August 20, 2019 - POWER magazine honored Xcel Energy’s Black Dog Generating Station Unit 6 fuel conversion project with its 2019 Reinvention Award. The annual award is given to projects that have successfully implemented unique power plant engineering designs or upgrades among other criteria.
As announced in POWER’s July 1 article, the project was recognized for the novel engineering strategies applied in overcoming the many challenges of converting an aging coal unit to a modern, energy-efficient, and clean natural-gas simple-cycle facility—all accomplished without interrupting the operations of a separate unit at the site.
Among the notable challenges Xcel Energy and Sargent & Lundy personnel encountered was how to integrate major new equipment to an existing site originally designed for an entirely different generating technology—and with limited space—while minimizing the extensive structural modifications normally required on a project of this complexity. Repurposing existing equipment and executing a strong construction plan were also primary goals achieved.
The unusual design strategy implemented is a viable blueprint for other plant owners as they move forward with repurposing their own facilities for cleaner-burning fuels and regulatory compliance.
The overall success of the Black Dog conversion project hinged on the bold choices made and the close collaboration between plant owner Xcel Energy and the Sargent & Lundy project team.