Other workers
can get into trouble because they dont have
enough to do.
Frequently, you have a sergeant who
watches over the operations and another to
watch over the maintenancedepending
upon the size and type of facility you are
runningbut how do you start grooming
your sergeants to become top sergeants?
How do you start identifying and grooming
the next sergeants? Again, this has been a
struggle at sites everywhere, and some have
done better than others when it comes to answering these questions.
Some promote based on tenure and

ity. Some will select the person who has stood

out as the most technically qualified in their
position. Others still will bring new sergeants
in from other platoons, while some watch for
natural born leaders.
Tenure and seniority seem to make sense;
those with the most time in grade, those with
the most battle scars, will naturally make
the best leaders, right? Maybe they will, but
maybe not. They may know the equipment,
know the plant, processes, and procedures,
but do they know how to lead? Do they
have the respect of those who will report to
At one site that IEM visited, a newly minted operations supervisor, who had been promoted from within, was struggling with his
new direct reports. After spending time with
those who reported to him, a definite trust issue was identified that had been around for
years. This made for a highly dysfunctional
organization. To make matters worse, while
the individual in question didnt lack enthusiasm for the position, he hadnt necessarily
been groomed and trained to become a frontline supervisor either. This made for a difficult transition for both the supervisor as well
as his direct reports.
I would like to suggest that while sand
will irritate the eye, and eventually lead
to an infection, that same grain of sand in
an oyster will produce a pearl. The point
is that it is the irritantdifficult times at a
plantthat brings out the true character of
I would challenge you to watch your personnel the next time the alarm bells are going off in the control room. Oftentimes, what
I have seen is that one member of the crew,
and perhaps not even one who is assigned
to the control room, will be the person everyone looks to for direction. The ones who
have the capacity to remain calm when the
bullets start flying, while simultaneously
processing multiple inputs and outputs, are
the ones who will gain the respect of those
they work with. Those individuals have an
inherent ability to lead.
As plant managers, the whole aspect of
personnel management can consume a lot
of timeeven more if we get it wrong. Understanding a few basic concepts for hiring,
training, motivating, and honing your platoon
into a well-oiled fighting force that can rely
on each other during the heat of battle can
pay huge dividends.

Jeff Fassett, PE is founder of IEM Energy Consultants Inc. He has served many
years in power plant O&M roles. He has
also been active in the American Society
of Mechanical Engineers and served on
the education committee of the International Gas Turbine Institute.

POWER June 2015


Has Your ICS Been Breached?

Are You Sure? How Do You Know?
Many known security breaches have been in enterprise networks, but why
havent we heard about many industrial control system (ICS) breaches?
Maybe because systems have been breachedbut their owners are unaware because theyre lacking security instrumentation and personnel.
Chris Sistrunk

June 2015 POWER

ernment regulations, ICS devices that are

insecure, attacks on every sector (including
energy), and the fact that breaches are inevitable? This article explains how network security monitoring (NSM) of industrial control
systems will help you detect and respond to
attacks, rather than learning about them only
after law enforcement knocks on your door.

Network Security Monitoring

Network security monitoring is the collection, analysis, and escalation of indications
and warnings to detect and respond to intrusions. NSM is a way to find intruders on your
network and do something about them before
they damage your enterprise, as described in
The Practice of Network Security Monitoring, by Richard Bejtlich (chief security strategist of my employer, FireEye).

In 1986, Cliff Stoll, an astronomer-turnedsystems administrator at Lawrence Berkeley

National Laboratory, used monitoring techniques to hunt for a hacker who was stealing information from the national labs and
selling it to the KGB. If you have not read
his book, The Cuckoos Egg: Tracking a Spy
Through the Maze of Computer Espionage,
which is the first documented case of someone catching a hacker, I highly recommend
it (see sidebar). Of the 80 systems that the
hacker breached, only two system owners
noticed! Many of the tools and techniques
Stoll usedmost importantly, a questioning
attitudeare still used in defending corporate networks today. Stoll and a few others
were a major influence that led to the invention of NSM by Todd Heberlein and his team
at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

1. Publicly known ICS-specific vulnerabilities, exploits, and malware.

This chart represents annual global data as of Dec. 31, 2014, as aggregated by the author.
Vulnerabilities Exploits Malware


Havex & Black Energy (2)



Stuxnet (1)

ince 2010, the year Stuxnet was discovered, there has been an increase
in industrial control system (ICS)
vulnerability research and reported vulnerabilities, exploits, and ICS-specific malware
(Figure 1). (Vulnerabilities are generally defined as flaws in a system or procedures that
leave a system open to attack, exploits are
programs that take advantage of a systems
vulnerability, and ICS-specific malware is
code written specifically to compromise
ICS systems.) Couple this with the fact that
more and more control systems are being
connected to the Internet (according to the
Shodan website), and we have the ingredients for a bad recipe. All thats needed is an
attacker with a motive.
According to the NCCIC/ICS-CERT Year
in Review 2014 (from The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and the U.S. Department of Homeland
Securitys Industrial Control Systems Cyber
Emergency Response Team), attackers do
seem to be motivated: Last year, 245 cyber
incidents were reported for ICS owners, 79
of which were in the energy sector. Attackers
certainly dont care if you are already North
American Electric Reliability Corp./Critical
Infrastructure Protection, Version 5 (NERC/
CIP v5) compliant, they just want what they
are after. They are professional, organized,
and well-funded. If you kick them out, they
will just come back.
If ICS are so vulnerable, why havent we
seen more of these attacks? Perhaps it is because we arent looking!
There may be someone from IT looking at
the enterprise side of the network, but most
businesses dont regularly look at network
traffic patterns and logs on the control system network (if they are even available). If
a company has a security operations center
(SOC), most likely the ICS is not tied into it,
which means that company is defending only
part of its operations.
So what can ICS owners do in the face
of more ICS vulnerabilities, malware, gov-

2001 2002

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

2010 2011 2012 2013




Network Security Monitoring (NSM) Resources

Cliff Stoll, The Cuckoos Egg: Tracking a

Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage (1989)
One-hour PBS NOVA Special (1990) based
on Cliff Stolls experience: https://www.
Todd Heberlein et al., A Network Security
Monitor (1990):

in 1988. This article shows that these same

tools and techniques can be applied to defending ICS.
NSM needs two components to be successful: at least one person with a questioning attitude and the right tools for that person
to collect and analyze the data while keeping a lookout for attacks. Collecting logs and
data, detecting anomalies, and performing
analysis on the anomalies (hunting for evil)
is the NSM cycle. This is the daily job of the
security analystto be on constant watch
for strange things on a network that may be
a breach. The goal is to make the time between the breach occurring and detection of

Richard Bejtlich, The Practice of Network

Security Monitoring (2013): nostarch.
Chris Sanders & Jason Smith, Applied
Network Security Monitoring (2013):
The NSM Wiki:
The open source Linux distribution for
NSM, Security Onion:

the breach as short as possible.

For instance, when I was a new employee
at Mandiant, I was issued a new laptop and
was allowed to download programs I needed

downloaded was and if I intended to install it.

I was blown away at how fast they responded! If the downloaded tool had been malware,
they would have started their response very
quickly. Often, organizations dont know
they have been breached for many months or,
in some cases, years.
What is important to know about NSM
is that it uses passive collection, not active
scanning of the ICS network, which we know
can cause serious consequences. Active scanning uses software to probe the network to
find devices, open ports, and even vulnerabilities. If not done properly, active scanning
can cause control system devices to malfunction. Passive collection is monitoring traffic
on Ethernet and serial networks, which will
not affect control system devices.

Last year, 245 cyber incidents were reported

for ICS owners, 79 of which were in the
energy sector.
to do my job. I downloaded a free Modbus
tool; two minutes later I received an email
from our SOC analyst asking what the file I

To passively monitor a network for

NSM, you need at least one network sensor and a way to get a copy of the network

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POWER June 2015


So You Want to Be an
NSM Analyst

2. Example of a plant network architecture diagram. Courtesy: FireEye

What type of person makes an ideal

industrial control system (ICS) analyst
for the purposes of network security
monitoring (NSM)? As this article underscores, a questioning, vigilant attitude
is paramount.
Additionally, these general technical
skills and abilities can be very helpful:

Understanding what the control system does, and its components.

Knowledge of the ICS protocols that
are used.
Awareness of existing vulnerabilities
of their control system components.
Ability to use NSM software and write
custom intrusion detection system
(IDS) rules.
Being able to communicate effectively.
Taking charge if an incident occurs.

traffic to the sensor. Many organizations

have network sensors already deployed
on normal IT networks, but these sensors
may not always be best suited for a control system environment.
If you are considering installing NSM sensors in your ICS, I strongly suggest that you
begin in a lab environment and with all of
the important ICS stakeholders, such as security operations, plant operations, engineering, and even the ICS vendors. NSM sensors
for ICS environments must consider traffic
volume and speed, the physical environment
(whether or not the sensor needs to be industrially hardened), and what protocols the sensor needs to interpret.
The software platform of the sensor is important to meet these requirements. There are
several new commercial ICS-specific platforms available on the market that can collect
data and present it to a dashboard for the analyst, perform deep packet inspection of ICS
protocols, and even draw a network diagram.
There are also free tools available for NSM
sensors, the most popular being Security Onion. Security Onion contains several tools
such as Wireshark, Bro IDS, and Snort IDS
that understand DNP3, Modbus, and other
ICS protocols.
Placement of the sensors is important as
well, so that the perimeter and important internal systems in the ICS network are visible
to an analyst. (See sidebar, So You Want to
Be an NSM Analyst.) The sensors should be
connected to either an existing switch with

June 2015 POWER

port mirroring capability, or a dedicated network tap should be installed. It is even possible to passively monitor serial-based traffic.
Lastly, dont forget to secure the sensors and
the data they collect.
The NSM sensor can collect several types
of data. The richest type is the full packet
capture (pcap), which is like a phone recording. It provides a record of exactly what happened. Because many ICS networks are low
bandwidth compared to IT systems, capturing full pcaps is an advantage. The next type
of data is called session data, which is like
records on a phone bill showing who called
whom when, and for how long. Session data
has the advantage of taking less storage space
than full pcaps. Be sure to size the sensors
hard drive appropriately for how much data
to store for how long. Other types of data include extracted files, intrusion detection system (IDS) alerts, and collected log files such
as syslog and Windows event logs.

Expecting that your ICS will be breached

is a more powerful position than trying to
prevent all breaches.
Figure 2 is an example of a typical plant
network architecture. At the top is the corporate IT infrastructure consisting of business
systems, personal computers, and laptops.
Next is the plant demilitarized zone (DMZ)
in which firewalls protect the plant and yet allow corporate access to certain types of plant
data such as the plant historian. Deeper into
the network are the plant distributed control
systems (DCS) for turbine control, balance
of plant, water plant, continuous emissions
monitoring, and historian. At the lowest level
are the controllers themselves, such as the

3. Under the hat. Chris Sistrunk, shown

here, and other security experts recommend
using network security monitoring because
it enables power plants to discover hidden
digital traffic that can potentially harm industrial control systems. Courtesy: Chris Sistrunk

Advantages for Network Security

Monitoring in ICS
In his book, Bejtlich talks about several
disadvantages of implementing NSM in
IT networks, such as high bandwidth, encryption, and mobile devices. It turns out
that these disadvantages dont exist in ICS
networks, because ICS usually have lower
bandwidth, the devices are static, and the
traffic is unencrypted.
Plant owners are faced with aging control system components that have little or
no security and cannot be readily patched
or upgraded. NSM is the best way to monitor and protect legacy control system components. When the devices are eventually
upgraded, NSM can still be used to monitor
the newer, more secure devices, because
we know that an unknown vulnerability
may still be lurking.


4. Example plant network architecture diagram instrumented with network security monitoring. Courtesy: FireEye

Control systems are static and use a limited

list of protocols, so it should be straightforward to determine the baseline of the ICS
network traffic and behavior. This baseline
may have already been created at the factory
acceptance test or site acceptance test. Here
are some of the things a security analyst will
look for:

programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for

each of the turbines.
An attacker may try to gain access to
the plant DCS from the corporate network
through a spearphishing email, compromising an engineering laptop that sometimes
connects to DCS components, an infected
USB drive, or via a third-party connection
like a vendor. Once the attacker has gained
access to the DCS, if you arent monitoring
the network, then you may not know about
the attack until its too late.

A Power Plant Example

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with
a power utility on a security assessment.
Their network team provided us with hourlong pcaps taken from the corporate switch
of two of their power plants. By analyzing
the pcaps, we were able to see what was happening on the plant corporate network. We
were able to see connectivity from plant corporate PCs to the historians, other corporate
machines, and the Internet. We used different
software to extract data from the pcaps, including: IP addresses, MAC addresses, TCP
and UDP ports, DNS requests, and even several different file types.
In the pcap from Plant 1, we saw traffic from a human-machine interface (HMI)
inside the plant that wasnt supposed to be
connected to the corporate network. A walkdown verified that the HMI was indeed dual-homed. Also in the Plant 1 pcap, we saw
several corporate PCs sending similar files
to one IP address. This traffic appeared to
match a known commodity malware, which
was verified by the utilitys IT security and
removed. In Plant 1 and Plant 2 pcaps, we
saw the plant remote terminal units (RTUs)
communicating with the utilitys energy
management system using DNP3 protocol
over the corporate network. The RTUs were
not using DNP3 with secure authentication,
nor were they using encryption. If an at44

tacker who breached the corporate network

found the RTU traffic, they could see the
data and could also modify the values to and
from the plant.
All of this information was gathered just
from looking at a 1-hour pcap from the network! If you looked at a pcap on your network, would you find anything unexpected
(Figure 3)?

Gaining Visibility in the Plant


So youve selected an NSM sensor platform

and tested it in a lab environment of your
DCS components, and you have a dedicated
person tasked with monitoring the network.
What data will be collected and from where?
Do you start monitoring NERC/CIP plants,
or all of them? Lets take our example network diagram and add NSM to it (Figure
4). Youll have to choose whether the NSM
data is sent to the existing corporate SOC
or to a new SOC specifically for monitoring
the control system (even if its as small as
one analyst).
In the example DMZ, there is a web server
and a historian, which is most likely running
on a modern IT server that has the ability to
run antivirus or whitelisting and even security agent endpoint protection software. All of
these have been used in IT systems, so it will
be important to collect all of those logs. Next
we have the network sensors that capture and
analyze traffic from each network segment.
In the plant DCS segment of the network,
the servers may only have Windows logs or
syslog available. Because those operating
system logs already exist, it is an advantage
to monitor them. It may be possible to install
endpoint protection on some devices, but that
usually requires vendor approval. Lastly, if
any logs exist on PLCs and other controllers,
collect those as well.
As in the plant pcap example: What is
normal traffic and what would be abnormal?

Exceptions from baseline (such as, A talks

to B but never to C, or the DCS normally
uses 30% of the available network bandwidth).
Top Talkers (A and B constantly talk to
C; D talks to A once a day).
Unexpected connectivity (to Internet or
the business network) that raises the question, Why is the HMI talking to a news
Known malicious IPs and domains (antivirus IP blacklists, ICS-CERT advisories).
Logins using default or shared accounts.
(Monitor the PLC login that cant be
changed; attackers frequently use default
and stolen credentials.)
Error messages that could correlate with
vulnerabilities (such as 100% CPU usage).
Unusual system and firewall log entries.
Endpoint protection or other security system alerts.
Unexpected file and firmware updates.
Antivirus alerts.

