All posts by Caroline Atkins

Luminant’s Valley Unit 1 and Unit 2’s Stack Come Down With a Boom

Saying goodbye to a piece of our history


Luminant's Valley Unit 1 and Unit 2 Using nearly 150 pounds of dynamite and over 30 charges, Luminant’s Valley Unit 1 and Unit 2’s stack were imploded around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, in Fannin and Grayson counties.

Imploding the equipment is a significant step in the demolition and recycling effort of the plant’s three inactive, retired natural gas-powered steam units. Valley Unit 3 was imploded last December and the remaining parts of Unit 2 will be imploded in the near future.

Todd King - GPO Project Manager at Luminant Valley Unit and Unit 2 Implosion - 05.05.16Following the implosion, crews will cut and separate sections of the units into smaller pieces for recycling. Roughly 95 percent of the materials, including steel, copper and parts and pieces of large equipment will be sent to recycling centers around the world.

Valley Units 1 and 2 began commercial operation in the 1960s and were retired in 2010. During full operation, roughly 90 fulltime employees helped power Texas at Valley.

Did you know?  Valley Units 1, 2 and 3 had an operating capacity of 1,115 megawatts – enough to power 558,000 homes on an annual basis or 78,000 during the summer peak.

 

Watch the implosion video below.

Luminant’s Najeli Donahue Featured in Woman Engineer Magazine

Najeli is following her blueprint for success


Showcasing her passion for engineering, Najeli Donahue, Liberty Mine senior engineer, is featured in the latest edition of Woman Engineer magazine. The cover story highlights her engineering career path and her blueprint to success at Luminant.

While studying civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Najeli completed two summer internships at Three Oaks Mine and after graduation, began working for the company as an associate engineer. Currently, she focuses on designing water structures and post-mining reclamation projects as a senior engineer at Liberty Mine.

Read the article here to see why she has the rare opportunity to see her engineering projects come to life.

Energized Engineer: Find out how Najeli takes continuous improvement in stride – literally – as a competitive triathlete in her After Hours profile.

Click the image below to see why Najeli has the rare opportunity to see her projects come to life.

Najeli Donahue Featured in Woman Engineer Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luminant’s Mining Team Achieves Significant Safety Milestone


family and photos v.3Luminant’s mining employees are digging into the record books. The team recently achieved the lowest injury rate in the nation among the largest mining companies, according to a review of the 2015 MSHA Recordable Injury Rates.

“Everyone’s relentless dedication to safety, as individuals and as teammates looking out for each other, led to this superb result,” said Steve Kopenitz, Luminant senior vice president of mining. “Such an industry-leading performance can only happen when a group committed to safety depends on all the tools and training available.”

As a company, Luminant also marked its safest year in history in 2015, due in large part to the safety record of the mining team. Thanks to everyone for your commitment to Safety Zero!

Watch the latest Eye on Luminant video and find out how our mining employees are strengthening their safety culture and constantly improving, not only for themselves, but for their co-workers and their family.

After Hours with Craig Danner

Craig Danner - Luminant Northern Region Asset Management Specialist


Turning metal into art comes naturally to craftsman Craig Danner.

Years ago, he hung up his spurs as a bull rider to learn the tools of the trade to weld them, making one-of-a-kind belt buckles and bridle bits, too. Worn by professional rodeo athletes, his custom creations are crafted with both his hands and his heart. Craig donates spurs to various cancer fundraisers to honor friends he’s lost to the disease.

And to that, we tip our hat to you, Craig.

After Hours

Valley Unit 3 Implosion Marks Beginning of the End for Retired Units


We’ve all heard the saying, “what goes up, must come down.” The adage held true for Luminant’s Valley Unit 3 boiler, which came down with a boom around 9:00 a.m. today in Fannin and Grayson counties. Imploding the unit is the first significant step in the demolition and recycling effort of the plant’s three inactive, retired natural gas-powered steam units.

Employees, retirees and local business leaders gathered to watch as the 1970s-era unit was imploded using 25 charges and 50 pounds of dynamite. Although the unit toppled in seconds, a lifetime of memories remain for those who worked at Valley, according to David McClure, retired Valley Power Plant supervisor.

Following the implosion, crews will cut and separate sections of Unit 3 (far left) into smaller pieces for recycling. Roughly 95 percent of the materials will be sent to recycling centers around the world.

Following the implosion, crews will cut and separate sections of Unit 3 (far left) into smaller pieces for recycling. Roughly 95 percent of the materials will be sent to recycling centers around the world.

“I started working at Valley Unit 1 when it opened in 1962 and it meant a lot to me to have a job near my home in Fannin County,” David said. “I miss working at Valley, and most of all, I miss the people. I worked with a fantastic group of guys and everyone did a terrific job maintaining the units.”

Crews will cut and separate sections of Unit 3 into smaller pieces for recycling. Roughly 95 percent of the materials, including steel, copper and parts and pieces of large equipment will be sent to recycling centers around the world.

In the coming months, the other two units will also come down separately.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has granted Luminant an air permit to potentially build two natural gas simple cycle combustion turbines at the Valley site. By seeking these permits, Luminant is taking action to preserve the potential of developing generating capacity. There has been no final decision to build the units.


Valley Fast Facts:

  • Valley Unit 3 began commercial operation in 1971 – the same year Apollo 14 landed on the moon – and was retired in 2010. Units 1 and 2 will be imploded in early 2016.
  • Valley Units 1, 2 and 3 operating capacity and homes powered: 1,115 MW – enough to power about 558,000 on an annual basis and 223,000 during the summer peak.
  • During full operation, roughly 90 fulltime employees helped power Texas at Valley.

