One of the driving forces behind the shift is the increase in shale gas production. “Shale Gas” is natural gas found mainly in methane formations in shale formations, some of which were formed during the Devonian and Ordovician periods of Earth’s history. More than 300 million years ago, shale was deposited as fine dust and clay particles at the bottom of a relatively closed body of water. At about the same time, the original plants formed forests on land and the first amphibians began to appear. Some of the methane formed by the organic matter buried in the sediment escapes into the sandstone layer adjacent to the shale, forming a conventional accumulation of natural gas, which is relatively easy to extract. But some of them are still locked in dense, low-permeability shale layers that become shale gas.
In the United States, the two most shale formations are the Marcellus and Utica fields. Both are located in the Appalachian Basin, extending from New York State in the north to the northeastern part of Kentucky and Tennessee in the south. Marcellus covers an area of approximately 95,000 square miles and is expected to have an area of approximately 72,000 square miles, while Utica’s footprint is even larger. However, the Utica shale may be 7,000 feet lower than the Marcellus shale, so the degree of development is far from that.
With all the relatively cheap fuels, it’s no surprise that new gas-fired power plants have emerged in the Marcellus and Utica regions. The Lordstown Energy Center (LEC) in Lodztown, Ohio, is an impressive power station that began commercial operations in October 2018. It receives fuel through the Dominion natural gas system in East Ohio, which makes it cheaper to generate electricity than many other generators. The LEC has two combined cycle units and is a 940 MW power plant. It provides safe, clean, efficient and reliable power to approximately 850,000 homes and businesses serving PJM interconnected area transport network services.
The plant’s operating company is known as “Clean Energy Future – Lordstown LLC” and is owned by a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III and its co-investors, as well as Siemens Financial Services and Clean Energy Future LLC. Shares. The facility is operated by Worley, a global provider of professional projects and asset services, with 22 field employees.
Siemens offers all LEC facilities, including two SGT6-8000H gas turbines, one SST6-5000 steam turbine, two air-cooled SGen6-1200A generators, one hydrogen-cooled SGen6-2000H generator, and two waste heat recovery steam generators. And a SPPA-T3000 control system.
Siemens H-class gas turbines have been on the market for nearly a decade. The SGT-8000H is the market leader in its class and delivers impressive performance with a combined cycle efficiency of over 61%. By continuously updating and downloading technology from HL-class gas turbines, Siemens plans to continue to enhance its H-class fleet. Due to the largest single order in Siemens history, the fleet size of the SGT-8000H has increased significantly.
As far as LEC technology is concerned, there is no first-class technology on the project, but there are still some cutting-edge technologies such as Clean-Ramp, Steam Assist, DASH system and Co-Start feature.
- Clean-Ramp is an innovative, environmentally friendly solution that maintains NOx and ammonia emissions compliance during load tracking.
- Steam Assist allows the Flex-Plant to start up quickly after nighttime shutdown while reducing or eliminating the use of gas-assisted boilers.
- The DASH system allows a ducted power plant (like an unpowered plant) to respond quickly to changing load demands (constant/fluctuation/peak).
- The Co-Start feature provides fast and efficient plant start-ups while reducing the cost of fuel and increasing revenues by enabling the plant to provide more power in less time.
The biggest challenge facing the construction team is space constraints. The safety indicators of the project are commendable. Through basic completion, the accidental accident rate was 0.11, and the total incidence of recordable accidents was 0.64.
The community is very supportive of the project. The Office of the Mayor of Lordstown, the police station and the fire department are particularly useful. Because LEC brings many benefits to the local community. The facility is expected to provide more than $1 million in annual funding for Lordstown Schools over the next 15 years. In addition, employees are actively involved in local joint roads and regional school district activities. As the main asset of a village of approximately 3,240 inhabitants and a reliable and efficient power producer in the region, LEC should be recognized as a POWER Top plant.