You can implement network security monitoring in your networks todaywithout affecting your plant operations. There are free
tools available to help you start looking at
your ICS and hunting for anomalies.
People are the most important part of your
defense: You can collect gigabytes of data and
thousands of IDS alerts, but they are useless
without someone interpreting them. Remember, adversaries are a Who, not a What,
and they dont care if you meet NERC/CIP
or not. Dont wait for law enforcement to
knock on your door before you start monitoring your plant.

Chris Sistrunk (chris.sistrunk@ is a senior ICS security
consultant at Mandiant, a FireEye company. He discovered and helped fix many
DNP3 protocol implementation vulnerabilities as part of Project Robus with Adam
Crain. He is a registered PE in Louisiana;
IEEE senior member; and member of
Mississippi Infragard Board, Louisiana
Tech EE Industrial Advisory Board, and
the DNP Technical Committee. Previously,
he was SCADA subject matter expert at
Entergy. Chris also founded and organizes
BSidesJackson, Mississippis only
cybersecurity conference.

POWER June 2015


Duke Energy Generation:

Wholesale Retreat
Duke Energy, the largest electric utility in the U.S. in terms of market value, is
transitioning its generating fleet away from volatile and sometimes unprofitable wholesale markets and toward the traditional, regulated, costof-service model that prevails in much of the Carolinas and Florida service
territories where Duke dominates.
Kennedy Maize

ate last March, the Federal Energy

Regulatory Commission (FERC) in
Washington gave final approval for
Duke Energys sale of 6.1 GW of generating
capacity in Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania
(11 plants, six fueled by coal and five by
natural gas) to non-utility generator Dynegy,
recently emerged from bankruptcy. The deal
was for $2.8 billion in cash.
The sale of the North Carolinabased
utility giants merchant plants, which bid
power into the PJM Interconnection and
Midcontinent Independent System Operators (MISOs) wholesale, merchant competitive markets, marked a major retreat for
Dukes role in wholesale competition. Now,
Charlotte, N.C.based Duke is concentrating
its generating future in traditional, cost-ofservice, state-regulated economic environments.

Return to Tradition
At the announcement of the plants sale
to Dynegy in August 2014, Dukes Marc
Manly, head of the companys commercial
business operations, said, This transaction
is an important milestone in our strategy to

exit the merchant generation business. Duke

CEO Lynn Good said earlier, Our merchant
power plants have delivered volatile returns
in the challenging competitive market in the
Midwest. This earning profile is not a strategic fit for Duke Energy and we have begun a
process to exit the business.
Evidence suggests that Duke was so intent on exiting competitive wholesale markets that it offered its merchant generating
plants at a bargain-basement price. The
investment website 24/7 Wall Street commented when Duke announced the sale of
its merchant generation, Dynegy seems to
have come out on top in the deal. When
FERC approved the sale last March, Dynegys stock price jumped almost 10%. The website (for which I
also write) commented on the stock price
rise: It was an astounding move for an industry where precipitous drops or Olympian
ascents in price are rare indeed.
At the same time, Duke is moving to
solidify its position in its traditional, regulated markets in the Carolinas and Florida.
In early April, North Carolina Governor Pat
McCrory (R), a former 29-year Duke em-

Our merchant power plants

have delivered volatile returns in the challenging
competitive market in the
Midwest. This earning profile
is not a strategic fit for Duke
Energy and we have begun a
process to exit the business.
CEO Lynn Good, Duke Energy

June 2015 POWER

ployee, signed a bill that will streamline

Dukes purchase of the shares of the North
Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agencys
(NCEMPAs) generating plants that Duke
does not already own. The deal relieves a
burdensome debt load facing the municipal
joint action agency while increasing Dukes
generation under state regulation. An SNL
Energy newsletter commented that the legislation McCrory signed is seen as a crucial
part of Duke Energy Corp. utilitys plans to
take on 100% ownership of the NCEMPA
assets and effectively reduce the power
agencys $1.9 billion in debt by more than
70%. NCEMPA for years has been looking for ways to pare down the debt incurred
from its stake in generation development.
Under the deal with the muni system, Duke
will pay $1.2 billion to buy out NCEMPAs
interests in the 1,928-MW Brunswick Nuclear Plant, the 973-MW Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, the 746-MW Mayo coal-fired
plant, and the 2,457-MW coal-fired Roxboro
plant. Duke will supply the municipal system
with power under a 30-year wholesale power
supply contract. The buyout amounts to about
700 MW of generating capacity. NCEMPA
consists of 32 cities and towns that own distribution systems in the Tar Heel State.

The Path to First Place

Duke Energy has become, through mergers
and acquisitions over several decades, the
largest energy utility in the country in terms
of market capitalization, most recently valued at some $57 billion. The company had
2014 revenues of $30 billion and total assets
valued at $121 billion. The company has 57.5
GW of generating capacity (49.6 GW in regulated markets).
Duke Energys current business profile
is largely the product of its aggressive former CEO, Jim Rogers. The charismatic
Rogers, a former newspaper reporter and

1. In the beginning. Duke Energys coal-fired Buck Steam Station in Rowan County,
North Carolina, shown here in a 1927 photo, was retired in 2013. Courtesy: Duke Energy

lawyer who was once a key employee of

the now-disgraced Enron Corp. when it
was just a conventional interstate gas pipeline, became head of Public Service Co. of
Indiana in the early 1990s. He used that

company to acquire Cincinnati Gas and

Electric in 1994, creating Cinergy. Then
Rogers wrangled a merger with the larger
Duke Power Co. of Charlotte, N.C., a nuclear-heavy utility long under the reins of

the legendary executive Bill Lee, a nuclear

power pioneer.
Rogers emerged as CEO of the merged
company in 2006 and soon set his sights on
another North Carolina electric utility, Progress Energy, based in Raleigh, N.C., with
significant operations in the Carolinas and
Florida. Progress Energy was the product of
a 2000 merger of Carolina Power & Light
and Florida Power Corp. In 2011, Duke and
Progress merged to create the current behemoth, Duke Energy.
The merger created bad blood between
two executive suites. Under the terms of the
deal, Progress CEO Bill Johnson was slated
to become the head of the new company. But
Rogers, for reasons still unknown, quickly lost
confidence in Johnson and defenestrated him
from the Duke executive suite. Johnson is now
the head of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Rogers retired in 2013 and was replaced
by Good, a Rogers protg with a background in financial management. An accountant by training, she served as Cinergys, and
then Dukes, chief financial officer. According to Dukes website, Good led the financial function, which includes the controllers
office, treasury, tax, risk management and
insurance, as well as corporate strategy and

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Choose which purchase option that best suits your needs:
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POWER June 2015

2. Newest IGCC plant. The Edwardsport integrated coal gasification combined cycle
plant in Knox County, Indiana, has struggled to live up to performance expectations, which Duke
Energy has said is a result of the complexity and relative newness of the technology. Courtesy:
Duke Energy

development. In addition, Good was responsible for the information technology and supply chain functions.
Good has had a rocky tenure so far, as
the giant utility has faced large environmental and legal challenges related to coal ash
storage pond leaks at some of its coal-fired
power plants. A major spill into the Dan
River in early 2014 highlighted the problem.
Duke later admitted to leakages into surface
waters from 14 coal plants, although the
company says it isnt sure they are all from
coal ash ponds.
At the end of March, federal prosecutors
filed multiple criminal charges against Duke
for the coal ash pond leaks. The nine misdemeanor counts, the Associated Press reported, cover leaks at five plants. Duke said it has
already negotiated a plea bargain that will let
the company pay $102 million in fines. It has
set aside the money to cover the penalties.
Good will take a $600,000 hit on her annual
paycheck. Thats a pinprick against her annual compensation package of $8.3 million,
according to the Charlotte Business Journal.
(Duke did not respond to multiple requests
for comment for this article.)
North Carolina has also assessed Duke
a $25 million fine for its coal ash handling
practices at the companys Sutton plant near
Wilmington, N.C., the largest fine the states
environmental regulators have ever levied.

Coal Proves Challenging

Duke, along with other generating utilities,
is moving away from coal and toward gas in
its regulated service territoryand not just

June 2015 POWER

because of coal ash issues. CEO Good commented in the companys 2014 annual report,
Duke Energy has five new, cleaner-burning
natural gasfired power plants in North Carolina, replacing seven coal plants. This helps
us meet new environmental standards and
produce power more efficiently.
Since 2011, says Duke, the company has
closed 10 coal-fired generating plants, including seven of 14 in North Carolina (Figure
1). Says Dukes Danny Wimberly, in charge
of closing the utilitys old and outdated coalfired units, This is an important step for the
company as it shifts to more modern technology, but at the same time, its bittersweet
to see the smokestacks and buildings of our
legacy plants come crashing down.
Duke is also struggling with its 618-MW
Edwardsport integrated coal gasification,
combined cycle (IGCC) generating plant in
Indiana (Figure 2). Duke Energy has long
touted the IGCC plant as the future of coalfired generation. Many in the electric utility
industry have been boosting coal gasification and combined cycle generation for at
least three decades, with little to show for
the hyperbole.
Edwardsport, which went into service in
mid-2013, has had serious teething problems,
as POWER noted in a July 2014 article, Does
IGCC Have a Future? As that article noted,
It reached 60% capacity in August, only to
suffer mechanical failures this past winter
that reduced output to a trickle in January
and February. The project also experienced
tumultuous cost overruns, which totaled $1.5
billion when the plant went online.

3. Deemed not worth saving. Multiple problems at the Crystal River nuclear
plant led to its closure in 2009 and retirement
in 2013. Courtesy: Duke Energy

Indiana regulators now face the issue of

whether to allow Duke to recover the costs
of Edwardsport from the states electricity customers. A coalition of environmental
and consumer advocacy groups in Indiana is
challenging Duke at the Indiana Regulatory
Utility Commission, which began hearing
the case in early February. They argue that
over the period from June 2013 to March
2014, the plants costs were 876% higher
than if the power had been purchased on the
market. Duke Indiana operates in the MISO
marketplace where the cost of market purchases over the same period was $33.5 per
MWh while Edwardsport came in at a whopping $327.03/MWh.

Tough Love for Nuclear Plants

Duke has also experienced some nuclear
wobbles in the past couple of years, mostly because of steps Progress Energy took
before Duke acquired the rival utility in
2011. In 2009, Progress discovered significant structural problems with the containment at the Crystal River plant (Figure
3), which went into service in 1977. After
years of study and discovery of additional
problems, in early 2013, Duke announced
it would retire the 860-MW plant on the
Florida Gulf Coast near Tampa and decommission the Babcock & Wilcox pressurized
water reactor. The site also houses four
large coal-fired units.
Duke is asking Florida legislators for
permission to borrow $1.4 billion to pay
off Crystal Rivers poor performance. The
unit cost $447 million to build, but Duke
says it still hasnt finished paying off the
construction of the plant and its operations
through 2009.
Six months after the decision to close
Crystal River, Duke pulled the plug on Progresss planned Levy County nuclear station,
designed at the height of the failed nuclear
renaissance. The plant would have housed
two 1,000-MW Westinghouse AP1000 advanced pressurized water reactors.

The Levy County site is close to Crystal River. Progress figured it
could save costs by sharing facilities with the other nuclear plant. In
2006, the Florida Legislature passed a state law allowing the utility to
recover the costs of the new plant in advance of construction at Levy
The nuclear renaissance proved stillborn as cheap natural gas soon
dominated the economic environment for new generation. Progress
delayed the Levy County plant, Duke bought Progress, and Levy
County entered the long U.S. list of nuclear plants planned but not
delivered. As part of the settlement with the state of Florida over the
Levy County project, Duke was able to avoid public hearings on how
the company allegedly botched the Crystal River repair program, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Ivan Penn, the energy reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, wrote,
Further, the settlement guarantees Duke a minimum profit margin
of 9.5% through 2018. As for Dukes customers, the settlement stems
the financial bleeding from the Levy and Crystal River misadventures
at up to $3.2 billion.
In 2007, at the height of the nuclear renaissance hyperbole,
Duke asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to approve a combined construction and operating license for a two-unit,
AP1000 nuclear plant, the William States Lee III station, to be built
in South Carolina at an estimated cost of $11 billion. That project
has been treading water as the economics for nuclear have eroded.
The company continues to carry information about it on the corporate website (and also displays information on the mothballed Levy
County project).
Duke has avoided getting specific about the timeline for the Lee plant,
saying it wont get into details until the license application at the NRC
has been approved. That could come in 2016. Among those following

Filling the Gap with Gas

The retreats by Duke Energy, American Electric Power, FirstEnergy, and others in the Midwest wholesale markets have created
major opportunities for non-utility generators to replace generation (often coal-fired) from the retreating incumbents with
natural gas flowing from nearby fields opened up by hydraulic
fracturing. reported recently on a spate of new nonutility gas-fired capacity announced in Ohio to bid into the PJM
Interconnection in the face of major coal retirements, including:

The Swiss company Advanced Powers 750-MW project in Carroll County, Ohio.
The 799-MW Oregon (Ohio) project, a venture of Energy Investors Funds (EIF) and I Squared Capital.
NTE Energys 525-MW gas-fired power plant in Middletown,
Ohio, in Butler County.
Clean Energy Future-Lordstown LLC is proposing to build an
800-MW gas-fired plant in Trumbull County, Ohio.
NRG Energys conversion of the iconic 725-MW coal-fired Avon
Lake power plant on Lake Erie to gas, waiting for state approval to build a 20-mile gas line from Dominion East Ohio and
Columbia Gas of Ohio lines to the plant. Avon Lake has figured
prominently over the years in discussions about reductions on
coal-fired plant conventional emissions.

nuclear closely, the betting is that the Lee plant wont move forward.

Looking Ahead
] H I; "7W W WS

in automatic

Thanks for visiting us

at the 2015 ELECTRIC





Looking to the future, Duke Energy is moving to add significant utility-scale solar in Florida, with some 500 MW of generation by 2024,
although thats a tiny increment to its existing nonrenewable generation of 57.5 GW. The company filed its Ten-Year Site Plan with the
Florida Public Service Commission in April. The utility said its first
solar site, with up to 50 MW of capacity, would see construction start
this year, and another 35 MW completed by 2018. Duke said it plans
to retire half of its Florida coal-fired fleet by 2018 as it brings on
the planned solar generation. The company has also filed a plan with
North Carolina regulators for an 80-MW solar project, which could
be developed by the end of the year.
Dukes shift away from competitive wholesale generating markets is
part of a trend among utilities in a position to abandon wholesale competition for state regulation. Both American Electric Power (see the February 2015 issue of POWER) and Duke (see the Apr. 8 news story Ohio
Nixes Duke Energy Proposal to Guarantee Income from Coal Plants at earlier this year failed in petitions to the Public Utilities
Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to move shares of their merchant generation in the Buckeye State into state regulation. A similar case from
Akron-based FirstEnergy is pending at PUCO, with hearings scheduled
this month, according to Midwest Energy News (see sidebar).
Does Dukes retreat to the traditional cost-of-service regulation
business model represent a path to the future for electricity generation
and distribution, or a shrinking away from a modernized, competitive
business model that now covers more than half of the U.S.? The path
Duke Energy follows in the years ahead, and where it ends up, may
help answer that question.

Kennedy Maize is an energy journalist and frequent contributor to POWER.

