October 25, 2018 - NTE Energy celebrated the formal commencement of commercial operations at Kings Mountain Energy Center (KMEC) with a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 28. Sargent & Lundy served as the engineer of record on the project, contributing to making KMEC one of the cleanest and most efficient power plants in the nation.
Over 270 people attended the ribbon cutting of the $500 million facility. The 475-megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant provides clean energy to more than 400,000 homes through long-term agreements with nine municipalities in the Carolinas. The state-of-the-art facility brings significant power cost savings and economic development opportunities.
KMEC employs Mitsubishi’s advanced combustion turbine technology in a combined-cycle configuration. By capturing waste heat to produce steam, the plant is able to generate significantly more electricity from the same amount of fuel, resulting in greater efficiency and a dramatic drop in emissions.
Sargent & Lundy provided the full balance-of-plant engineering and design, serving as the subcontractor to Gemma Power Systems (GPS), the contractor responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, startup, and commissioning of KMEC.
Sargent & Lundy provided a single design approach to KMEC, located in North Carolina, in addition to NTE Energy’s Middletown Energy Center (MEC) in Ohio. Both projects supply power to new adjacent switchyards designed and built by Duke Energy, 230-kV from KMEC and 345-kV from MEC.
In order to replicate the design of both sites to the maximum extent possible, a collective mindset and close collaboration between owner, contractor, engineer, and vendors was critical. For most of the equipment, GPS issued a single purchase order for supply to both plants, and consistently worked toward early procurement which allowed for a system design to be performed once with replication for the second site. Additionally, Sargent & Lundy’s innovative 3-D modeling approach played an important role in common design document development for the two sites.
The optimized approach resulted in engineering efficiency gains that translated to shorter engineering schedule durations, design quantity reduction, and risk mitigation. The second plant in the sequence, KMEC, reaped significant benefits with engineering and construction, both finishing in a much shorter duration. KMEC achieved commercial operation in August 2018 per the original target date even though the start of the project was delayed approximately six months. In the case of KMEC and MEC, the decision to use a singular model and plant design for both sites resulted in a virtual two-for-one engineering design cycle.
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