Upgrade completed on Fox Energy Center Unit 1 of WPS, with Unit 2 up next

Wisconsin Public Service Corp. told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in a July 29 update that an upgrade project on Unit 1 of the gas-fired Fox Energy Center has been completed, with an upgrade to Unit 2 to be finished next year.

The commission had approved a Certificate of Authority for this project in October 2014.

At Unit 1, construction was completed on May 26, 2016. Initial unit startup (post‐conversion unit operation) was achieved on May 27, 2016. The estimated percentage of completion of physical construction activities on Unit 1 is 100%. Unit 1 was placed in‐service on June 8, 2016, following the completion of the contractor’s post‐conversion unit performance and emissions demonstration testing.

At Unit 2, construction is projected to begin on or about April 3, 2017. The estimated percentage of completion of physical construction activities on Unit 2 is 0% The anticipated in‐service date for Unit 2 is June 1, 2017. General Electric International, the contractor, remains on schedule for the procurement of all materials intended for installation on Unit 2

The estimated cost of the proposed project is $68,076,000, excluding allowance for funds used during construction (AFUDC).  As of June 30, 2016, actual project costs of $31,801,234 had been incurred, including applicable accruals and excluding AFUDC.

The Fox Energy Center is a dual-fuel, combined-cycle facility consisting of two GE combustion turbine (CT) generators, arranged in a two-by-two-by-one configuration with two Nooter/Eriksen heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), one Toshiba condensing steam turbine generator, and associated plant equipment. 

The nameplate capacity of the Fox Energy Center is 593 MW, with a summer rating of approximately 550 MW. During summer conditions and when operating at its design point, the net capacity of the combined-cycle facility is approximately 500 MW, with an additional 50 MW of peaking capacity available from operation of duct-firing facilities. The facility is capable of being dispatched from a load level of approximately 150 MW up to its rated capacity.

This ongoing upgrade project consists of the conversion, modification, and upgrade of the “hot section” of each CT from its current configuration, referred to as GE model number 7FB.01, to an advanced technology having a design common to GE 7FA.04 and 7FA.OS models. GE 7FA series turbine models are much more common than those currently in use at the Fox Energy Center, and are better supported by GE.

The project should reduce: turbine firing temperature, pressure ratio, plant heat rate, and air emissions of several pollutants including NOX and carbon monoxide (CO), when the plant is operated above the minimum emissions compliance load. Electrical output will also increase under certain operating conditions. The enhanced design will also improve the durability of hot section components, which will reduce costs related to component repair and replacement.

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.