POWER June 2015


Watts Bar Unit 2: A Deferred

Nuclear Plant Gets Back
into the Game
Construction was suspended on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 in the late 1980s,
and the plant sat idle for more than 20 years. Now, through equipment
refurbishment and replacement, Unit 2 is on track to become the first new
commercial nuclear reactor to come online in the U.S. in the 21st century.
James M. Hylko

lectricity consumption during the first

70 years of the 20th century grew at a
steady rate of 7% per year, doubling
every 10 years. To meet that demand, during the 1960s and early 1970s, commercial
nuclear power plants were steadily increasing in numbers and size. New reactor orders
were being placed with the expectation that
this trend would continue.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
started construction at the Browns Ferry site
in 1966, and the Sequoyah plant followed
in 1969. Construction permits (CPs) for the
TVAs third nuclear site, located in southeastern TennesseeWatts Bar (Figure 1)
were issued in 1973. The plant was slated to
include two Westinghouse four-loop pressurized water reactors (PWRs) within icecondenser containments.
All of the TVAs nuclear plant CPs were
issued under the two-step Title 10 Code of
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities licensing process. In the first
step, an approved CP application authorizes
construction, while focusing on the plants
preliminary design and site suitability. The
second stage evaluates the operating license
(OL) application, final plant design, safety
evaluation, operational limits, and ability to
respond to postulated accidents. The Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) established
a one-step licensing process under 10 CFR
Part 52Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants in 1989.

completed nuclear plants, on average, were

costing 10 times their initial projections and
taking 12 years to complete.
Eventually, more than 90 reactor orders in
the U.S. were canceled. The TVA reevaluated
its own nuclear plans. Ultimately, it canceled
construction at Phipps Bend, Yellow Creek,
and Hartsville, while delaying construction
at the Bellefonte nuclear plant.
In 1985, the TVA took Browns Ferry and
Sequoyah out of service and halted construction at the Watts Bar site. Unit 1 was thought
to be nearly complete and ready to receive
an OL. An NRC review had identified weaknesses in the TVAs nuclear program, such
as the lack of a sufficient number of experienced managers to provide leadership and
proper direction, coupled with the absence

of an effective organizational structure to ensure the safe design, construction, and operation of the TVAs nuclear plants.
The TVA initiated a vigorous recovery
program in 1986. Its Nuclear Performance
Plan (NPP) was approved by the NRC and
implemented to identify root causes and
implement corrective actions of the aforementioned issues at the corporate and sitespecific levels. Elements of the NPP were
implemented at the Watts Bar site, including
an employee concerns program to address
issues at the plant level. Browns Ferry and
Sequoyah were returned to service once necessary improvements were made.

Deferred-Plant Problems
The NRC issued a policy statement on de-

1. Better late than never. Construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 originally began in the
1970s. After a long interruption, the unit is currently forecast to begin commercial operation in
2015. Courtesy: TVA

Hiccups Along the Way

By 1976, many nuclear plant proposals were
no longer viable due to a decrease in electricity demand, rising construction costs as
a result of inflationexacerbated by schedule delays, public opposition to projects, and
changing regulatory requirements. By 1983,

June 2015 POWER


ferred plants, which was published in the
Federal Register on Oct. 14, 1987. A deferred nuclear plant is defined as a plant at
which the licensee has ceased construction or
reduced activity to a maintenance level, maintains the CP in effect, and has not announced
termination of the plant. The TVA chose to
defer Watts Bar Unit 2, while resuming construction on Unit 1 in 1990, which received
its full-power operating license in 1996.
The policy statement on deferred plants
was important because it called out requirements for how a plant was to package,
ship, receive, store, and handle equipment.
It also offered guidance on collecting, storing, and maintaining quality control documentation during an extended layup, even
though this was not specifically addressed
as a license condition.
The NRC had previously alerted the industry to degradation problems at various
facilities due to improper storage during
construction or extended plant outages when
it provided Information Notice No. 85-56:
Inadequate Environment Control for Components and Systems in Extended Storage or
Layup to licensees in the summer of 1985.
Some of the items identified in the notice included the following:

A cooling water heat exchanger for a

high-pressure core spray diesel generator
had accumulated water in the tube side
of the unit. The heat exchanger had been
delivered to the site and was stored in
place, but it was not yet in service. It was
hypothesized that the water was a result of
inadequate draining after a manufacturers
hydrostatic test.
A site construction organization did not
have a program for inspection or surveillance of equipment in storage, resulting
in significant corrosion damage to heat
exchanger tubes, tube sheets, and water
Corrosion attack had been found on internal surfaces of two auxiliary feedwater
pumps, even though the pumps had not
been operated. The source of the corrosion
was determined to be contaminated water
inadvertently left in the pumps after prestartup flushing.

To Be, or Not to Be?

On Aug. 1, 2007, the TVA board of directors
authorized completion of Watts Bar Unit 2.
At the time, a Detailed Scoping, Estimating and Planning study found Unit 2 to be
effectively 60% complete with $1.7 billion
invested. Because the containment and turbine buildings were in place, and the reactor pressure vessel, reactor coolant system
piping, and steam generators were installed,

Table 1. Aging mechanisms and terms. The Generic Aging Lessons Learned
(GALL) Report identified several plant-aging mechanisms, some of which are listed here.
Source: NUREG-1801

Description of aging mechanism

Concrete cracking and spalling

Cracking and exfoliation of concrete as the result of freeze-thaw,

aggressive chemical attack, and reaction with aggregates.

Loss of flexibility, tensile or compressive stress

Elastomer degradation, shrinkage from weathering of seals and

other elastomeric components.


Chemical or electrochemical reaction between a material, usually a metal, and the environment or between two dissimilar
metals that produces a deterioration of the material and its


Surface deposit accumulation on a component or structure;

aquatic organisms on a submerged metal surface. Biofouling
can be caused by either macro-organisms or micro-organisms
(such as algae). Particulate fouling from sediment, silt, dust, or
macrofouling (such as peeled coatings or debris). Result is a
reduction of heat transfer or loss of material.

the plant was expected to be finished in 60

months for a cost of $2.5 billion.
However, certain challenges complicated
the mission. Input for the PWR construction
project relied on lessons learned from a fiveyear, $1.8 billion, maintenance-type restart
of Browns Ferry Unit 1, which is a boiling
water reactor, so not all of the experience
translated. Also, various pieces of equipment,
such as pumps, motors, and valves, had been
salvaged for use in Watts Bar Unit 1 and the
Sequoyah plant.
To address the unique history of Watts Bar
Unit 2, a customized construction inspection
program was created. It provided the policies
and requirements needed to resume construction and recorded inspection activities, applicant actions, and technical issues resolved
to support issuance of an OL. The TVA still
planned to complete Unit 2 under the twopart 10 CFR 50 licensing process.
Notwithstanding the evolution in new NRC
design requirements and lessons learned to
bring Watts Bar Unit 2 online, a revised estimate in 2011 recalculated construction progress. The plant was estimated at the time to
actually be 35% to 40% complete.
The economic analysis and decision to
proceed on Watts Bar Unit 2 was based on
the need for additional power. The second
unit at the site was considered a valuable asset not only for the TVA but also for ratepayers. As the cost of fuel fluctuates, the TVA
would be capable of maintaining a balanced
generation portfolio with Unit 2 in the fleet,
allowing an appropriate mix of nuclear, fossil/coal, hydro, and renewables.
Furthermore, the TVAs peak demand is
projected to grow 1.5% annually through
2023. After accounting for retirement of coal
plants and reduced power demand achieved
through the TVAs demand-side programs,
the TVA will need more than 5,000 MW of

new electricity generation by 2023 just to

maintain its current level of reliability.

The Turnaround Begins

Typically, layups are for short periods of
timeweeks to months. Units are placed in
hot or cold standby during outages to preserve equipment and mitigate component
corrosion damage. Given that most of the
safety-related and quality-related equipment
at Watts Bar Unit 2 was installed during
original construction, the TVAs layup lasted
about two decades.
Taking the perspective of a license renewal project, the TVA utilized the NRCs
Generic Aging Lessons Learned (GALL)
Report (NUREG-1801) and the Electric
Power Research Institutes (EPRIs) report,
Plant Support Engineering: Aging Effects
for Structures and Structural Components
(Structural Tools) (1015078), for evaluating
structures, systems, and components (SSCs)
subject to aging mechanisms (Table 1).
In August 2011, the TVA named Michael Skaggsformer site vice president
at the Browns Ferry, Sequoyah, and Watts
Bar nuclear plantssenior vice president
for Nuclear Generation Development and
Construction. Also, the TVA and its main
contractor, Bechtel Power Corp., amended
their contract giving the TVA greater responsibility for the overall management of
completing Watts Bar Unit 2 and establishing completion milestones.
I recently interviewed Skaggs regarding
the layup, preservation, and reactivation
activities at Watts Bar Unit 2. He said that
site engineering had the lead and decisionmaking responsibility for the extended
layup and preservation program. Turning to
industry resources for additional information, such as the Institute of Nuclear Power
Operations (INPO) and EPRI, and utilizing

POWER June 2015

2. Delicate business. Assembly of the
core barrel requires care during lifting. Courtesy: TVA

sion buildup. Instrumentation can be affected by the same degradation mechanisms as

mechanical equipment (that is, corrosion and
erosion). However, it can also be subject to
surface abrasion, overheating/burn damage,
metal whiskers or dry joints, and drift.
Software also can quickly become obsolete
or difficult to support.
Independent of the plant type, basic layup/
preservation lessons learned can be applied
to remove moisture and prevent corrosion
degradation. Examples include feeding a

constant airflow in at a higher elevation, using a lockout/tagout system to align check

valves or removing valve internals to establish airflow paths, and having an open flow
path at lower elevations.
Drains and traps can continue to collect
water, even after initially being verified dry,
and they must routinely be drained and revalidated. All rotating equipment should be exercised, that is, the shafts should be rotated
several revolutions every week to coat the
bearings with lubricant and prevent brinel-



lessons learned from Watts Bar Unit 1, the
primary goal was to meet core NRC SSC
requirements. The layup and preservation
program was intended to maintain an acceptable environment in and around the
Relative humidity is a critical factor in
controlling corrosion. Dry layup consists
of placing desiccant inside components
and sealing all openings throughout the
vessel-turbine-generator system to prevent
the inward migration of moisture. Flexible
ducting, commonly referred to as an elephant trunk, is frequently connected to
air-handling equipment to force a continuous flow of air through equipment, while
dehumidifiers remove the residual moisture
and reduce the relative humidity below the
corrosion threshold (less than 35% to 40%
relative humidity).
For systems backfilled with water for preoperational testing (such as for wet layup),
adjusting pH, filtering particulates, and applying protective film inhibitors on metal
surfaces are methods used to reduce corro-

June 2015 POWER



18th Annual


APRIL 1820, 2016

APRIL 1821, 2016



3. Let er down slowly. Like a jigsaw

4. A patriotic touch. Many components on the turbine floor were modernized.

puzzle, everything must fit into place. Courtesy: TVA

Courtesy: TVA

nents, or equipment refurbished to like-new

condition, is that it is just like building a new
power plant. Program steps included:
ling, and rust preventive coatings should be
applied to exposed surfaces.

Refurbishment and Restoration

Skaggs said that when the Watts Bar Unit
2 plant design was reissued to restart construction, the natural evolution of a nuclear
plant since the 1970s required the TVA to
make modifications. Much of the equipment
was replaced. For example, changes in piping prompted replacing pipe supports. Some
conduit was added and cable re-pulled. Also,
new digital instrumentation allowed remote
monitoring with hand-held computers.
From an equipment scope, we broke
down the components into active components or passive components. Active components provide a function, for example.
pumps, valves, motors, switchgears, relays.
Passive components include piping, cables,
and pipe supports. We put together a program
to verify they meet the original specifications
from the vendor or industry requirements,
said Skaggs.
The process resulted in the creation of the
TVAs refurbishment/restoration program.
The program was intended to restore Unit 2
equipment and components to their original
specifications to meet the 40-year licensing basis requirement. If items couldnt be
restored, they were replaced. Skaggs noted
that the TVA did not rely on the layup and
preservation options for the active and passive components.
The advantage of installing new compo52

Refurbishing or replacing active components and instruments based on programmatic requirements, vendor input,
operational experience, or sound technical
judgment to achieve like-new status.
Determining potential degradation mechanisms and contributing environmental factors for each component category.
Developing acceptance criteria from the
licensing basis, design specifications, and
vendor specifications.
Establishing inspections and testing to
identify degradation in accordance with
applicable vendor and design specifications or requirements.
Verifying final confirmation of restoration
through preoperational testing.

Skaggs and his team engaged with vendors that provided equipment and replacement parts for the components being used at
Watts Bar to confirm that current specifications were met. A sampling of the equipment
and systems covered, and actions taken as
part of the refurbishment/restoration program, follows.
Pumps. All pumps were refurbished to
original equipment manufacturers acceptable conditions. Parts that were found unacceptable, such as age-related degradation
of rubber or soft material gaskets in seals,
were replaced. Missing parts were replaced
with an approved equivalent component.
For example, rebuilt high-pressure and
low-pressure inlet valves were installed on

the main feedwater pump. If refurbishment

was not an option, pumps were entirely replaced. For example, eight new raw water
cooling pumps were installed at the river
intake water station.
Valves. In the auxiliary and reactor building, more than 470 motor-operated valves
were disassembled, cleaned, lubricated, and
refitted with replacement parts.
Piping/Tubing. Borescope surveys and
ultrasonic testing were used to inspect piping and internals at different locations. The
carbon-steel piping in the feedwater system was replaced with chrome-moly piping, which has increased high-temperature
strength and better corrosion resistance
due to the chromium and molybdenum
content in the steel. Copper-alloy condenser tubes were replaced with an alloy
that is highly resistant to raw water. More
than 27,000 tubes that carry the cooling
water were replaced to ensure no leaks and
a long condenser life.
Snubbers. Dynamic restraints, known
as snubbers, are designed to protect components from excessive shock or sway as a result of seismic disturbances, water hammer,
or other transient forces. At Watts Bar Unit
2, all snubbers were disassembled, cleaned,
and inspected; lubricants and elastomers
were replaced.
Reactor Vessel/Nuclear Steam Supply
System (NSSS). Portions of the NSSS were

modified to meet regulatory requirements

concerning potential operational embrittlement. Early performance of this activity
supported the reduction of personnel radiological dose. Traceability of the reactor vessel (Figures 2 and 3) and NSSS were certified

POWER June 2015

5. They didnt have those in the 1970s! Justin Gallagher,
senior reactor operator, completes a training scenario in the Watts Bar
Unit 2 control room. Courtesy: TVA

confirmed that installed commercially dedicated equipment and/or

components would have been able to perform their intended safety
functions. In total, tests and inspections were conducted on 1,342
commercial-grade items. The TVA continues to test items that have
already been purchased or installed.
Although detractors have emphasized that the plant has been
cobbled together with retrofits and that completion costs are high
estimated at $4.5 billionUnit 2 has already accomplished several
significant milestones, including these:

and verified in accordance with American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) codes.
Turbine/Generator. A significant amount of work was done, totaling more than 40,000 individual replacement parts, including one
new high-pressure (HP) turbine; three new low-pressure (LP) turbines; complete modernization of the generator (Figure 4), including
a RIGI-FLEX rewind of the stator and new retaining rings; exciter
rotor refurbishment; and six new moisture separator reheaters.
Main Control Room. The Unit 2 portion of the control room
(Figure 5) was ergonomically redesigned. The annunciation system
was replaced, and panel indicators, recorders, and controllers were
Cleanliness. Particulate contaminants, such as sand, sawdust,
metal chips, rust, weld splatter, and tape, were removed from accessible interior surfaces by vacuuming, rinsing, or flushing until particulate requirements were met.
Warehouse Storage. For equipment kept in warehouses, all
openings were sealed with manufacturer-approved shields to minimize the introduction of foreign material, and then the equipment
was stored in its appropriate orientationhorizontally or vertically.
Fluids were analyzed for water content and particulates, and internal heaters were energized to prevent condensation. Motors were
covered with a tarpaulin for dust protection, and vents were kept
open for ventilation.

