Staythorpe celebrates first major upgrade since opening

This week marks almost four years since operations started at 1,728MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT), Staythorpe Power Station. It also coincides with the station’s full return to service after its first set of major outages since the station was built.

Modern gas turbines need to be overhauled based on operating hours (as advised by the original equipment manufacturers). Staythorpe’s outage cycle was based on a major overhaul frequency of 28,000 Equivalent Operating Hours (EOH). The upgrade of the units has not only improved efficiency it has extended the time required between overhauls to 36,000 EOH, which over the life of the station will mean less overhauls and a saving of millions of pounds.

The outages included the heat recovery steam generator, balance of plant, major overhaul and upgrade to the gas turbines. The work will significantly improve performance, efficiency and extend the time between each outage in the future.

The team on site celebrated the success of completing the fourth and final unit becoming fully operational in the commercial market again. This has been a complex programme of planned work over an 18 month period that will ensure the station continues to operate using world class standards of engineering.

Andy Marshall, Staythorpe Station Manager, said: “The past few years have been a massive learning curve to everyone on site, operating the station flexibly and reflecting the changes happening in a challenging energy market.”

“I’d like to give huge credit to those involved in Staythorpe’s outage programme from the station to RWE’s Generation Maintenance and Outage Support teams. On completion of each outage, all of the units have either met or exceeded their performance targets.”

The knowledge from this upgrade will now be applied to sister CCGT plant Pembroke Power Station in Wales, which is about to embark on its programme of upgrades this year.

RWE Generation’s UK power station fleet includes the largest and most efficient gas-fired power stations in Europe. The company is committed to maintaining its fleet, to help keep the lights on, despite difficult market conditions.

The station has generated 36,748GWh since operations began, the upgrade has given greater than +0.8% efficiency and +13MW output per unit.