Gainesville plans new gas-fired engine to support hospital expansion

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) in Florida is planning for the addition of a 7.4 MW (net) Reciprocating Engine for distributive generation at the South Energy Center.

This gas-fired engine unit has a projected construction start date of July 1 of this year, with commercial operation as of Jan. 1, 2018. The South Energy Center site is owned by UF Health. GRU has a long-term lease on the South Energy Center property and a long-term contract to supply power, steam, chilled water, and other utilities to UF Health from the South Energy Center. The South Energy Center is surrounded by medical facilities associated with the UF Health south campus.

The natural gas-fired unit to be added to the South Energy Center (SEC) will feature Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) for NOx control. The combined heat and power system at the South Energy Center will be more than twice as efficient as traditional power and steam production equipment.

The SEC currently houses a 3.5 MW natural gas-fired turbine capable of supplying 100% of the hospital’s electric and thermal needs. The South Energy Center provides electricity, chilled water, steam, and the storage and delivery of medical gases to the hospital. The facility is designed to provide electric power into the GRU distribution system when its capacity is not totally utilized by the hospital. UF Health has begun construction of a new cardiovascular/neuro-surgical hospital. The SEC will be expanded (SEC Phase II) to serve this new facility.

In addition, GRU has been issued a construction permit for the installation of a nominal 50 MW of peaking power in 2018 at the Deerhaven plant site, if required. The need, timing and technology of this peaking power addition are under evaluation, said the utility in its 2016 Ten-Year Site Plan, filed April 1 at the Florida Public Service Commission

GRU is a municipal electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunications utility system, owned and operated by the City of Gainesville, Florida. The GRU retail electric system service area includes the City of Gainesville and the surrounding urban area. The highest net integrated peak demand recorded to date on GRU’s electrical system was 481 MW on August 8, 2007.

The GRU system has two primary generating plant sites – Deerhaven and John R. Kelly (JRK). Each site is comprised of both steam turbine and combustion turbine generating units. The JRK station is the site of the steam turbine and combustion turbine that normally operate in combined cycle.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.