Completed hydrostatic pressure testing of the reactor coolant system, steam generators, and steam supply system.
Assembled the nuclear reactor vessel.
Conducted open vessel testing verifying that safety-related systems inject water into the reactor vessel as designed.
Finished all environmental impacts from construction.
Constructed and outfitted its FLEX storage building in response to
the Fukushima requirements.

In February 2015, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards,

an independent review body within the NRC, sent a letter to the NRC
chairman recommending approval of the Watts Bar Unit 2 OL once
remaining work and NRC inspections are complete.
Skaggs concluded, Even though the construction was started a
long time ago, what we have here is essentially a newly designed
plant, an existing footprint with new equipment or refurbished equipment that meets original design specifications.

James M. Hylko (, MPH, CQA specializes

in safety, quality, and emergency management issues and is a
frequent contributor to POWER.

Overcoming Bumps in the Road

The TVA was fined $70,000 by the NRC in 2013 related to its commercial-grade dedication (CGD) program, a process used to ensure that
components purchased from a commercial supplier are equivalent to
nuclear-grade items. The intent of the program is to confirm that critical
characteristics of an item, for example material strength or input/output
voltage, are acceptable. The purchaser or an independent third party
verifies acceptability through inspections, tests, or analyses.
The NRC found that the TVA had not properly verified critical
characteristics for an unknown number of safety-related items. It was
determined that cancelation of a Bechtel CGD procedure early in the
project and lack of training on CGD package preparation for the procurement engineering group contributed to the problem.
Of the 12 packages with potential deficiencies, eight were found
to be acceptable. The remaining four packages required additional
testing and inspection prior to use. The TVA decided to conduct an
independent review of the CGD packages. The NRC noted that tests






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June 2015 POWER



CO2 Blasting Restores HRSG

Steam production is strongly influenced by the cleanliness of the gas-side heat
transfer surface in a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). However,
when deposits begin to impede heat transfer or increase gas-side pressure drop, it is time for a cleaning. CO2 pellet blasting is a cost-effective
and environmentally benign cleaning method available to power plant
owners and operators.
Chris Norton and Rich Taikowski Jr.

very heat recovery steam generator

(HRSG) will eventually experience
fouling caused by tube deposits and
corrosion that will reduce steam production, decrease steam temperatures, and thus
degrade combustion turbine (CT) and combined cycle performance. These performance
losses hit the plants operating economics in
the form of increased fuel consumption and
lost electricity sale revenue, not to mention
other economic losses that result from an extended plant outage for cleaning the HRSG.
Fouling of HRSG tubes is often caused
by fuel sulfur content, tube leaks, ammonia
injection for NOx control, and condensation
due to low stack temperatures. Fouling also
is often found in plants operating in locations
with high humidity, particularly with cycling
plants originally designed for baseload operation.
Fouling of the finned tubes in an HRSG
occurs when, over time, deposits bridge
the gap between adjacent tube fins or other
heat transfer surfaces, further disrupting heat
transfer and increasing the gas-side pressure drop. Increased HRSG gas-side pressure drop subsequently degrades CT power
production, increases CT heat rate, and thus
lowers the efficiency of the entire combined
cycle plant. In cases where HRSG performance is severely compromised, the entire
plant may require an extended forced outage
to repair corrosion-induced tube leaks, clean
tubes of deposits, or even replace an entire
module (Figure 1).

and comparing the data against corrected

plant design conditions. In addition, plant
heat rate and output should also be tracked.
Consider preparing a separate screen on
your distributed control system that displays
performance data that will provide advance
warning about the location of tube fouling,
the amount of fouling present, and the rate
of deposit formation within the HRSG. This
data will allow you to schedule an HRSG
cleaning outage based on predetermined
plant operating economics rather than as an
emergency evolution; this approach often
means that cleaning can be added to a future
planned outage. In general, HRSG cleaning
is required when the gas path pressure drop
across the HRSG reaches 3 to 4 inches H2O
over new and clean condition.
Once the need for cleaning has been established and an outage date determined,
the next step is selecting the best available
cleaning technology. The standard options
for cleaning an HRSG are high-pressure wa-

ter blasting, grit blasting, and carbon dioxide

(CO2) blast cleaning. The plant owner should
carefully consider the pros and cons associated with each cleaning option before making a final selection.
High-Pressure Water Blasting. Highpressure water blasting can be effective but
may have the undesirable side effect of a water-deposit interaction that accelerates tube
corrosion or may turn the water-deposit mixture into a concrete-like substance. Also, this
form of cleaning is limited to line-of-sight
deposits, and the high-pressure water may
push removed deposits further back into inaccessible regions of the HRSG. Unless carefully performed, high-pressure water blasting
can also quickly damage insulation that is
extremely difficult to access for repairs or
may erode some tubes or damage tube fins.
Contaminated water from the blasting is also
difficult to contain and may require expensive waste disposal, if it is determined to be a
hazardous waste.

1. Fouled tubes. Typical examples of the fouling often found on heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) tube modules. Courtesy: Environmental Alternatives Inc.

Remove Deposits and Corrosion

Every plants annual maintenance program
should include removal of HRSG gas-side
deposits. Effective maintenance planning can
be improved by closely monitoring specific
operating parameters, such as CT backpressure, steam production and temperature (for
each pressure level), and stack temperature,

POWER June 2015


2. Miniature pellets. CO2 blast clean-

3. A blast of cleaner. This diagram depicts the CO2 pellet blast cleaning process. Source:

ing uses small cylindrical dry ice pellets to

remove fouling, rust, and scale from tube and
fin surfaces. The process involves conversion
of liquid CO2 to solid dry ice pellets. Cylindrical dry ice pellets used in CO2 blasting are
approximately inch across. Source: Environmental Alternatives Inc.

Environmental Alternatives Inc.



Liquid CO2



CO2 pellets

Grit Blasting. Grit blasting, also limited

to line-of-sight cleaning, can quickly thin the
metal tubes or damage tube fins if not carefully performed by experienced technicians.
Unfortunately for the plant owner, thinning
of tube walls is not obvious during cleaning but will become apparent when the rate
of tube leaks increases in the future. As with
high-pressure water blasting, large amounts
of waste material are generated, some of
which may be classified as a hazardous waste
requiring special (and expensive) handling
and disposal.
CO2 Blast Cleaning. The favored approach for HRSG cleaning is CO2 pellet blasting, the only option that is nondestructive and
produces no secondary waste products. CO2
blasting is a dry process that avoids future
heat transfer surface corrosion and eliminates
the risk of erosion of tube metal surfaces. Just
as important to the owner, deep cleaning between tubes can be performed. CO2 blasting
penetrates and completely cleans modules located deep within the HRSG, eliminating the
time and expense of mechanically spreading
tubes to obtain access to tubes not within the
technicians line-of-sight.

CO2 Blasting Details

CO2 blasting has been proven by over 20
years of industry experience and has been
recognized by HRSG manufacturers as a
cleaning best practice (Figure 2). Returning
the HRSG to a clean condition restores lost
steam production, which in turn increases
overall unit performance and efficiency.
The general cleaning process is illustrated
in Figure 3. CO2 pellets are fed into a portable machine that is connected to a highpressure compressor. The pellets are educed
into the air stream and propelled through a
hose to a specially designed nozzle that pro-

June 2015 POWER

Portable blast

pels the pellets at speeds up to 1,000 feet/second. The pellets exit the nozzle and penetrate
the debris layer on the surface being cleaned
(Figure 4).
The CO2 pellets sublimate once the deposit is penetrated. During sublimation at atmospheric conditions, the CO2 pellets undergo a
transformation from a solid directly to a gas,
unlike ice that must first melt into liquid water before evaporating into vapor form. When
CO2 sublimates from a solid to a vapor, it expands 750 times in volume creating a mushroom effect inside the deposit that lifts and
removes deposits from metal surfaces. A
HEPA vacuum system is then used to collect
the deposits removed from the boiler tube
surface that just fall onto the floor.
High-density CO2 pellet production is the
cornerstone of the cleaning process. Sufficient pellets are manufactured onsite to guarantee the quality and density for maximum
cleaning effectiveness.
On-site production of CO2 pellets is possible by using a completely self-contained
mobile support trailer. The trailer houses a
high-end, high-pressure compressor, air dryer/after-cooler (for clean instrument-grade
air with low moisture content), a liquid CO2
storage tank, a pellet conversion unit, and all
necessary support systems for direct connection to site power. The trailer also carries
all the necessary tools, personal protection
equipment, and other safety gear to the site.
Pre-made pellets from offsite dry ice vendors
are usually 24 to 48 hours old before they are
used, and the pellets will have already experienced a loss in density. Lower-density pellets
will begin to sublimate in the hose and will


have reduced clearing efficiency.

Two Case Studies

The true effectiveness of CO2 blast cleaning becomes evident when comparing preand post-cleaning plant performance data.
In the first case study, a significant level of
performance was restored after cleaning. In
the second case study, the value of a CO2
blast cleaning allowed the owner to cancel a
scheduled major outage and avoid paying for
a replacement economizer module.
Case Study 1: Restoring Lost Performance. PurEnergy is the asset manager and

operator of Maxim Power Corp.s Pittsfield

Generating Plant, located in Pittsfield, Mass.
The 170-MW merchant power station consists of three 42-MW General Electric (GE)
Frame 6B dual-fuel CTs, each exhausting
into a Deltak HRSG that produces steam
for a single 55-MW GE steam turbine. The
CTs use steam injection for emissions control. The plant entered commercial service in

4. Sharpshooter. A nozzle directs the

pellets directly on deposits. When the CO2
pellets change phase, the deposit breaks free.
Courtesy: Environmental Alternatives Inc.



5. Pressure reduction. Fouling in this
economizer was reducing the customers
process steam flow and increasing HRSG
pressure drop to unacceptable levels. A replacement economizer was thought to be the
only solution. Courtesy: Environmental Alternatives Inc.

1990 and sells its power into the ISO-New

England market.
Increased HRSG pressure drop caused by
accumulated fouling, insulation, dust, and
scale on the tube surface led PurEnergy to
schedule Environmental Alternatives Inc.
(EAI) to clean the 10 tube bundles (20 tube
surfaces) plus the selective catalytic reduction system within the Unit B HRSG. EAI
was selected because the company has suc-

6. Squeaky clean. Economizer fouling

was eliminated during a short maintenance
outage, and the plant was quickly able to
resume full process steam supply to its customer. In addition, the reduced gas side pressure drop improved the combustion turbine
operating efficiency. Courtesy: Environmental
Alternatives Inc.

cessfully cleaned HRSGs at other PurEnergy sites in past years, including at Pittsfield.
The cleaning was scheduled to take approximately 168 hours (two 12-hour shifts over
seven days) during a pre-scheduled April
2014 outage.
Data collected from the plants PI data
historian showed that Unit B operated with
an average HRSG backpressure of ~19.5 in.
H2O at full CT load prior to cleaning. Post-

5th Annual

7. Easy disposal. The sticky material

on the economizer was reduced to an easily
handled and disposed of waste product. Courtesy: Environmental Alternatives Inc.

cleaning data showed the full-load HRSG

pressure drop was reduced to ~13.2 in. H2O,
a reduction of 6.3 in. H2O. Economic savings
resulted from the cleaning due to improved
CT heat rate and thermal efficiency.
A rough estimate of the fuel savings that
result from improved heat rate can be derived
using the exhaust pressure correction factors
for the Frame 6B found in GE Power Systems
Bulletin GER-3567H. That publication states
that exhaust loss of 4 in. H2O translates into a
0.42% power loss and a 0.42% increased heat
rate; therefore, 6.3 in. H2O pressure drop is




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POWER June 2015


equivalent to a 0.66% change in power and
heat rate.
In this example, a reasonable estimate of
the CT heat rate at standard conditions is
~9,500 Btu/kWh, so the fouled HRSG increased the CT heat rate by ~63 Btu/kWh at
a nominal average load of 40 MW. If a plant
is operating at 70% capacity factor, using
an average price of $4/million Btu fuel, the
increased heat rate added ~$62,000 to the
plants fuel bill, assuming the HRSG remains
clean for the entire year. A better prediction
assumes that the HRSG will gradually return
to its pre-clean condition during the following 12 months, so the annual heat rate savings is linearly interpolated as $30,000.
The power loss equates to ~0.24 MW,
which represents ~$75,000 in lost power sales
during the year, if power is sold at $50/MWh.
In summary, the annualized value of this
clean HRSG is estimated as ~$105,000 per
year in avoided lost energy sales and increased CT fuel consumption. In this example, the cost of the HRSG cleaning would be
recouped in a month or two.

ment, such as motors or generator windings.

The plant owner sent representatives to the
U.S. to observe the cleaning process in action, and the decision was made to bring the
process to the UK for the first time. The CO2
pellet blasting equipment was shipped to the
UK for a planned HRSG outage. Figures
5 and 6 show the state of economizer tube
fowling before and after cleaning. Figure 7
shows the debris removed from the HRSG
after the cleaning was completed.
The cleaning process was very successful,

and at the close of the outage, the plant resumed supply of the contracted amounts of
steam to the customer. By selecting CO2 pellet cleaning, the plant owner avoided an unnecessary replacement economizer expense
and sidestepped an extended outage for the
economizer replacement.

Chris Norton (

is president of Environmental Alternatives Inc. Rich Taikowski Jr. (rtaikowski@ is plant manager of
PurEnergy Operating Services LLC.


Water/Steam Sampling and Analysis Systems for

a 143 MW Combined Cycle Project, Zarqa, Jordan

Case Study 2: Avoiding Expensive

Upgrades. A combined cycle cogeneration

plant located in the United Kingdom (UK)

produces steam and electricity for two paperboard mills. The plant uses a GE LM6000
and a Siemens steam turbine. Sticky combustion products were condensing out on
the HRSG economizer tubes as a tar-like
substance due to the flue gas temperatures
dipping below the dew point. In addition,
ceramic fiber insulation blocks used in the
HRSG combustion zone were deteriorating, with fiber strands coming loose into the
gas flow and sticking on the economizer fin
tubes. The combined effect was a loss of heat
transfer in the economizer and a rise in the
HRSG gas-side pressure drop that severely
decreased steam production.
The plant owners initially considered
option was to replace the entire economizer
module with one that is equipped with an
economizer recirculation system. An economizer recirculation system takes a portion
of the hotter economizer outlet water and
returns it to the inlet to ensure the economizer tube metal temperature remains above
the dew point temperature, thereby avoiding
condensation of sticky combustion products.
However, procuring an expensive new economizer module was going to require at least
40 days, which would put the plant owners
at commercial risk for failing to supply the
contracted amount of steam.
As an alternative approach, the plant owner
investigated cryogenic cleaning of the economizer, even though at the time there was no
large boiler experience with the technology
in the UKonly cleaning of small equip-

Designed, manufactured and tested in Switzerland

Maintenance optimized sampling and analyzer system designed
for automatic HRSG operations
Sample conditioning: according to VGB-S006-2012
SWANs customer is METKA Athens, Greece. System manufactured
first quarter 2014. Commissioning first quarter 2015.
Please visit us:
Frankfurt am Main
15. - 19. June 2015
Hall 11.0 Stand C44



June 2015 POWER



Typical Causes of Slagging and

Fouling Problems in Boilers
Boiler slagging and fouling, and the resulting frequent operation of sootblowers, are some of the major operations and maintenance factors that can
negatively affect power plant reliability and efficiency.
Richard F. (Dick) Storm, PE

oiler slagging and fouling are among

the most common causes of maintenance headaches at coal-fired power
plants. Though you cannot totally eliminate
the problem, following proper operation and
maintenance practices can drastically reduce
the time and trouble of addressing it.

