Maintaining reliability when regional energy demand increases
EnergyLines February 2018
Hoosier Energy works hard to ensure electricity is produced and transmitted to member cooperatives
safely and reliably – especially during times of extreme weather. Providing a competitive marketplace to buy and sell power is the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).
Daily, Hoosier Energy offers generation supply available and also purchases our demand requirements.
These markets give Hoosier Energy the opportunity to purchase energy when demand exceeds generation availability and provides the G&T an avenue for selling excess supply.
Cold weather, increased energy demand
In January, Hoosier Energy peaking plants were used to meet regional MISO reliability requirements.
The Lawrence and Worthington Generating Stations are designated peaking stations. These stations have combustion turbines that start quickly to meet energy demand. Natural gas is piped into each unit where the combustion turbines generate electricity. The energy can then be added to the grid and managed by the MISO network.
Early January brought several days of sub-zero temperatures. Demand for electricity was high. MISO anticipated that the demand for the region would be at a higher level than normal. Hoosier Energy’s peaking stations were called up by MISO to respond to the conditions.
Lawrence and Worthington Generating Stations started. The cold spell did not break so the stations ran through the night for the first time since they were built.
“The crews at these stations knew that they were going to be on-shift for long periods of time and they were ready to keep them running,” said Greg Vonfeldt, Manager Gas Production Plant. “Both plants performed exceptionally well.”
Operational reliability was at 100 percent during this peak time. This means that despite the sub-zero conditions, the units started each of the 46 times requested. The Lawrence Generating Station had one unit run continuously for 79 hours, breaking all records.
Net generation year-to-date at the Lawrence Generating Station is about 23,000 megawatt hours (MWh). This plant generated most of that in one week. In comparison, net generation produced at the Lawrence Generating Station in all of 2017 was about 40,000 MWh.
New pipeline increases reliability
In order to ensure natural gas is readily available when it is needed the fuels team researched ways to increase the reliability and supply of natural gas to the Worthington Generating Station. Because of this research, Hoosier Energy was able to form an agreement with Citizens Gas to add another pipeline for delivery. Conveniently, the Citizens Gas plant is in close proximity to Worthington Generating Station, providing a reliable delivery system.