GE Awarded Contract to Boost Power Output of Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant
GE Energy’s (NYSE: GE) nuclear business has been awarded the contract to oversee and implement an extended power uprate (EPU) of the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant in Minnesota, boosting the plant’s output to 120% of its original licensed thermal power. The contract is valued at more than $100 million.
The EPU contract was awarded by the plant’s operator, Nuclear Management Company, LLC of Hudson, Wisconsin, and represents GE’s largest extended power uprate order to date. The plant’s owner is Northern States Power Company, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc.
Monticello, a one-unit, boiling water reactor (BWR), is rated at 613 megawatts (MW) and began commercial operation in June 1971. The plant is located 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota and generates enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 500,000 customers.
Upon completion of the EPU, the reactor’s output will be 684 MW. The multiphase uprate was launched in September 2006 and is scheduled to be finished in the spring of 2011.
EPUs typically require modifications and a modernization of major pieces of plant equipment including the high-pressure turbine, reactor feedwater and condensate pumps and motors, main generator and/or transformers.
Prior to the uprate, GE performed a comprehensive review of plant systems to determine which equipment needed to be replaced or upgraded for the plant to operate reliably and safely at the higher output levels.
“Monticello has already been operating at record-setting performance levels, both in terms of capacity factor and continuous days of service, and GE is excited to support Xcel Energy and Nuclear Management Company’s efforts to have the plant play an even greater role in addressing Minnesota’s energy needs in the decades to come,” said Andy White, president and CEO of GE Energy’s nuclear business.
The Monticello project is GE’s first major EPU contract that includes both managing and providing the plant engineering design and supply of the large balance of plant (BOP) equipment, representing a new growth area for GE Energy, White noted. Key selection criteria were GE’s BWR project experience, including plant upgrades, coupled with the breadth of GE Energy’s global sourcing and service capabilities.
The project will involve multiple GE products and services including the nuclear plant licensing, core fuel performance, steam turbine, generator, instrumentation and controls, transformers, and water chemistry.
A number of GE facilities will provide equipment and services, including:
High pressure turbine advance steam design path (ADSP), rotor technology and low pressure turbine diaphragms (Schenectady, N.Y. and Bangor, Maine).
Generator stator bars (parts — Schenectady, N.Y.; on-site shop work — Chicago, Ill. service center).
Generator field rewind (parts — Schenectady, N.Y.; off-site shop work — Chicago, Ill. or Minneapolis, Minn. service centers.)
Alterrex™ excitation system refurbishment (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)
Main transformer (Bradenton, Fla.)
Turbine controls (Loveland, Colo.)
Power Range Neutron Monitoring (PRNM) — (Wilmington, N.C. / San Jose, Calif.).
GE is in the process of selecting companies to provide major BOP equipment and is in negotiations with a major architect-engineering company to support this significant project.
This EPU contract award follows the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent approval of a 20-year operating license extension for the Monticello plant, which will serve customers at its higher output level through 2030.
GE Energy’s nuclear business develops advanced light water reactors and provides a wide array of technology-based products and services to help owners of both boiling and pressurized water reactors safely operate their facilities with greater efficiency and output.
About GE Energy
GE Energy (www.ge.com/energy) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2005 revenue of $16.5 billion.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.
Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE’s corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.