MEA Starts Up First Engine at Eklutna Generation Station Power Plant
Eklutna Generating Station operations team reviews checklist.
PALMER, Alaska -- MEA has started the first of ten engines at the new Eklutna Generation Station (EGS) power plant. This marks a major milestone in the plant’s commissioning process which started earlier this fall.
‘What a great day for our members,’ remarked MEA Board President, Elsie E. ‘Lois’ Lester. ‘We have been working towards this for many years and it is gratifying to see it come together. This is an important milestone for MEA and the entire Alaskan Railbelt.’
Engine 7 ran for a test period of approximately 5 minutes to do an initial system check.
Engine 7 moments before startup. (MEA photo)
All systems performed as anticipated. In addition to verifying engine functionality, the test also allowed MEA to ensure the control system was functional, temperatures and pressures were regulated and other basic functionality was working smoothly. Engines 8-10 will be started in the next week to undergo the same testing.
Previous to this milestone, MEA and their commissioning agent, Universal Energy Inc., worked diligently to prepare the plant for engine startup. Activity in the weeks leading up to the first engine start included flushing pipes, filling tanks and engines with essential fluids and fuels and completing important electrical work.
Eklutna Generating Station Start Agents monitor system performance. (MEA photo)
‘I am proud of our team,’ said Joe Griffith, MEA General Manager. ‘This is a critical step for our power plant and it represents countless hours of hard work and dedication from our MEA team and contractors. It is really something to celebrate.’
MEA is on target to have 4 of the 10 engines producing electricity by December 31st with the remaining engines up and running by the end of March. MEA has an interim power sales agreement in place with Chugach Electric to supply power through March 31, 2015.
Eklutna Generating Station First Engine Start on December 1, 2014. (MEA video)
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska's oldest and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its 48,000 members. MEA’s service area covers more than 4,200 miles of power lines in Southcentral Alaska, and the co-op leads projects statewide to provide customers with affordable, reliable energy. www.mea.coop