Demystifying Slagging and

Lets review what slagging is before getting
into the causes and corrections of slagging
and fouling.
Slag is molten ash and incombustible byproducts that remain following coal combustion. When the material cools to a certain
temperature, it can stick to furnace components,
such as waterwalls, which is called slagging.
A pulverized coalfueled boiler is designed with a large furnace cavity that can
tolerate liquid phase slag on the waterwalls.
The furnace exit, however, should be at a
low enough temperature that the slag will be
cooled below its softening temperature.
A typical bituminous fuel ash fusion temperature is determined using the American Society
for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard
D1857. To conduct the test, a cone of ash is
placed into a laboratory furnace and the furnace is slowly heated. The furnace temperature
is noted at four points as the ash cone deforms.
The temperature of the first pointwhen
the ash cone point becomes bluntedis called
the initial deformation temperature. As the
furnace is heated more, the temperature when
the ash becomes soft and the height (H) of
the cone equals the width (W), is recorded.
This value is referred to as the softening
temperature. Heating continues, resulting in
the ash cone sagging further until H = 1/2 W.
This temperature is called the hemispherical
temperature. Finally, when the ash cone becomes a liquid, the temperature is noted and
referred to as the ash fluid temperature.
Modern laboratories use more advanced
furnaces than when the method was first developed, but the reporting of the ash fusion
temperatures is still completed using the

same four levels of ash fusion: initial deformation, softening, hemispherical, and fluid.
The purpose of the laboratory test is to determine the approximate condition of the ash
when it is in various parts of a boiler furnace.
For slagging and fouling, the most important
issue is to have the furnace gases or products of combustion leaving the furnace at a
temperature so that the ash is not too sticky.
A good approximation is to have the furnace
exit gases about 100F to 150F cooler than the
ash softening temperature.
I have seen furnaces where the furnace
exit gases are above the fluid temperature,
and it is possible to operate a boiler with
liquid-phase ash flowing through the superheater and reheater, but it is not advisable for
reasons of coal ash corrosion and the need for
near-continuous long retractable sootblowing
to mitigate the ash deposits.
Fouling typically refers to deposits that
occur in the convection pass after the gases
exit the furnace. Fouling is generally attributed to ash cinders and accumulations that
form on the leading edges of the superheater
and reheater tubes (Figure 1), especially the
outlet legs, which are above 1,000F metal
surface temperature. The deposits are dislodged by sootblowing.
When the long retractable sootblowers are
used to blow the ash deposits free, the ash
particles entrain into the flue gas stream and
create cinders, which can block selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst flow paths,
plug air heater baskets, and bridge across
boiler tubing in the convection pass. Usually,
the areas of the boiler that are designated as
being susceptible to slagging are from the
burner belt to the furnace exit.
Heat flows from hottest to coolest and,
therefore, to produce 1,000F to 1,100F superheated steam and reheated steam outlets, the
furnace exit gas temperature (FEGT) must be
above about 1,500F at the reheater gas inlet to
drive the heat flow into the reheater and superheater to create the desired steam temperatures.
Consequently, the sweet spot for the FEGT of
a pulverized coalfueled boiler should be about

2,150F to 2,250F to achieve desired steam temperatures without slagging. Lower than 2,150F
it becomes difficult to achieve design steam
temperatures. Above 2,250F on a bulk gas basis, it becomes close to the melting temperature
of the ash in some fuels.
Fuels with extremely high ash fusion
temperatures are thought of as being boiler
friendly and forgiving. Fuels with lower ash
fusion temperatures require more precise
combustion tuning and increased sootblowing to mitigate slag deposits.
Lets take a look at the coal ash fusion
D1857 analysis shown in Table 1 as an example. Given the ASTM D1857 temperatures
of the ash fusion analysis, the ash condition
can be estimated in the furnace and at the furnace exit, if the temperatures are known.
In this example, the coal ash analysis shows
a fluid temperature in a reducing atmosphere
of 2,410F. So, if there are lanes of products of
combustion that are fuel rich and still actively
burning, then this is in fact a reducing atmosphere for the particular lane of fuel-rich
products of combustion. In practice, this could
result from one burner that is fuel heavy and air
lean. The products of combustion from that one

1. The line of demarcation. The tube

spacing of all boilers becomes progressively
more restrictive as the heat transfer process
changes from radiant in the furnace to convective in the back pass. Source: Storm Technologies Inc.
Front pendant pendant RH Front pendant
SH division
panels 8 CTRS
Platen SH
Preferred HVT
test plane

Rear pendant


POWER June 2015

Table 1. Ash fusion analysis example. Source: Storm Technologies Inc.

Initial deformation (F)

Softening (F)

Hemispherical (F)

Fluid (F)











burner can, in fact, slag up the furnace exit.

Some fuels are more unforgiving than others. The coal ash iron content is a huge factor.
Ash that has as much as 15% to 20% iron
content will have an ash fluid temperature
in a reducing atmosphere as much as 500F
lower than the same ash in an oxidizing atmosphere. Current plant operations with a
strong regulatory limit on NOx tend to drive
operators to operate at low excess oxygen
levels. This practice, combined with fuel and
air imbalances, can result in conditions in
which flue gas lanes can have zero free oxygen and, therefore, are technically operating
in a reducing atmosphere.
So, how can a reducing atmosphere or secondary combustion be created at the furnace
exit? Here are six of the most common causes of
boiler slagging and fouling in our experience:

Low furnace excess oxygen

Extreme stratifications of the FEGT flue
gas lanes
High primary airflows
Burner damage and deficient mechanical
Poor coal pulverizer performance
Inconsistent fuel properties and chemistry

Low Furnace Excess Oxygen

The No. 1 cause of furnace slagging is low
furnace oxygen content. Most boilers are
designed for 115% to 120% theoretical combustion air. This is generally expressed as
15% to 20% excess air. For coal furnaces, the
oxygen levels would be 3% to 3.8%. Note
the location of the oxygen analyzers at the

economizer exit in Figure 2. This location is

often subject to reading higher oxygen levels
than the actual furnace oxygen content, due
to air in-leakage between the furnace and the
air heater flue gas inlet.
It is extremely important to apply the attention necessary to optimize the furnace
burner belt inputs, because combustion
must be completed within the furnace cavity. Of absolute importance is providing sufficient combustion airflow to the fuel before
the products of combustion exit the furnace.
One of the most common causes of slagging
and fouling is secondary combustion at the
upper furnace. The most common cause of
secondary combustion is insufficient excess
oxygen within the burner belt.
Why is this so common? There are two
reasons. First, most U.S. boilers have some
age on them, and the boiler settings have
allowed air in-leakage to increase over the
years. Because the oxygen analyzers are
usually located at the economizer outlet, the
excess oxygen that is measured at the economizer exit includes any ambient air that has
leaked into the boiler setting after combustion should have been completed. This lack of
excess free oxygen at the furnace causes the
active combustion to stretch out and actively

Air in-leakage locations

Penthouse and
convection pass
Ductwork before APH
Air preheater (APH)
Ductwork after APH

Extreme Stratifications of the

FEGT Flue Gas Lanes
The limited residence time of large utility
boilers demands that the furnace inputs of
fuel and air be optimized (Figure 3). If not
properly controlled, fuel/air inconsistencies
can contribute to slagging and fouling issues
due to secondary combustion and elevated
FEGTs. Optimizing the fuel and air inputs to
the furnace and making certain that the fur-

3. Time is not on your side. With residence times as short as a couple of seconds,
there is not a lot of time for heat to be absorbed in the furnace. When secondary combustion is
present, the furnace exit gas temperature can exceed the ash fusion temperature, which is the
primary reason that furnace slagging occurs. Source: Storm Technologies Inc.

2. Location, location, location. Furnace oxygen content instrument readings can

be inaccurate due to the location of the analyzers. Source: Storm Technologies Inc.

continue into the superheater section. The

flue gas temperature, due to such secondary
combustion, can and has been measured to be
well over 1,000F above optimum.
The second factor is that when the coal
ash has an iron content of over about 10%,
the melting temperature of the ash is lower
in a reducing atmosphere. In other words, not
only does the secondary combustion elevate
the FEGT, but also, if the coal ash contains
significant amounts of iron, the fusion temperature can be drastically lower as a result
of the ash chemistry. That is, the ash will melt
at a much lower temperature in a reducing atmosphere from what the fusion temperature
would be in an oxidizing atmosphere. As
noted previously, the ash fusion temperature
can be reduced by as much as 500F.
These two factors combined are particularly serious for eastern U.S. plants that burn
bituminous fuels. The iron content in the ash
has not been a large factor with Powder River
Basin fuels, but secondary combustion affects all boilers and all fuels.


Flame carryover into the

superheater can elevate the FEGT
1,000F above optimum

1-2 seconds
residence time

Burner belt


June 2015 POWER


4. A bridge to nowhere. This super-

5. Dont out-kick your coverage. When primary airflow is too high, fuel gets driven

heater was slagged over because the furnace

exit gas temperature was about 1,000F above
optimum. Courtesy: Storm Technologies Inc.

deep into the furnace. Source: Storm Technologies Inc.

Inner registers

High primary
air velocity

nace exit is an oxidizing atmosphere are the

first steps in reducing furnace slagging.
Fuel input optimization includes ensuring that:

Coal fineness meets the following guidelines: At least 75% passes a 200-mesh
screen and less than 0.2% remains on a 50mesh screen with representative and isokinetically removed coal fineness samples.
Coal distribution to each burner must be
balanced plus or minus 10%.

Combustion air optimization includes ensuring that:

Primary airflow quantities are optimized

and air/fuel ratios are repeatable.
Measured and controlled secondary airflow is uniformly distributed to the individual burners.
Measured and controlled overfire airflow
is optimized.

FEGT and excess oxygen can be measured

with a water-cooled high-velocity thermocouple (HVT) probe. The measurements by HVT
probe should be a minimum of 3% excess oxygen with maximum temperatures about 100F
to 150F below the ash fusion temperature. It
is when the FEGT approaches the ash fusion
temperature that slagging occurs.
Often, the most useful data obtained by using a water-cooled HVT probe is the furnace
exit, excess oxygen levels, and profiles. All
points at the upper furnace should be oxidizing and preferably above 3% excess oxygen.
The word slagging is usually used to describe slagging in the furnace, whereas fouling
is generally used to describe cinders or ash that
have carried over into the convection pass and
created flow obstructions due to the deposition.
As discussed previously, fouling of the convection pass, SCR, and air heater are the result of
ash accumulations on the leading edges of superheater and reheater tubing that is removed
by long retractable sootblower operation.
Minimizing slagging and fouling begins
by optimizing the burner belt combustion
performance. This is necessary because there

Inner registers

primary air

is only about 1 or 2 seconds of residence time

between the top of the burner belt and the superheater flue gas inlet. At the furnace exit,
the superheater and reheater tube spacing
becomes closer and closer, resulting in narrowing gas flow lanes.
The typical FEGT is about 2,150F to
2,250F, assuming that the prerequisites for optimum burner belt combustion are present for
the inputs. In the superheater shown in Figure
4, the peak furnace flue gas temperatures were
well above the melting temperature of Alloy
310 stainless steel (about 2,780F). The active secondary combustion peak temperatures
were truly about 1,000F above the FEGT with
optimized burner belt inputs. When optimized,
the FEGT was a uniform 1,950F to 2,100F
across the boiler width. Prior to optimization,
temperatures of 2,850F to 3,100F were present. These extremes have been documented in
numerous cases.
The cause of the high temperature in this
case was threefold. First, primary air velocities were high, which drove the fuel deep into
the furnace, away from the secondary air provided at the burners. Second, the burner belt
suffered from combustion air starvation due

to the overfire airflow being too high and exceeding 20% of total airflow, with only about
115% of total theoretical airflow to the boiler. In other words, the burner belt was deeply
staged at sub-stoichiometric excess oxygen
levels. Third, fuel fineness and distribution
was not optimized. The flue gas temperatures
were over 3,000F at the superheater gas side
inlet. At this temperature, the ash condition
was fluid, and it only took a couple of shifts
to completely slag the furnace exit.
It is common to find between 0.5% and 1%
oxygen rise from the furnace to the air heater
inlet flue gas. Why? Well, for one reason, the
average 500-MW pulverized coalfueled boiler is more than 30 years old. Therefore, the
potential for air infiltration is increased due to
age alone, even when diligent and thorough
maintenance repairs are practiced. The only
excess oxygen that matters from a slagging
and fouling viewpoint is the excess oxygen
present at the furnace exit. Keep in mind that
the available residence time from the top to the
burner belt may be less than 1.5 seconds.

High Primary Airflows

High primary airflow, especially on wall-

6. Out-of-spec. Damaged burners must be repaired in order to optimize combustion. Courtesy: Storm Technologies Inc.

POWER June 2015


Adaptive Brush
Seal Solutions for
Air Preheaters

7. Optimization overview. Getting these parameters in sync

is a good start to optimizing combustion and minimizing slagging and
fouling. Courtesy: Storm Technologies Inc.

fired boilers, contributes to poor fuel balance, poor fuel fineness, and
longer flame lengths. Primary air is basically transport air and provides 15% to 25% of the total air for combustion. Therefore, when the
primary airflow is very high, the fuel particles outrun the secondary
air and result in longer-than-optimum flames (Figure 5).
High primary airflow on nearly any modern low-NOx burner will
drive the fuel deep into the furnace, thus outrunning the secondary
airflow. As a consequence, fuel-rich zones can form in the upper furnace, resulting in secondary combustion, elevated temperatures, and
zones of localized reducing atmosphereall of which contribute to
slagging and fouling.

Burner Damage and Deficient Mechanical Condition/


Visit Us a C
: 25

High performance. Long life.

Sealezes patented brush-based high-temp sealing solution
delivers reliability and extended functional service life

One of the 13 essentials of optimum combustion is burner tolerance

at plus or minus one-quarter inch. The photographs shown in Figure 6
offer some examples of typical as-found burners.
Most of the damage to burners results from overheating of idle
burners due to radiant furnace heat. One way to monitor for burner
overheating is to attach thermocouples to the burner nozzles and provide cooling air through the burner nozzles to keep below 800F when
out of service. (Burner cooling is a topic for another day.)

