LADWP Begins Rebuilding Scattergood Power Plant to Eliminate
|August 29, 2013 (LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), joined by elected officials, regulatory and environmental leaders, broke ground today on a $950 million repowering project at the Scattergood Generating Station in Playa Del Rey that will reduce–and is a major first step toward eliminating–ocean water cooling, reduce emissions, and improve power reliability and integration with renewable energy.
“The Scattergood Unit 3 Repowering Project promises a clean energy future for Los Angeles through improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and the protection of local marine habitats thanks to modern, new technology that does not require the use of ocean water cooling,” said LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols. “This project also provides significant economic benefits. Over the course of the construction schedule, Scattergood will support over 9,500 annual jobs, generate more than $2 billion in economic output, and over $189.3 million in tax revenue,” Mr. Nichols said.
The modernization of local power plants is a key element of LADWP’s major power supply transformation. Over the next 5 to 15 years, LADWP will replace over 70% of existing power generation with major investments to modernize its infrastructure, meet renewable energy and energy efficiency goals and eliminate the use of coal power.
Demonstrating the collaborative efforts that made the project possible, LADWP officials were joined today by representatives of the State Air Resources Board, State Water Resources Control Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Energy Commission, the city of El Segundo, and Heal the Bay.
“This project serves as a clear example of the kind of innovation driven by AB 32 and our approach to tackling climate change and air pollution. It places the best technology front and center,” said Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.
The Scattergood Generating Station Repowering Project will replace the existing Unit 3 with a highly efficient combined cycle (natural gas and steam) turbine and two simple-cycle turbines. Both the combined-cycle and the simple-cycle turbines have fast start and ramp-up capabilities for short-term increases in electrical demand and for more flexible integration of renewable energy.
The new generating units will be 33% more fuel efficient than the existing Unit 3 and feature advanced pollution control systems, thereby reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouses gases. The project will also greatly reduce harmful impacts on marine habitat by replacing the current ocean cooling system at Unit 3 with an air-cooled condenser for the combined-cycle unit and an air-cooled heat exchanger for the smaller simple-cycle units.
Frances Spivy-Weber, Vice Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, said her agency worked collaboratively with LADWP to achieve agreement on eliminating ocean cooling at LADWP’s coastal power plants. Ultimately, LADWP will eliminate ocean cooling and repower 9 units at its three coastal power plants – Scattergood, Haynes Generating Station in Long Beach, and Harbor Generating Station in Terminal Island. The first repowering project was completed this summer at Haynes Generating Station, where six new fast-start simple-cycle turbines are already contributing to L.A.’s power supply with no ocean cooling and lower air emissions. At the same time, they allow highly flexible operations to integrate wind and solar energy generation reliably to support power customer needs.
“The Scattergood Repowering Project demonstrates LADWP’s leadership in creating partnerships that can turn regulations and strategic planning into opportunities for water, power and wildlife resources,” Spivy-Weber said.
Along with repowering Scattergood Unit 3, LADWP will lower the current capacity of Scattergood Unit 1 to maintain the same total power output and meet air quality standards, said Aram Benyamin, Senior Assistant General Manager-Power System.
“Today, we continue the massive transformation of our power supply by replacing 1970s era power generation with efficient state-of-the art, advanced technology turbines that serve the dual function of increasing the plant’s reliability and supporting current and future generation of renewable energy,” Benyamin said.
These new units can ramp up to full power in just 10 minutes to help adjust to the variations in renewable energy with speed and flexibility. “Older units can take all day to reach full power causing us to lose that window of opportunity in which to capture electricity produced by winds,” Benyamin said. “Generation of power in this modern era requires an intricate balancing act to maintain a steady flow of power to our customers.”
Scattergood Generating Station is a 55-acre facility adjacent to the Pacific Ocean in Playa Del Rey primarily serving the Westside of Los Angeles. The existing three units at the plant are conventional steam turbine generators that burn natural gas in boiler units to produce steam and have a total gross capacity of 830 MW. Units 1 and 2 were built in the 1950s and Unit 3 began operation in 1974. It has the largest output of 460 megawatts.
The Scattergood project has been made possible by forging a public-private partnership among local jurisdictions, regulatory agencies, environmental leaders, neighbors and LADWP contractors. Construction began April 2013 and project completion is expected by December of 2015.
The environmental group Heal the Bay is one such partner. “Today’s groundbreaking is a big step in the continued improvement of our valuable coastal resources in the Santa Monica Bay,” said Sarah Sikich, Science and Policy Director of Coastal Resources for Heal the Bay.
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