GRDA sells power from new Mitsubishi Hitachi natural gas unit

A new 495 MW combined cycle power plant equipped with a Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) M501J gas turbine at the Grand River Energy Center in Oklahoma has achieved a milestone by sustaining reliable power generation just 45 days after first fire.

Achieving reliable power generation output means the Grand River Dam Authority is now able to sell electricity to the grid.

“This is our 23rd J-Series gas turbine installed globally, and our first in the Americas. This is an important milestone for our company, and we’re proud to announce that the MHPS gas turbine at the Grand River Energy Center has responded flawlessly during the startup process and has significantly exceeded its performance guarantee,” said Paul Browning, MHPS Americas President and CEO. “GRDA is now able to sell power to the grid ahead of schedule. Successful and smooth commissioning is critical for MHPS, because our team is preparing to commission eleven more J-Series turbines in North America during the next 12-24 months.”

The gas turbine was delivered on time to the site, successfully achieved 1st Fire on March 14 in its first attempt and only two days later synchronized to the grid to first produce electricity for GRDA and MISO Power Pool customers. Since then, the facility successfully conducted steam blows well ahead of schedule and quickly resumed operation on time.

On April 27, (less than 45 days after 1st Fire), while operating in combined cycle, the test team successfully demonstrated sustained operations above GRDA’s “Sellable Power” milestone. The commissioning team achieved this contract milestone 35 days of ahead of the June 1 contract deadline.

Since then, the plant has completed its fine screen removal outage and is currently finishing tuning as it approaches final performance demonstrations scheduled for June 2017. Thus far the GRDA “J” machine exceeded all performance expectations.

The MHPS turbine installed at the Grand River Energy Center is the first J-Series to be built at the Savannah Machinery Works in Savannah, Georgia. It is paired in combined cycle with a steam turbine that was built at the MHPS Nagasaki Works in Japan. The unit also features a generator from Mitsubishi Electric Co. As part of the project, GRDA signed a 25-year long term service agreement with MHPS.

GRDA broke ground on Grand River Energy Center Unit 3 in January 2015. The environmentally friendly natural gas facility will replace an older, coal-fired facility on the same site. The new power plant is on schedule to be fully operational this summer.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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