Turbine Brush Seals

gland seal

Poor Coal Pulverizer Performance

The most frequent cause of extreme fuel imbalances at the furnace
exit is coal pulverizer performance. Poor fuel fineness nearly always
contributes to poor fuel balance. At best, pulverized fuel balance will
be in the range of plus or minus 5% to 15% deviation.
When classifiers are not set for best fineness (usually to substitute
more coal pulverizer throughput for reduced fineness), the fineness
may deteriorate to less than 70% passing 200 mesh. Along with the
reduced fineness, there will be less-uniform fuel balance. Poor fuel
fineness nearly always results in poor fuel distribution. It is not unusual to find fuel deviations of plus or minus 25% when the pulverizers are not optimized.
The coal pulverizers are the heart of a pulverized coalfueled boiler. About 75% of the opportunities for improvements in tuning are
with the coal mills, primary airflow, and fuel line balancing. Figure 7
shows the important points for achieving optimum combustion with
minimum slagging and fouling.
For additional articles on related topicsfrom fuel analysis to pulverizer controlsearch

sizes and surface irregularities for a continuous seal
a high integrity seal. Under pressure these filaments

For more than 25 years, Sealeze has helped design and manufacturing
engineers design solutions.


ISO 9001 Certified

Richard F. (Dick) Storm, PE is senior consultant for Storm

Technologies Inc. and a long-time POWER contributor. The staff
of Storm Technologies contributed to this article.

June 2015 POWER



DOE Highlights Challenges to

Infrastructure in Quadrennial
Energy Review
With unprecedented changes and challenges facing the U.S. energy sector, the
Department of Energy has spearheaded a comprehensive assessment of
the nations energy policy. Released the same day as ELECTRIC POWER
2015 opened, the first installment of this review was highlighted in the
conferences keynote address.
Thomas W. Overton

.S. energy infrastructure needs not

just substantial investment for the
future but also considerable rethinking about its role and functions in order to
be positioned to deal with a rapidly changing
energy landscape and evolving threats from
cyber attack and climate change.
That was the message from William F. Hederman Jr., Department of Energy (DOE) deputy
director for energy systems and integration and
senior advisor to the secretary, who delivered
the keynote address to the ELECTRIC POWER 2015 Conference & Exhibition in Rosemont, Ill., on Apr. 21 (Figure 1).
Hederman spoke on the day the DOE released the first installment of the Obama administrations Quadrennial Energy Review
(QER). He discussed the goals and background of this first-ever comprehensive study
of the nations energy sector, which identifies
the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S.
energy and climate security, with the goal of
enabling the federal government to translate
policy goals into a set of integrated actions.
The QER, available on the DOE website
( is the result of a Jan. 9, 2014,
directive from President Obama, as part of
his Climate Action Plan, to provide an integrated view of, and recommendations for,
Federal energy policy in the context of economic, environmental, occupational, security, and health and safety priorities.

A Seismic Shift
Hederman said the overarching goal of the
QER was to find ways for the administration
to do fewer things at cross purposes and
more things that are mutually reinforcing
with respect to energy policy. It came about
in part because of a suggestion early in the
administration from nowEnergy Secretary
Ernest Moniz and White House Director of

the Office of Science and Technology John

Holdren, who recommended a comprehensive, integrated assessment of energy policy
while they were on the Presidents Council of
Advisors for Science and Technology.
The impetus for the review came from
the recognition that much of existing U.S.
energy infrastructure was built to service an
energy landscape that no longer exists. The
fossil fuel sector has seen enormous shifts in
production and distribution patterns, the grid
has seen dramatically expanded renewable
and distributed generation, and policy decisions are challenged by new environmental
concerns. In addition, this mismatch is exacerbated by delayed investments in modernization and repair.
The QER involves more than 20 federal
agenciesthough the DOE provided much of
the staffing and analysisand will be released
in several installments. The first addresses infrastructure for energy transmission, storage,
and distribution. The intent, Hederman said,
was not to collect dust but to provide actionoriented recommendations.
The review has three broad goalseconomic
competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibilitywhich Hederman acknowledged can conflict. We entered this effort
with the recognition that there are tradeoffs, and
thats what most public policy is about: multiple
and sometimes conflicting objectives.
One of the underlying issues is the lack of
data about much of how current infrastructure operates. As a former energy industry
executive, he said, I recognize that sometimes that data does not exist because its too
expensive to create it. The first step, though,
is identifying what data is needed.

man said, because everything else depends

on it, and it will need to change as the power
sector changes. Were looking across energy at these connected networks. Rather than
report in the traditional way, we wanted to
force both ourselves and our readers to be
thinking differently about this.
That means enhanced focus on a range
of challenges: resilience, reliability, safety,
energy security, climate change, and cyberattacks. In looking at all this, he said, the
importance of regional variations came up
time after time.

1. Facing



William F. Hederman Jr., Department of Energy deputy director for energy systems and
integration, discussed the background and
scope of the nations first Quadrennial Energy
Review in his keynote address at ELECTRIC
POWER 2015 in Rosemont, Ill. Source: POWER/Tom Overton

The Backbone of the Power Sector

Infrastructure was the first subject,

POWER June 2015

Much of the challenge stems from the
deeply public-private nature of U.S. energy infrastructure, with large portions
privately owned and operated but equally
large elements owned, operated, or heavily
controlled by the states or the federal government. Additionally, energy infrastructure
reaches across local, state, and international
boundaries, creating a highly complicated
regulatory environment.
For that reason, Hederman said, its important that we not ever think in terms of onesize-fits-all solutions here.
In addressing these challenges, regulatory
reform is one of the goals, he said. The QER
identifies a number of challenges, such as
ratemaking processes that can make spending on grid resilience measures difficult to
recover. Worse, it notes, Quantitative measures of adequacy of resilience investments,
or even a commonly accepted method for determining the appropriate level of resilience
at either the transmission or distribution
level, do not exist.
Addressing this, again, requires a variety
of approaches, Hederman said.
We recognize the need for multiple business models going forward. The traditional
model of making money by selling more
electricity is unlikely to be the only way to
proceed in the future.
But since the DOE is neither a regulator
nor the right body to be making these decisions, he added, the goal of the QER is to
provide as much information as possible for
decision-makers to move forward.

Transport Challenges
Dependence on infrastructure to move energy resourcesboth electricity and fuels
has grown dramatically even as threats to that
infrastructure have expanded and demands
on it have shifted substantially. The growth
in gas production has had a profound effect
on coal, he noted, which has had ripple effects on coal transport. That in turn caused
challenges to rail transportof both coal and
crude oil. This is a subject the DOE previously spent little time on, meaning the regulatory
structure has become antiquated.
Meanwhile, the boom in oil and gas
production has meant a rapid shift from
import to export, something existing infrastructure was not built to support. The
QER notes that 45% of the nations gas
pipeline system was built prior to 1960,
with substantial portions still composed
of leak-prone cast iron.
We are very much supportive of pipelines, Hederman said, but they cant be
built as quickly as the volume changes.
The problems go beyond pipelines and
railways. The QER found that our water-

June 2015 POWER

2. Rising threat. This map from the Quadrennial Energy Review shows at-risk substations
along the Gulf Coast under projected scenarios for sea-level rise. Source: Department of Energy

borne infrastructure is in the worst state of

any infrastructure the energy industry relies
on, Hederman said. Likewise, the Strategic
Petroleum Reserveestablished during the
1970s energy crisis when the global oil market was vastly differentneeds attention and
does not work well.
In addressing challenges to the electric
grid, Hederman noted that a lot of work is
necessary to enhance resiliency. Distributed
generation, and especially energy storage,
will be important. That is a technology that
could totally change the game. That said,
while the DOE is supporting a lot of research
and development in energy storage, Hederman noted that everyone is hopeful, but
were not there yet. But that is clearly the
magic bullet for the future grid.

Threats Are Growing

Hederman also said that the DOE and the Department of Homeland Security are working
very closely with industry to stay informed
about cyber threats to energy infrastructure.
The threat is quite serious, and it involves
nation states as well as other very sophisticated malicious people.
The threats go well beyond cybersecurity. The QER highlights the range of natural threats, from climate events to seismic
activity. These, naturally, vary widely by
region, but aging of the system and the dramatic shifts in utilization of existing infrastructure has meant the traditional view of
natural risks is no longer accurate. For example, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico are
no longer nearly as disruptive to the natural
gas system as they once were. But changes
in reliance on natural gas have meant other
areas, such as the Northeast, are vulnerable

to severe weather in ways they were not in

the past.
In addition, Hederman said, the physical
activity has picked up, and the attacks seem
to be more sophisticated than they have been
in the past.
On environmental issues, Hederman
noted that climate change was the most
important such aspect in the QER. Indeed,
concerns about climate change permeate
nearly every element the QER addresses,
from increased storm activity to sea level
rise endangering key electrical transmission
substations (Figure 2) to drought restrictions on inland waterways.
The QER also looks specifically at ways
that energy infrastructure contributes to climate change and at ways that modernizing
infrastructure could help limit it.
We point out that both in technologies
that require long-distance movement and
ones that are local, there are ways to reduce the carbon footprint. We think that
an underlying theme here is that there
needs to be a trend towards lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Infrastructure is a source of greenhouse
gas emissions, but improvements to itsuch
as expansions to the electric grid to enable
greater renewable generation and CO2 pipelines to support carbon capture and sequestrationalso hold considerable promise for
reducing them.
The most notable finding on greenhouse
gas emissions, Hederman said, was methane
emissions from natural gas transmission and
distribution infrastructure. There is a lot of
room for improvement, he said.

Thomas W. Overton, JD is a POWER

associate editor.


Clean Power Plan Is Achievable,

but Challenges Loom Large
Panelists at the ELECTRIC POWER 2015 general session on environmental issues were frank about difficulties with the EPAs Clean Power Plan. But the
power sector canand shouldmake it happen, they said.
Thomas W. Overton

he Environmental Protection Agencys (EPAs) Clean Power Plan (CPP)

is feasible in its ultimate goals, but
getting there will take a lot of work and
some rethinking of how the targets are
achieved, according to speakers at the Environmental Mega SessionRebalancing
the Electric System for Environmental
Consideration at the ELECTRIC POWER
Conference & Exhibition on Apr. 21 in
Rosemont, Ill. (Figure 1).
Tony Licata of Licata Energy & Environmental Consultants opened the session
by noting that in meeting these challenges,
business as usual equals failure.
Aditya Jayam Prabhakar, policy studies
engineer with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), noted that
much of what the CPP seeks to accomplish
is already under way. MISO, he said, has
saved its customers millions of dollars
though efficiency measures it has implemented.

Reliability Concerns
That being said, there are so many moving
parts here, Prabhakar noted. The challenge
is in achieving the necessary reductions in
the CPP without threatening reliability. He
suggested that a regional approach would be
better than piecemeal, state-by-state goals
and projected that this could save $3 billion
in compliance costs.
While, Prabhakar said, the EPA has
come up with an extreme amount of flexibility in meeting the goals, the timeline
is a concern. Boosting natural gas in the
dispatch order results in a significant
shift toward gas-fired resources from coalfired resources. The problem is that there
isnt enough time to build new gas-fired
power plantswhich require two to three
years construction timeto meet the
2020 interim deadline. That presents a risk
of too-rapid shifts in the generation mix
before the resources are ready. First and

foremost, he said, we have to maintain

Block Andrews, associate environmental
engineer with Burns & McDonnell, reviewed
some of the two millionplus comments the
CPP proposal received, with a focus on its
reception by environmental groups. Most, he
said, not only supported it but argued that it
was not ambitious enough.
The Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC), for example, suggested that the
reduction targets be raised to 36% by 2020
and 44% by 2030. NRDC and the Sierra Club
both argued that the projected heat rate improvements were too low, with the NRDC
saying many plant owners are not motivated
to capture efficiencies because fuel costs are
paid by ratepayers. The Sierra Club argued
the heat rate goal should be 10% rather than
the proposed 6%.

The Death of Business as Usual

Steve Corneli, senior vice president for sustainability strategy and policy for NRG Energy, chided many in the power sector for

suggesting the solution was hoping for the

EPA to just go away and for arguing that
climate change concerns are a hoax (Figure
2). The problem with these arguments, he
said, is that pressure on these issues goes far
beyond the EPA.
The first issue is that the economics of
power generation have changed fundamentally in the past few years as renewable
energy has become competitive. Nothing
else in energy sector history has cut its
costs this fast, he said. Battery costs are
also falling rapidly.
Second, carbon capture and sequestration
(CCS) is already being deployed in demonstration projects, including one being built by NRG
(see Commercial-Scale Carbon Capture Project Starts Construction in Texas in the September 2014 issue). If the economics are there, CCS
could be a game changer, he said.
Finally, beyond local renewable mandates,
Were seeing many Fortune 500 companies,
and many other companies here and internationally, saying they want to go to 100%
renewables for their power needs. This is

1. Panelists at the ELECTRIC POWER 2015 Environmental Mega Session. Left to right, Tony Licata, Licata Energy & Environmental Consultants; Aditya Jayam Prabhakar, MISO; Block Andrews, Burns & McDonnell; and Steve Corneli, NRG Energy. Source:
POWER/Tom Overton

POWER June 2015

2. Business as usual = death. NRGs
Steve Corneli chided colleagues in the power
sector for hoping the EPA would go away
and for ignoring evidence of climate change.
Both sentiments, he said, ignore inexorable
pressures that are dramatically changing how
electricity is generated and sold. Source:
POWER/Tom Overton

cepts all the assumptions underlying the

planthat is, that everything can be achieved
without threatening reliabilityits difficult
to see how the targets can be reached without a lot of new gas-fired capacity. Looking
beyond the 2030 targets to proposed 2050
reductions, he said that getting there will require a lot of innovation.
We need all that stuff, and we need it
soon, he said. But pushing for too-rapid
changes is asking for trouble in terms of
stranded assets later.

A Regional Solution?

the future we see coming with or without the

Clean Power Plan, he said.

Too-Rapid Goals?
However, like Prabhakar, Corneli expressed
concern with the rapid timeline. With most
CPP improvements required very soon, it is
likely to induce large amounts of new combined cycle baseload capacity, which will result in new emissions being generated before
the 2030 final deadline. He said that NRG
and others are arguing for more of a glide
path approach between 2020 and 2030,
rather than a cliff.
That, Corneli argued, will give states more
time to develop thoughtful policies and create more long-term reductions at lower cost,
as well as allowing time to achieve the targeted reductions before reliability concerns
become critical.
Prabhakar agreed. He said the aggressive
2020 interim goals mean the long-term results get fuzzy, especially from an investment standpoint.
Corneli pointed out that, unless one ac-

June 2015 POWER

The panelists turned to the issue of regional

compliance in response to a question from
POWER. Andrews and Corneli both highlighted challenges with such an approach
because of widely varying targets across
state lines. Andrews noted problems with
transferring renewable energy credits in a
power mix that also includes fossil generation. If youre going to give someone credits, you need to give them the emissions as
well, he said.
With neighboring states often having wide
variations in targets, Corneli said there would
be political challenges in getting those states
to work together. That choppiness, especially in the early phase, makes it hard to bring
people together.
MISOs Prabhakar was naturally more
optimistic about a regional approach. He
agreed it would present a lot of work, but
he reminded the audience that cross-state
compliance plans have succeeded before. A
regional approach, he said can be a powerful process and one that can come with
similar low-cost solutions. Thats an issue
of equity as well as efficiency. Compliance
costs should not be localized, he said. We
can get there.
Still, Corneli argued, the effects and challenges of varying costs between states in
meeting goals is something thats really
hard to anticipate. Getting past those challenges will require a lot of communication
and cooperation. Andrews agreed. Theres a
lot of square pegs in round holes with respect
to this, he noted.

