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LADWP breaks ground on modernization project

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The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, joined by representatives of the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach, broke ground Sept. 29 on a project to repower the Haynes Generating Station in Long Beach, marking the start of a long-term effort to completely eliminate ocean water for cooling LADWP's coastal power plants.

The project also is "an important milestone in LADWP’s continued efforts to improve air quality at its in-basin power plants through a series of repowering projects since the early 2000s," the city-owned utility said.

The Haynes Generating Station Repowering Project will replace two aging power generating units that now use ocean water cooling with six 100-megawatt fast start natural gas combustion turbines that will provide peaking capacity for the city of Los Angeles. The new turbines will use dry cooling, eliminating the use of ocean water for these units, LADWP said. 

"I am very pleased the Department of Water and Power has taken this significant step toward complete elimination of ocean water cooling at its coastal power plants," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "This project serves a number of environmental benefits: improving habitat for ocean life, supporting the increase of wind and solar power, and cleaning the air by reducing emissions."

The Haynes Repowering Project is the first of a series of repowering projects designed to eliminate the use of ocean water cooling—a process known as "once-through cooling" at three coastal power plants.

"At the LADWP, we are absolutely committed to eliminating the use of ocean water to cool our coastal power plants," said LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols. "The challenge lies in how we stage and rebuild a critical part of our power supply, while at the same time ensuring we have enough power to reliably meet our customers’ needs."

By replacing the two aging generating units—Haynes Units 5 and 6—with six advanced technology gas turbines, the project will increase the plant’s reliability and will dovetail with the utility's plan to use more renewable energy.

"The new units are akin to jet engines that can ramp up to full power in just 10 minutes, as compared to the existing units, which require about a day and a half to reach full capacity," Nichols said. "When the wind is blowing strong and delivering power to L.A., we need speed and flexibility to adjust to  that power source," he said. "These new generating plants are part of an intricate balancing act to maintain a steady flow of power to our customers."

The Haynes Generating Station is a natural gas and steam power plant located in the city of Long Beach and built in the mid-1960s. The station currently has seven power generating units with a combined capacity of 1,600 megawatts. In 2005, LADWP repowered Units 3 and 4 utilizing advanced combined-cycle technology. This significantly increased fuel efficiency of the plant, the utility said.

Estimated at $782 million, the Haynes Repowering Project is included in the capital budget for LADWP’s power system. The generating units are expected to be in service by the end of 2013.


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