GE has recognized NRG Energy’s Seward Power Station in New Florence, Pa., with its ecomagination Leadership Award for the plant’s significant improvement in water treatment reduction in costs with help from GE and its advanced water chemical technology.
The 525-MW coal-fired power plant turned to GE for help in optimizing the performance of its influent clarifier, which removes suspended solids from the water used for power generation and in the cooling tower. GE participated in a six-year effort, including chemical and operational changes and mechanical upgrades, to help Seward meet its goals.
Among other benefits, the Seward Power Station experienced a 25% reduction in its total water treatment costs per million gallons and a 100-million-gal annual reduction in blow down water from the cooling tower. Also, the reduction of manganese was greater than 90% consistently. Since 2008, the Seward Power Station achieved more than $500,000 in cumulative savings.
“GE and the team at Seward Power Station worked hand in hand over many years to implement this aggressive and ambitious plan to improve and optimize operation of the clarifier and the cooling tower. In the end, we improved water quality, saved money and had a more positive impact on the environment,” said Greg Mitchell, plant manager, Seward Power Station.
Plant management recognized an opportunity for improvement and turned to GE for help in meeting its goals. As a result, operating and treatment costs on the cooling towers were evaluated, and it was determined that improvements could be made to the plant’s tower treatment and clarifier performance to maintain condenser performance.
Based on technical expertise and practical experience gained from the field, GE and the team at Seward Power Station identified several mechanical issues that could be modified. During planned outages over the next several years, the plant made many revisions to the clarifier. In addition, GE conducted an operational excellence survey during this time to optimize the clarifier and cooling tower operation. The end result of the modifications was improved water quality, a significant reduction in water treatment costs to the station and a positive impact on the environment.
GE presented Seward an ecomagination Leadership Award to recognize the company for its noteworthy reductions in water usage and discharge. GE’s ecomagination Leadership Award recognizes the achievements of industrial users that significantly surpass and improve environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands.
“The six-year plan to optimize clarifier and cooling tower operations required commitment over the long haul from Seward Power Station. They saw the value in careful planning and implementation and the outcome was a win in savings for Seward,” said Kevin Cassidy, chemical and monitoring solutions (CMS) general manager—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.
Seward Power Station is owned and operated by NRG Energy. econrg is NRG’s initiative to move clean energy forward, making NRG's existing fleet cleaner and future generations smarter, greener and more affordable. Through econrg, NRG builds upon its strong foundation in environmental compliance. NRG has significantly reduced emissions from its existing power generating facilities and will continue, through the installation of advanced control technologies, deployment of new operating practices and repowering older units—to further reduce emissions from those facilities. NRG’s efforts are focused not only on air, but also on water and waste.