Future Fuel Mix

The panelists were unanimous about one
thing: Nuclear power has little future in
the current market without significant
policy support.
As Prabhakar saw it, new nuclear in MISO
is highly unlikely due to the costs and market challenges. Andrews was hopeful, but
confessed that, when you look at the markets, you see these razor-thin margins for
nuclear. Right now, it just doesnt make sense
in deregulated states. For a generator

ering a nuclear plant, theres significant financial risk there without more regulatory
support mechanisms, he said.
Corneli agreed, saying he saw some really big challenges with nuclear despite the
emissions advantages because much cheaper
alternatives exist.
Asked about the mix of new plant construction, the panelists agreed gas and renewables would dominate.
Andrews, while agreeing that gas
would dominate in the short term, questioned whether the central power plant
model would persist over the long term,
suggesting that it will be challenged by
distributed renewables, storage, and behind-the-meter generation.
Corneli predicted distributed generation
would grow in importance, as would combined heat and power and energy storage.
(NRG is developing a home-based gas microgenerator that it hopes to deploy eventually, though Corneli told POWER after
the session that its still in the early stages
and much work remains to be done.)
Prabhakar saw a lot of wind and combined
cycle generation coming into MISO, while
Licata was frank that new coal generation is
unlikely without CCS.
On that front, however, Corneli was
more optimistic, saying NRG is looking
hard at post-combustion CCS because it
is economic in the right circumstances. He
said there are a number of candidate plants
for retrofitting, which can be far cheaper
than a greenfield CCS plant because generation infrastructure already exists. Plants
that are close to CO2 pipelines have a ready
market for captured carbon, and with the
plant already operating, all youve got is
the stuff on the back end, he said. For the
right sites, its a relatively low-risk, lowcost, high-value thing.
Andrews was less excited about CCS, saying, its very site-limited. To go further,
a lot of costs have to come down. Unfortunately, were not spending nearly enough
money to do it.

Getting There from Here

How receptive will the EPA be to all these
concerns? Corneli said that, in his view, the
agency has been pretty public in being open
to changes. The question is, how are they
going to do it?
Andrews, while seeing flexibility as well,
was concerned about how much room the
EPA has to back off its goals while still allowing the U.S. to meet its international commitments for carbon reductions. My guess
is not much, he said.

Thomas W. Overton, JD is a POWER

associate editor.


Executives Say Power Sector

Faces Fundamental Changes
Four industry executives sometimes agreed, and sometimes disagreed, about
the great unknowns concerning the Environmental Protection Agencys
Clean Power Plan during the Executive Roundtable at this years ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition.
Kennedy Maize

hat problems will the Obama administrations upcoming Clean

Power Plan (CPP) deliver to the
executives who manage the companies that
make the power? That topic quickly arose at
the Executive Roundtable during the ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition
(sponsored by POWER) in Rosemont, Ill.,
in Aprilcoincidentally on Earth Day. Predictably, the perspective varies according
to the economic interests of the companies
(Figure 1).
For Robert Flexon, president and CEO of
Dynegy, a large non-utility generator that operates in multiple states, the planforced by
the underlying Clean Air Act to operate on a
state-by-state basiswill create unintended
consequences that lead to carbon leakage.
Because Congress couldnt agree on a way
to reach common ground on carbon controls,
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
took the only tool it had, the air act, to formulate its program.
That leads to state-by-state reduction
targets that create strange outcomes, Flexon said. For example, Illinois and Indiana
have about the same generating profile
and the same reduction targets. But the
less-efficient plants in terms of carbon
emissions are in Indiana. So Illinois will
have to take more stringent measures to
reduce CO2 emissions. The less-efficient
plants in Indiana will survive at the cost of
the more efficient units in Illinois. That
leads to fewer carbon reductions than are
achievable. State-by-state, he said, is not
the way to go. He also predicted that the
plan will be heavily litigated, which will
make meeting the timelines in the regulations even more difficult.

executive vice president of grid solutions

and president of Duke Energys Midwest
and Florida regions, will impose reliability
threats and unnecessary costs to customers. In North Carolina and Florida, where
Duke has its largest state-regulated operations, the company will have to hit 75% of
its emissions reductions for 2030 by 2020.
It doesnt work, said Trent (Figure 2).
He added that by the time the EPA plan
emerges from a certain blizzard of litigation, it will be 2018 to 2019. That leaves
little time for his company to hit its 75% of
2030 target by 2020.
The plan will also create stranded utility costs, which will flow to customers, said
Trent. Duke has invested considerable capital in coal plants in recent years to meet new
EPA regulations, such as the Mercury and Air
Toxics Standards (MATS). Under the CPP,
the company likely will have to close some
recently upgraded plants, and customers will
eat the costs.
For Lee Davis, executive vice president
and regional president, east for NRG, an

aggressive non-utility generator that is

concentrating on expanded and enhanced
distributed generation, the interim reduction, by 2020, looks like a cliff to us, not
a transition. Weve been advocating for
a glide path. Thats a point that NRGs
Steve Corneli raised the day before at the
conferences Environmental Mega SessionRebalancing the Electric System for
Environmental Consideration.
A phase-in, said Davis, would allow
for systems to become more resilient
and flexible. The EPA plan, as it appears
from the draft, is overly reliant on generation thats completely inflexible. By
that, he was referencing wind and solar,
which cannot work within the conventional model of economic dispatch, with the
output from the lowest-cost plants being
dispatched first.
Joseph Dominguez, Exelon Generations
executive vice president for government and
regulatory affairs and public policy, noted a
particular problem for Exelon, the nations
largest nuclear generator. The EPA draft, he

1. Agreements and disagreements. Participants in the Executive Roundtable were

(left to right): Joseph Dominguez, executive vice president government/regulatory affairs and
public policy, Exelon Generation LLC; Lee Davis, executive vice president and regional president, east, NRG; B. Keith Trent, executive VP of grid solutions and president of Duke Energys
Midwest and Florida regions; Robert C. Flexon, president and CEO, Dynegy Inc.; and John
Shelk, president and CEO, Electric Power Supply Association. Source: POWER/Gail Reitenbach

Timing Trials
Under the draft of the EPA plan (the final
rule is expected this summer), the EPA
establishes an interim reduction mandate
for 2020 and a second reduction target for
2030. This approach, said B. Keith Trent,

POWER June 2015

2. Timing troubles. Duke Energys
Keith Trent commented that, by the time the
EPA plan emerges from a certain blizzard of
litigation, it will be 2018 to 2019. That leaves
little time for his company to hit its 75% of
2030 target by 2020. Source: POWER/Gail Reitenbach

said, does not provide full credit for carbon-free nuclear generation. If nuclear power
is excluded from contributing fully to carbon
reductions, it will present a challenge to
keeping nuclear plants operating.

Then Dominguez offered a dose of iconoclasm. Weve had this discussion before,
he said. He noted that the utility industry
was exuding gloom and doom, predicting
that the lights would go out and customers
would face ballooning electric rates, during
the MATS discussion years ago, during the
acid rain debates during the 1980s, and virtually every time the EPA has proposed a new
rule aimed at generating electricity.
Echoing Edison Electric Institute (EEI)
comments to the EPA on its draft rule,
Dominguez said the lights are not going
out, and we wont freeze in the dark. The
simple solution is to allow states to put a
price on carbon in their dispatch system,

similar to what is happening in the Northeast states that are members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). He
said RGGI has accommodated large carbon
emissions reductions in its member states
(see sidebar).
If the EPA takes this approach, said
Dominguez, it will trigger switching from
coal to gas dispatch, an easy outcome. In Illinois, he said, Exelon has combined cycle
gas-fired plants operating at less than 20%
capacity, so there is lots of capacity to offset
coal plants if a state has a carbon price system. Under the EEI proposal, a state opting
for a carbon price system would get a free
pass on the EPA reduction requirements until 2029. We can deal with the carbon issue
at a very low price if we put a price on carbon
at state levels, he said.
Dominguezs approach drew some skepticism from the rest of the panel. Dynegys
Flexon asked him, If RGGI is working, why
do you need a special rate deal for the Ginna

June 2015 POWER

Storage: Solution or Problem?

The panel also addressed the role that energy
storage might play in the future. Will storage be viable soon? moderator John Shelk
of the Electric Power Supply Association
asked the panel.
Dukes Trent wryly observed, Storage is one of those technologies always
five years from now. He said Dukes
experience with battery storage has been
disappointing. Its not going to be a

The problem with wind storage, Dominquez

said, is capturing wind that is generated in
April when the wind is blowing and using it
in July when the wind doesnt blow.
plant? Ginna is an old (1969-vintage), single
nuclear unit outside Rochester, N.Y., which
Exelon owns and is losing money on. But
the New York Independent System Operator
(ISO) needs the plants capacity for reliability and wants to keep it running. Dominquez
answered that Ginnas problem is not related

Can States Implement Carbon Markets?

The Edison Electric Institute, the lobbying group for the nations investorowned utilities, has suggested that
the Environmental Protection Agencys
(EPAs) regulations on carbon reductions
give the states the ability to implement
their own carbon pricing models, based
on the Northeasts Regional Greenhouse
Gas Initiative approach. Exelons Joseph
Dominquez characterized this as a very
lower price approach to carbon emissions reductions.
Are the states ready to implement

to the RGGI market but to the reliability issue in the ISO.

NRGs Davis observed that putting a price
on carbon through RGGI has not made much
of a difference in dispatch in the Northeast.
RGGI hasnt affected much. The problem
is more complex, he said, including the major shift from coal to gas in the region. He
said NRGs position is not that there should
be no carbon emissions regulations, But we
should do it correctly.

their own carbon markets? As reported in

an SNL energy newsletter the same day
Dominquez was addressing the ELECTRIC
POWER audience in Illinois, at an industry
forum a week earlier, hosted by the Center
for Climate and Energy Studies, states and
utilities agreed this was a good ideabut
almost impossible under the EPAs time
frame. Martha Rudolph of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
said, The robust trading plans would be,
frankly, in the time frame, nearly impossible for us to set up.

game-changer in the near term. He said

the use of battery storage for ancillary services such as grid voltage support is near,
but not for energy storage.
Davis agreed that storage isnt there yet.
Weve got to find other ways to get flexibility
into the system. He said energy storage is a
bit perplexing. Is it part of the grid, or is it
part of generation? he asked, answering his
question: Its really a hybrid.
Dominquez noted that most of the discussion about storage is related to how
to store solar-generated electricity in the
short term, dealing with the predicable
problem of periods of time when the sun
isnt shining. But solar is a small part of
utility renewables of late, and wind is the
dominant renewable technology. The problem with wind storage, Dominquez said, is
capturing wind that is generated in April
when the wind is blowing and using it in
July when the wind doesnt blow. We are
nowhere close on that, he said. Solar and
storage is easier.

Kennedy Maize is an energy journalist

and long-time contributor to POWER.

This report was researched

and written by Global
Business Reports

Power in

Alice Pascoletti and JP Stevenson

Rewiring the grid: the State, the

market, and the state of the market
Emerging markets, even those that seek to defy it, are inextricably the product of their past. The role that the legacy of
bureaucracy plays in shaping institutional power structures
and the way in which cronyism manifests itself are determined by the historical shape of a country. Real junctures in
a countrys development are rare. Opportunities for a country
to decidedly separate itself from the past to reform, transform and democratize power do not come often. Turkey,
and as an extension of it the countrys energy sector, has long
stood at one such juncture.
Today, the path which Turkey chooses will determine the
countrys ability to answer one of its most pressing macroeconomic concerns: the dual challenge of possessing one
of the worlds most rapidly growing energy markets while
containing little known hydrocarbon resources. Already this
dilemma has built a $42.9 billion current account deicit. Of
equal importance to the current political administration, the
path which Turkey chooses at this juncture will also determine to what extent the country is capable of accomplishing
its Centennial Goals, one of current Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdoans lagship projects. More ambitious than realistic and stemming from Turkeys larger goal of becoming
one of the worlds ten largest economies by 2023, these
targets for the energy sector include the establishment of
20,000mW of wind energy, 600mW of geothermal energy
and the construction and operation of three nuclear power
plants within the next eight years. The extent to which Turkey
will be able to progress with these projects will be shaped by
its ability to reject its past.
Though the modern structure of Turkeys energy market was
irst formally established in 2001 through the creation of Turkeys Energy Market Law, the dynamics underscoring the Turkish energy sector of today far predate this, tracing their roots
to the irst point in modern Turkish history where the country
came across another such a juncture in its development: the
establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 led by Mustafa Kemal Atatrk, the Republics irst president whose theory
of social and political governance has dictated the course of
the countrys growth until now. Advocating a statist approach
to economic planning, Atatrk established the political structures that would guide the expansion of Turkish energy:
structures that only today are inally being dismantled. PubPhoto courtesy of Zorlu Energy.

Global Business Reports


Transmission tower manufactured by BTE

Energy. Photo courtesy of BTE Energy.

