Steam Power team called on to deliver short-term repairs for generator failure followed by long-term solution to help ensure reliable operation

The challenge

While undergoing planned maintenance on one steam turbine generator, a coal plant in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. experienced a generator failure on its other turbine island unit. The forced outage necessitated an emergency response to return the unit to operation as soon as possible, given the ongoing power demands of both the local grid and neighboring states. At the same time, the site required a longer-term service strategy that would deliver a new lease on life for the generator to operate reliably for years to come, and do so cost-effectively.    

The solution

With Steam Power’s service team already on site executing the plant’s planned maintenance outage, they were tapped to quickly address the generator failure. After identifying and removing several damaged stator bars, the team devised a distinctive repair strategy to derate the unit by ~10%, allowing it to operate safely and reliably at lower capacity until a long-term solution could be implemented. Exactly one year later, a stator rewind was performed, resetting the clock on the generator’s operating life for decades.


Close collaboration

Both phases of the service strategy delivered on the coal operator’s requirements over its short- and long-term life cycle needs. 


This project is a prime example of our focus on delivering service solutions that consider our coal customers’ immediate needs, along with their longer-term strategies as they navigate the energy transition.

Steam Power project manager

Following the initial forced outage, short-cycling the unit back to service saved as much as a year of downtime, the period it would have taken to manufacture new stator bar components.

‘With uncommon circumstances of this nature, being able to collaborate closely with our customers is key to success,’ said Steam Power’s project manager for the plant. ‘In this case, I was based out of offices at our customer site, which made a considerable difference with the speed we were able to make decisions and execute the work.’

Rewinding the generator stator has extended the unit’s life for ~30 more years of operation in both its current configuration, and if/when a conversion to lower carbon fuel sources such as gas may be executed. Additionally, the operator estimates a full return on the stator rewind investment in as little as one year, with significant power demand by the site expected to continue for the foreseeable future. 

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