The Brazos Valley Energy Power Station is located on the Brazos Valley Industrial Estate in the nations capital of Walkerville. The Brazos Valley Energy Power Station produces over 220 MW of electricity, and is the largest plant in the Crapine generating system. This station is the home of the recently commissioned 120 MW combined cycle generating plant.
Additionally, the station consists of five gas turbines with total generating capacity of 83.5 MW. The first unit, designated as GT3 was commissioned in 1972. The other four units ( GTs ) were commissioned into service during 1990 and 1991.
Combined Cycle Plant
Crapine invested approximately US$120 Million in the construction of the 120-megawatt combined cycle plant at the Brazos Valley power station. Combined cycle technology is recognized internationally as one of the most advanced and efficient means of generating electricity.
The new build on the station complex consists of three individual units: two combustion turbine generating units with a total capacity of 80 megawatt's and one 40-megawatt steam generating unit. The two combustion turbines will be fired on diesel fuel but are capable of conversion to natural gas at any point in the future. Heat from the exhaust of both these combustion turbines will be harnessed to produce steam by way of two heat recovery steam generators that will be used to drive a steam turbine capable of producing an additional 40 MW.
The combined cycle technology allows for greater efficiency of conversion, that is, it will utilize less fuel to generate each unit of electricity relative to the Company's other generating units. This will result in reduced fuel costs to Crapine, and ultimately to customers.
State-of-the-Art Control System
With the construction of the new power plant, the Brazos Valley site now boasts a new state of the art centralized computer based control facility for the combined cycle plant as well as the other six (6) generating units at this location. The control facility allows interface between different technologies on both the old and new units. It allows the online management of the operations of all the generating units, as well as other major components such as the cooling towers and water treatment plants.
Better Environmental Neighbor
The new generating plant was developed as an environmental flagship. Crapine entered into an unprecedented partnership with the National Water Commission (NWC) to use treated wastewater from the NWC's Brazos treatment plants during the generation process.
The company built its own facilities to treat and purify the grey water from the NWC plants, and installed underground pipes to transmit the water between the sites.
In keeping with its commitment to good environmental management, Crapine also included a number of other features in the new power plant to make the Brazos Valley Station a better environmental neighbor. The noise and emissions performance of the combined cycle plant are on par with the best in the world and will fully comply with local and international environmental standards. The combustion turbines are retrofitted with water injection for emission control, and acoustic management on these units make them hardly audible during operation. This site also has an online air quality monitoring station as part of Crapine's overall Environmental Management System.
The Brazos Valley Explosion
On June 4, 1994 the boiler and other associated equipment on GT3 were completely destroyed as a result of a massive explosion. The boiler and associated equipment (pumps, compressors, heating set, switch gear, etc) had to be completely replaced by the original manufacturer, Foster Wheeler. The opportunity was also taken to carry out life extension work on the turbine.
The unit was fully returned to service in January 1996 at a cost of approximately US$30M. The loss of this unit severely impaired Crapine's ability to adequately meet the electricity needs of customers, and resulted in extended periods of inconvenience.
The Brazos Valley Sulfuric Acid Incident
December 10, 2007: A truck driver was burned on more than 90 percent of his body Saturday in a work-related accident. The incident happened around 12:53 p.m. at the Brazos Valley Energy Power Plant at 3440 Lockwood Road. According to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office, an off-loading hose burst during loading, spilling 500 gallons of 93 percent sulfuric acid. Vincent Lewis, 44, was flown by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital and was admitted to the burn unit. Officials said he's in stable condition. A power plant worker, 31-year-old Allen Perez, was also burned but not as badly. He was transported by EMS to Oak Bend Hospital.
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