Global Business Reports // POWER TURKEY

TEA, have been dissapointed due to long

years of connection investment offsetting.
Issues associated with transmission continue to detract from the feasibility of investments made into generation as many,
especially, in wind, must either undertake
the cost of these expansions or otherwise
see their ability to supply power to the market limited by poor infrastructure.
Less obvious but equally powerful, the
second vestige of the old regime is observed in the way in which the legacy of
the countrys bureaucracy has shaped the
energy sectors project development and
licensing processes.
Dr. Rhan Blent Hamamc, deputy general manager of Sancak Energy, which currently holds four licenses for wind power
projects, explained how the regulatory
structures governing licensing as handled
by Turkeys Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) have halted the development of their site in Izmir: The way in
which licenses are administered in Turkey
must be restructured. The current licensing

process requires that, in order to even apply, investors must go back and forth between as many as 30 agencies. Yet even
once licenses are administered, this does
not necessarily guarantee that one has a license to operate. In the case of our project
in Izmir, though we have received a license,
the development of our project has been
halted by the local community. The only recourse we have had is in judicial proceedings. There must be a department within
EMRA to handle post-permitting issues.
Especially in Izmir, these situations are
common. Post-tender support is necessary
and EMRA must develop as a coordinating
body otherwise investors will begin to
turn away from the energy sector.
However, perhaps posing a more direct
threat to the perceived stability of future
investments in Turkeys energy sector has
been TEA and its tender process for licensed projects in renewable energy.
Designed to facilitate the development of
large-scale renewable projects within Turkey, the system employed by TEA has
been characterized by both poorly developed regulatory structures and erratic market behavior. These problems irst became
evident in 2007, during the countrys irst
tender for wind energy where few of those
that participated in the tender were able to
successfully develop projects because of
the framework that TEA had established
to govern its bidding process. Though
since 2007 the tender process for renewable projects has been restructured, again
earlier this year TEA executed another
tender which disconcerted investors, this
time in solar.
Gultekin Eranil, general manager of Boydak
Energy, a recent participant in TEA solar
tender which plans to expend near $1 billion by 2017 to build its portfolio of assets
in generation, explained: In calculating
the inal bid price for our projects, we realized that with our price the project stood at
the borderline of our project feasibility according to our company assumptions and
expectations. While we feel that we paid a
relatively high amount for our project, there
were many other participants that paid
more, their bid prices for connection rights
of 1mW were as higher as cost of 1mW PV
Solar Power plant investment The critical
question is, these projects can be realized
within 2-3 years?
June 2015


Global Business Reports

This issue, notably, has underscored the role which vested interests icy making. Turkey offers no legal or legislative risks but the added
continue to play in shaping the regulatory structures that govern Tur- beneit of returns found only within emerging markets. That is the
keys energy sector. Yosmaolu, who recently petitioned Turkeys en- beauty of Turkey.
ergy regulator for a redress of unlicensed energy projects, explained: Mehmet Ali Neyzi, CEO, at STFA, one of Turkeys largest distributors
Upon bringing the issues associated with the lack of regulation of of natural gas with signiicant holdings in generation, conirms: Turunlicensed projects and the attendant conlict that they create with key has a vast population and low penetration for energy. There is a
Turkeys legal system to the attention of EMRA, the regulator an- huge growth potential in electricity and per capita usage of energy.
nounced that a requirement would be imposed in line within the With EMRA regulating the market, we will have more transparency.
legislation governing fossil fuel ire cogeneration, that the proportion The energy market is quite sophisticated, so for a foreign investor
of electricity that could be traded would be limited to 40% of total there is a great incentive to invest in Turkey. Turkey is an emerging
market and it is easy to conduct business here as opposed
unlicensed production. Later, EMRA back-stepped, issuto other developing countries. It is a lucrative market
ing a statement stating that the size of these projects
with limited legal and inancial restraints.
did not necessitate a regulatory framework. The
The beauty of Turkeys energy sector also rests
rationale diving this: the Minister himself, many
in that quality which has made the sector,
of the MPs, several heads of municipalities
at least initially, dificult to navigate: its marand igures within EMRA have applied for
ket liberalization process. The early stages
unlicensed projects.
of market liberalization present investors
So why then, in spite of these many
with an opportunity to enter into segments
challenges, should Turkey attract investors?
of the market that would otherwise, in more
The answer to this is nuanced and lies in
mature markets, possess high barriers to enboth the fundamentals of Turkeys energy
try. This is observed in the case of retail electricmarket and the countrys political and economic
Dr. Zafer Demircan, Republic of
Turkey, general director
ity distribution.
of energy
Historically controlled by the Turkish Electricity
Turkey is a burgeoning energy market. Dr. Zafer
Distribution Company (TEDA), Turkeys retail electricDemircan, the Republic of Turkeys General Director
ity market opened to investors through the tender of six distriof Energy, said: Economic expansion, rising per capita income
levels, positive demographic trends and the rapid pace of urban- bution companies in 2010, since when several businesses have
ization will continue to drive domestic energy, which is expected established themselves in the segment. Among those was Bis Energy, which currently stands as the sectors 6th most proitable
to increase around 6% per annum until 2023.
Indeed, Turkey offers a young population the youngest of business with revenue of 636 million in 2014 through its 486mW
any European nation and a GDP that the government projects of generation capacity and which entered into the retail market
through the establishment of its subsidiary, Bisen Enerwill increase by 4% in 2015 and 5% in 2016. Owing to
gy, in 2011. Underscoring the companys decision to
this, the government targets for energy generation to
establish Bisen Energy were the lucrative
reach 120gW by 2023. This will necessitate a proprospects offered by a market just opening. Mejected $110 billion of investment into the counsut Alparslan, CEO of Bisen Energy, explained
trys energy sector. With the country currently
that, Market liberalization presented our
indulging in several other massive infrastrucparent company, Bis Energy, with an opporture projects, a large proportion of this capitunity to enter a market at a very early stage
tal must come from foreign markets. The
in its development. The proits, and lack
government is thus expected to respond.
of competition, offered by the retail electricBeyond this though, the foreign investor
ity market, if compared against the institumust also place the challenges currently faced
tional market for energy, are larger. Moreover,
by the countrys energy sector in context. The
Mesut Alparslan, CEO,
Bisen Energy
retail consumers show far less sensitivity to
domestic energy market of ten years ago - stateenergy prices than institutional customers. While
controlled and highly regulated - was far different
a discount of 1% might spur an institutional consumer
from the energy market of today. Issues associated with
to switch accounts, the grounds upon which energy retailers
the countrys natural gas market, its transmission system, and the
energy sectors licensing and tender process are not symptomatic compete are more solid. The sector also offers, comparatively,
of a country unsure of the role of private sector participation in its far less risk.
development, but rather the nascence of its new institutional power This is not to say that the impediments faced by Turkeys energy
structures. Should foreign investors seek further reassurance, they sector should not be given due consideration. The role that the
government plays in addressing these structural issues will deterneed only look to the countrys regulatory processes as a whole.
Ferhat Melik, board member at Vis Hydro, explained: Taken col- mine which path the country takes at its current juncture. Yet in
lectively, the legislative climate of Turkey is similar to that of the opening its energy markets to investors ten years ago, the counEuropean Union. The government has justiied its position with past try already set its footwork on the path of reform. For this, Turkey
performance and there are few inconsistencies to be found in pol- demands consideration.

Global Business Reports // POWER TURKEY

June 2015

Global Business Reports


Photovoltaic module supplied by Tekno Ray

Solar. Photo courtesy of Tekno Ray Solar.

Interest in renewables drive
generation in 2015

Currently standing as Europes sixth largest economy, Turkey and its demand for
electricity have expanded rapidly in tandem
with the countrys growth. Nearly doubling in the past 12 years, Turkish energy
consumption increased from 132.6TWh
in 2002 to 255.5TWh in 2014. Since 1990,
consumption has grown by 4.6% per annum, a path that the industry looks set to
continue on until 2023 through which point
in time annualized growth of 5% to 6% is
expected. In 2023, Turkeys Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources predicts that
total energy consumption could reach as
high as 450TWh.
This, of course, has necessitated investments in generation. Commencing with

Ozan Korkmaz, partner,


Global Business Reports // POWER TURKEY

the introduction of Turkeys Energy Market

Law in 2001, which marked the don of market liberalization, total installed generation
capacity has grown within the country from
31,900mW in 2012 to 69,500mW in 2014.
Totaling 6,000mW per annum over the past
three years, these investments have been
executed almost exclusively by the private
sector through expanding the countrys
network of natural gas power plants and
hydroelectric power dams. The story of Turkeys energy sector of today begins herein.
Poor in energy resources, Turkey is seeking
to correct its heavy dependence on foreign
supplies of natural gas and its attendant
foreign account deicit through expanding
domestic generation of energy through renewable resources. This has been backed
by a decline in the desirability of natural gas
ire power plants.
Ozan Korkmaz, partner at APLUS, an energy investment and technology consultancy
operating within the domestic market said:
At the moment there is little demand for
additional natural gas power plants in Turkey, similarly to the situation in Europe.
Within the feasibility studies that APLUS
has conducted over the course of the past
year, we have continually seen that newly
constructed natural gas ire power plants
are not proitable.
With the countrys potential for hydroelectric power generation all but saturated at
23,600mW, this will necessitate investment in new ields of energy.

Turkeys still dormant solar industry has
been the subject of fervent market speculation of late. Sun-rich, the country, in theory,
shows tremendous potential for solar energy production. The Turkish government
targets raising $7 billion of investment
for the sector over the course of the next
years, the product of which, it hopes, will
be a minimum of 3,000mW of solar energy
Extending from this goal and the Turkish
governments larger ambition of meeting
30% of its domestic energy needs through
renewable energy generation by 2023, the
Turkish Electricity Transmission Company
(TEA) is expected to allocate 600mW of
solar energy production licenses in 2015.
This will be done through several rounds of
license tenders.
Announced in January of this year, the irst
of these rounds was completed earlier last
month. Noted for the exorbitant price paid
by winning participants, which for some
projects stood at an amount greater than
the cost of plant construction, the prices
paid for these licenses led to speculation
that these investments were driven more
by pride than practicality.
Mehmet Ozenbos, the sales and marketing manager of Tekno Ray Solar, a JV between Turkish Tekno, and Italian Enerray,
which supplies solar systems to the Turkish
market explains that, Solar is a relatively
new ield for Turkey. The recent tender was
June 2015


Global Business Reports

Geothermal Power Plant, entered into generation in the 1980s. Today we believe that Turkey has strong potential for geothermal
Today owned by Zorlu Energy, one of Turkeys largest generators, energy: scientiically speaking, thousands of mWs. The ability of
which, in the next three years will grow its total energy portfolio the country to transform this potential into generation, however,
to include 1,600mW of installed capacity, the Kzldere Geother- will be checked by both the resources available domestically and
mal Power Plant, the largest of the countrys two operating geo- the readiness of the market. For these reasons we expect that
thermal energy production plants, currently produces 95mW
by 2020 we will see 1,500mW of geothermal energy realized,
of energy. Commissioned in 2013, the Gmky
both from traditional lash processes and ORC cycles.
Geothermal Power Plant is Turkeys second geotherWe expect annualized growth of 200mW.
mal generation facility and is owned by BM GeoAmong those to invest in the development
thermal Power, a subsidiary of BM Holding,
of geothermal energy include Zorlu Energy.
and has total installed generation capacity of
Sinan Ak, general manager of Zorlu Energy,
13.2mW divided between two units.
explained: In 2012 Zorlu Energy embarked
Possessing by some estimates as much
on a new investment regime. In the last
as much as 4.5gW of theoretical potential,
two years this has resulted in two projgeothermal in Turkey, and interest in it, is on
ects: a wind project in Pakistan and a geothe rise.
thermal project in Turkey. Within the next
Joseph Bonain, sales manager for geothertwo to three years, we would like to expand
Sinan Ak, general manager,
mal application at Turboden, a pioneer in the
production of renewable energy every year by
Zorlu Energy
ield of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology
100-150mW, raising total production capacity to
which enables its user to exploit otherwise unusable
over 300mW for geothermal, 250mW for wind and
geothermal and steam resources, said: Recently we have
250mW for hydro, and total production for Zorlu Energy,
noticed a sharp increase in interest in the development of larger including both domestic and international sites, to 1600mW, with
scale geothermal projects using ORC technology in Turkey, marked over 800mW of renewable capacity in Turkey.
by the entrance of outside investors from even very well established Should others aside from Zorlu begin to eye these projects, Turkey
energy markets such as the United States. This, I believe, is attribut- could see geothermal energy production play a far greater role in
able to the maturation of the Turkish market for geothermal.
domestic energy production than previously expected.


Global Business Reports // POWER TURKEY

June 2015

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June 2015 POWER



10 Million Tons of CO2 Stored

Christopher A. Smith

ur countrys energy landscape is rapidly changing. For the

first time in decades were producing more barrels of oil
in the United States than we import from other countries,
thanks in part to shale oil production. Newly developed natural
gas resources have enabled the U.S. to begin transitioning from
a modest net importer of natural gas to a net exporter by 2017.
Increased use of natural gas in the power sector has helped
reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation by more than 200 million metric tons since 2000. And when
it comes to renewables, the reduced cost of photovoltaic solar
is driving new projectssolar provided 32% of new domestic
power generation capacity in 2014.
This is all good news for Americas energy security in a carbonconstrained future. But we still have work to do. We need to
push the envelope to develop renewable energy sources, and
the Department of Energy (DOE) is working hard at that task. At
the same time, to advance our goals of environmental sustainability, energy security, and economic competitiveness, we will
need all of our domestic energy sources. Thats why we need to
continue refining technologies to reduce the carbon intensity
of coal-fired power generationwhich provides nearly 40% of
our electricityby capturing and storing the CO2 these plants
would otherwise emit. So for the past decade, the DOE has been
partnering with industry, academia, and state governments to
demonstrate the readiness of carbon capture and sequestration
(CCS) technologies.

CCS Milestones
CCS is not a technology that may work in some distant future
its working now. And theres no better proof than this: In April,
DOE-funded projects surpassed 10 million metric tons of CO2
stored. Thats the equivalent of taking more than 2 million passenger vehicles off the nations roads for one year.
While were safely and permanently storing large quantities of
CO2 underground, were also working on beneficial CO2 utilization.
Enhanced oil recovery (EOR)storing CO2 in depleted oil fields
to produce incremental barrels of oilis one important pathway.
Were also exploring ways to convert CO2 into useful products. For
instance, Skyonics Skymine project began operations last year
to convert CO2 from a cement plant into commercial products like
baking soda and hydrochloric acid.
Projects like these are providing valuable information needed
to commercially deploy CCS, and not just for coal and industrial
facilities; were also looking to leverage existing research and
development (R&D) to apply CCS to natural gasbased systems.
Any transformational endeavor will face difficulties, and the
drive to commercialize CCS is no exception. In February, the DOE
withdrew federal support for the FutureGen 2.0 project in Illinois
because it was unable to meet statutory schedule constraints.
Still, were making important strides. The 10 million metric
tons of CO2 stored is just the start. In 2013, Air Products commenced operation of a DOE-sponsored CO2 capture project that

will result in 1.6 to 3.1 million barrels of additional oil recovered

through EOR. In 2014, NRG started construction on another DOEsponsored project, the worlds largest post-combustion capture
retrofit demonstration project, which will capture 1.6 million
metric tons of CO2 per year and produce an additional 60 million barrels of oil through EOR. And though it has faced cost
and schedule challenges, Southern Companys Kemper integrated
gasification combined cycle project is expected to begin operations in 2016.

Commitment to CCS
Going forward, the DOEs commitment to CCS is clear. Of the $560
million that the president requested for DOE fossil energy R&D
in FY 2016, $369 million is geared toward our CCS and Power
Systems R&D. Thats on top of the $6 billion weve invested in
CCS since 2009 and the $8 billion in the DOEs loan guarantee
program dedicated to fossil energy projects. Moreover, the presidents budget includes two new refundable tax credits totaling
$2 billion for new and existing power plants that employ CCS.
What were doing in the U.S. is critical, but the nature of our
energy and climate challenges requires a global response. The
good news is there are 22 large-scale CCS projects in operation
or under construction around the world. Still, the U.S. has more
major CCS demonstration projects than any other country, and
the DOE is taking a leadership role to achieve commercial deployment of these technologies globally.
To do that, were working with international partners to share
the expertise and lessons learned that will help us overcome
the technical, regulatory, and policy challenges to CCS commercialization. Most recently, we announced our intention to
collaborate with Shell Canada to validate advanced monitoring
technologies at Shells industrial CCS project in Saskatchewan,
which will capture 1 million tons of CO2 annually. Additionally,
we and China will lead an international consortium to establish
a major new project in China that will monitor the storage of
industrial CO2. Well also work with China to demonstrate a new
pathway for CO2 utilization through a project that will capture
and store CO2 while producing freshwater.
Were also engaged in multinational efforts on CCS, including
our leadership of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forums
Policy Group and the International Energy Agencys Working Party on Fossil Fuels. And through our work on the U.N. Economic
Commission for Europe, we helped develop a recommendation
for CCS parity that will be considered at the U.N. Climate Change
Conference in Paris this year.
Storing 10 million metric tons of CO2 is an important achievement, but we still have work to do. And the DOEs robust R&D and
international outreach is laying the groundwork to ensure that
CCS will help us meet our energy and climate challengesand
secure U.S. leadership in the global clean energy economy.
Christopher A. Smith is the assistant secretary for fossil
energy in the U.S. Department of Energy.

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