 

Watch a dramatic, up-close GoPro video clip from the implosion below.

Center of Attention: Luminant’s Power Optimization Center Markets Services to 22,000 People


In total, more than 22,000 people attended this year’s POWER-GEN International Conference.

Continuing their marketing hot streak, Luminant’s Power Optimization Center employees recently promoted their award-winning monitoring and diagnostic services at the POWER-GEN International Conference in Las Vegas. The event is the world’s largest power generation forum focusing on the industry’s latest innovations, trends and business strategies.

“Over 22,000 people from all over the world attended the conference,” said Merideth Metz, Luminant POC project manager. “We really saw our marketing efforts take shape and people were seeking out our booth to learn more about how we can help them put more megawatts on the grid by optimizing plant generation, reliability and performance.”

During the three-day conference, POC team members met with numerous potential clients, generated new leads and caught the attention of PennWell, POWER-GEN event organizer and a business media and marketing communications company. Clint Carter, Luminant POC director, discussed the POC’s services and achievements during an interview with PennWell, which will be featured in their upcoming Power Today newscast.

Luminant’s Power Optimization Center is number one in providing advanced monitoring and diagnostic services!

“We’ve developed the industry’s gold standard for monitoring and diagnostic services and events like POWER-GEN enhance the POC’s visibility with industry leaders,” Clint said. “One of our goals is to share our POC story with as many people as we can, and this conference was a tremendous opportunity to leverage our unparalleled experience, industry-proven software applications and 24/7 real-time operations support.”

POC 101: Learn more about the POC’s top-rated services here and see how the center is defining excellence in the new POC video. Also, read more about the POC’s roadshow kickoff at the recent American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting and Expo.

 

 

Luminant Launches Roadshow to Market Power Optimization Center Services

American Nuclear Society’s Winter Meeting and Expo


Luminant’s Power Optimization Center (POC) and its employees have demonstrated superior real-time monitoring capabilities since 2005 – and now, the team is marketing their award-winning services on the road. Geared with years of technical expertise and a new display booth, the team recently launched the first phase of their marketing initiative for contracting POC services at the American Nuclear Society’s Winter Meeting and Expo in Washington D.C.

The team shared their advanced monitoring and diagnostics services and innovative solutions with expo attendees, including nuclear generators facing tough market conditions.

“Nuclear power plants are being challenged to remain economically competitive in a number of regions around the country,” said Clint Carter, POC director. “By leveraging our unparalleled experience, industry-proven software applications and 24/7 real-time operations support, we believe that our POC services can assist nuclear power plant personnel in improving plant reliability and reducing operations costs.”

Luminant’s Dale Walling (left), Jamie Dugan, Jason Simmons and Clint Carter (right) recently attended the ANS Winter Meeting and Expo to market the POC’s services.

Luminant’s Dale Walling (left), Jamie Dugan, Jason Simmons and Clint Carter (right) recently attended the ANS Winter Meeting and Expo to market the POC’s services.

Following the ANS Expo, the POC team is now preparing to catch the attention of over 20,000 power professionals from more than 90 countries at the upcoming POWER-GEN International Conference – the world’s largest power generation event focusing on the industry’s latest innovations, technical trends and business strategies.

“Our vision for the POC was to develop the industry’s gold standard for monitoring and diagnostics services,” Clint said. “As a team, we achieved that goal and now, with the launch of our roadshow, we’re connecting with potential customers and solidifying ourselves as the industry leader in advanced monitoring and diagnostic services.”

 

In April 2015, the POC launched commercial monitoring services and employees celebrated 10 years of operations. Along with Luminant’s fleet, the center currently provides monitoring and diagnostic services for other generating fleets within the United States.

Conference attendees visit the POC booth to learn more about the center’s state-of-the-art monitoring and diagnostic capabilities.

Conference attendees visit the POC booth to learn more about the center’s state-of-the-art monitoring and diagnostic capabilities.

 

In the Know with the POC:

  • The POC is a fleet-level diagnostic and performance support facility committed to assisting plant personnel in achieving and maintaining the highest possible levels of equipment reliability, efficiency and generation. Through advanced technology, the POC currently monitors more than 20 fossil, nuclear and gas units across Luminant’s fleet, along with other generating fleets within the United States.
  • Luminant created the POC in 2005 after company leadership recognized an opportunity through technology to monitor our fleet from one central hub with a team of experienced specialists.
  • The POC is located in Energy Plaza and the team monitors plants 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The center is staffed with engineers and specialists who have approximately 500 years of combined power plant experience.
  • The POC utilizes state-of-the-art technologies and applications to detect and trend plant equipment performance. The POC is one of only a handful of similar facilities operated by generation companies across the country.

 

 

Sandow Drill Collage

Learning by Doing

Luminant’s Simulated Disaster Drill at Sandow Power Plant Boosts Local First Response Efforts, Demonstrates Commitment to Safety


Sandow Drill Collage

Displaying a steadfast commitment to safety, continuous improvement and teamwork, Luminant’s Sandow Power Plant employees and nearly 75 first responders, recently tested their emergency skills during a simulated disaster drill. The full-scale drill at Sandow plant in Milam County was the first of its kind for the area and brought together local, county, regional and state response agencies.

The drill scenario centered on a simulated diesel line explosion that caused property damage, a fire, several fake injuries and an anhydrous ammonia leak. The simulation tested not only the coordination and response of the outside agencies, but also Sandow employees’ capabilities.

Continue reading “Learning by Doing” »