With our first snowfall behind us, winter has arrived. At OPPD, crews at the generating stations began preparing earlier this year to ensure that plants are ready to run through the coldest months.
Each year, OPPD’s plant personnel take special measures to make sure the baseload plants and peaking stations are ready for whatever winter throws at us. Think of it like car maintenance, but on a much grander scale.
“We need to ensure our systems are in their proper configurations and our fuel supplies are at adequate levels,” said Ryan Gerdts, manager of Station Operations at Nebraska City Station (NCS). “This requires support from many of the groups at all the generating facilities and from the Fuels department.”
Like all utilities, OPPD’s generating stations and peaking plants are on a maintenance schedule. Crews can do smaller jobs and routine maintenance while the plants are online and producing power. For bigger projects, the plants use maintenance outages, where they are taken offline for updates. These typically occur when demand for electricity isn’t as high.
Among some of the improvements and maintenance made since last winter:
Last year’s polar vortex illustrated just how important it was for the plants to be able to respond to all conditions.
“It is hugely important to maintain a reliable electrical supply for our customer-owners, that is paramount,” said Mike Ferm Director of Operations at OPPD. “We have to do our part not just for our customers, but for the Southwest Power Pool as well.”
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