Power Plant Cycling Cost and Flexible Generation

Intertek offers a range of services to help you understand your true cycling startup, shutdown and load follow costs to manage reliability and provide guidelines to minimize equipment damage and operate more efficiently.

Changing market conditions and system deregulation, increasing renewable energy, distributed generation, and evolving demand have all led to increased cycling of power plants. Intertek offers a range of services to help you understand your cycling startup, shutdown and load follow costs, efficiency impacts, optimal spend to manage reliability and provide guidelines to minimize equipment damage and operate more efficiently.
 
Increased cycling not only contributes to more forced outages, lower fuel efficiency and potential shortened unit life as equipment operates beyond their design and life capabilities, but it also increases overall operation, maintenance costs and capital replacement spend.
 
Intertek Engineering Consulting (previously APTECH Engineering) has been studying power plant cycling since 1979 and has been an industry leader in determining the cost of cycling of power plants. Our clients have benefited in understanding and determining these costs as well as using them in their system planning. We have assisted our clients in every step of this process – determining actual costs, modifying them as valid inputs in industry standard models, interpreted the results of these studies and provided expert testimony to defend our methodology. Our experience goes beyond determining these costs and is leveraged by regulators, utilities and national laboratories. Some of our experience includes:

  • Intertek AIM completed one of the largest renewable integration studies conducted to determine incremental cost of cycling on the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study (WWSIS-2), with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The study was initiated to determine the wear-and-tear costs and emissions impacts of cycling and to simulate grid operations to investigate the detailed impacts of wind and solar power on the fossil-fuelled fleet on the Western Interconnection.
  • Evaluated incremental wear and tear cost for the fossil fleet in the PJM interconnection as part of the Renewable Integration Study 2013-14 with GE Consulting.
  • Our team has studied over 500 power plants, including gas, oil, and coal-fired steam units, combustion turbines/combined cycle; nuclear; hydro; compressed air energy storage, and pumped storage in addition to fleet wide studies in North and South America, Australia, and Europe.
  • We also provided testimony in several successful legal cases involving, power plant cycling costs, impacts on reliability, IPP curtailments and “negative avoided costs.”
  • Provided power plant asset management strategies and guidance in reducing cycling-related capital and maintenance expenditures to several utilities.

Fossil Plant Cycling Project Experience

Intertek is a world leader in the field of identifying and estimating the costs of fossil plant cycling.  We are one of the first to identify cycling as a major cost issue.

  •  Our staff is highly experienced and well versed with:
    •  Power plant component damage mechanisms and failure
    • Component/unit reliability modelling
    • Component aging and impact of fatigue cycling on aging components
    • Capital and O&M accounting and how to associate costs to cycling damage and unit reliability
    • Relevant industry databases
    • Statistical modelling, unit commitment and production cost analysis
  • We have extensive experience working on utility projects, as discussed earlier.
  • We know how to take sparse data and utilize it effectively.
  • We advise on design improvements, equipment upgrades/replacement and operating process improvements to ensure your plant operates more efficiently and reliably.
  • Asset Life Optimization and assessment of future capital and maintenance costs, stranded costs and dispatch
  • Several technical papers published and cited in renowned journals and publications

Scope of Cycling Related Projects

In these projects, Intertek found that our clients could save a considerable amount of money over the years by adjusting their operation in response to better cycling cost estimates

  • Review and critique of cycling cost methods used by the utility.
  • Development of improved cost estimates, including software and training to help utility engineers update these estimates.
  • Testimony preparation for state commission consideration of cycling costs and their impacts on non-utility generators, merchant plants, and their effects on utility power plants.
  • Recommendations on use of improved cycling cost information in system operations and planning.
  • Recommendations for operation improvements.
  • Recommendations for capital projects to reduce cyclic damage.
  • Optimization of plant capital and O&M spending with respect to plant cycling, life and reliability
 
Need help or have a question? +1 408 745 7000
 

Need help or have a question?

+1 408 745 7000
Australia
+61 1300 046 837
UAE
+971 2 613 1000