Emerson to automate coal-fired, supercritical plant in Wisconsin

Aug. 16, 2006
Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture with Ovation expert control system will be utilized in two new units being built to boost generation capacity in the state of Wisconsin.
PITTSBURGH, PA -- August 16, 2006 -- Emerson Process Management has won a contract to install its PlantWeb digital plant architecture with the Ovation expert control system at We Energies Oak Creek Expansion Project. We Energies is a Milwaukee-based utility subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corporation, which serves more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as well as more than one million natural gas customers in Wisconsin.

This new coal-fueled plant, which is known as the Elm Road Generating Station, is an expansion of the company’s existing Oak Creek Power Plant and will reportedly increase the generation capacity within Wisconsin, a state that has historically been a net importer of electricity. The facility is classified as a “supercritical” plant, meaning it will use new clean coal technology enabling operation at elevated steam temperature and pressure for increased efficiency and reduced fuel-related emissions.

Construction of the two unit, 1,230-MW Elm Road Generating Station began in 2005. The first unit is expected to begin commercial operation in 2009, with Unit 2 scheduled to come on line one year later.

Bechtel Corporation, the project’s EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor, selected Emerson’s PlantWeb architecture with the Ovation expert control system to provide control for the units’ Hitachi once-through, supercritical boilers, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) processes, as well as other equipment and processes. The Ovation system will also provide monitoring and control for each boiler’s burner management system (BMS) and will interface to the turbine and balance of plant (BOP) controls. Integration of the BMS, turbine and BOP controls will take place as part of the Ovation system factory acceptance test prior to installation.

David Porter, project procurement manager, Bechtel, explained, “In Emerson we found a proven control solution that will enable the plant to provide clean, efficient energy while maintaining compliance with current and future environmental regulations.”

The station will feature redundant Ovation networks for each unit, as well as another Ovation network for common processes/equipment, such as cooling water and switchgear. This integrated configuration offers a number of benefits, including the capability to collect and interpret data on a plant-wide basis, provide operators from one unit with a “window” into the other unit’s operations, and shut down one unit for maintenance without impacting the operation of the other.

Emerson will also provide its AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager. For new plant construction, AMS Device Manager streamlines device configuration and commissioning, thereby contributing to more efficient plant startup. AMS Device Manager also provides online access to instrument and valve process information, diagnostic status information, and automatic documentation of all field device maintenance information – all contributing to ongoing efficiency of plant operations and maintenance activities.

Emerson’s digital automation solution for the Elm Road Generating Station also includes the use of Foundation fieldbus technologies to communicate to Emerson’s Rosemount 848T temperature transmitters, which will measure boiler metal temperature.

“Our advanced control technology will help manage critical power generation processes that are central to Elm Road’s role as a clean, efficient and affordable source of energy for the area,” said Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions division at Emerson. “We’re gratified by Bechtel’s confidence in our control solution and pleased to be involved in a project that will be integral to meeting the region’s electricity needs for years to come.”