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Powering Texas for Tomorrow


The pandemic put a pause on a lot of things in the world, but it didn't slow our commitment to continue to power life for our customers. Part of that commitment is ensuring reliable and affordable power for our customers in the future. Despite the challenges, crews at the Montgomery County Power Station aren't letting anything get in their way as they work toward safely placing the plant into service. Recently, crews reached a major milestone by securing backfeed power to the plant. By establishing backfeed power, the facility now has a permanent power supply to begin commissioning all of the plant's systems. 

With the start of commissioning, the contractor is able to begin testing all the equipment and systems that will eventually run the plant as they complete construction.

An important part of the commissioning phase is the inclusion of the MCPS operations team in the process. The personnel who will eventually run the plant are working closely with the McDermott crews to ensure familiarity with the plant and are prepared to take over when the plant enters commercial operation. 

"Everyone has been thoroughly engaged in all of the system walk-downs and commissioning activities, which is helping solidify our understanding of the vendor trainings we have received," said Kerry Ann Colville-Wood, plant manager for MCPS. "We are also leveraging lessons learned and training opportunities with our two sister plants in Louisiana. These experiences are invaluable and will make us even better operators of the plant when it's turned over to us."

As the commissioning work continues, much of it is in preparation for MCPS' first fire – the first operation of the gas turbines. Following the first fire, the team will conduct a cleaning of the steam system by blowing steam generated by the heat recovery steam generator into the atmosphere. Completion of steam blows will initiate the process of the overall unit performance testing.

"It is always a huge undertaking to keep a project of this size on time and on budget – but most importantly safe. But adding in the COVID-19 pandemic presented countless other considerations and issues for us to work through to safely do our jobs," said Russ Cochran, director of capital projects. "It is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the capital projects team and our partners at McDermott that we've been able to accomplish so much given all the challenges we have faced this year."