Keeping the lights on: How Wood is powering tomorrow

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Jesse Wark
Director of Operations, Power & Industrial

As power demand across the United States continues to grow, power generators are seeking ways to improve the reliability of their plants and diversify their energy sources. In Texas alone, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is anticipating a summer 2022 peak demand of 77,317 megawatts, which would be a new record for the region, according to the Seasonal Assessment for Resource Adequacy (SARA).

To better understand how leading power generators are working to address this increase in demand and strain on the grid, Wood surveyed a group of power companies leaders from across the United States at a recent industry event.

When surveyed, 56% of these power industry leaders cited reducing environmental impact as their primary strategic focus for the next five years, but 71% also identified costs as the key challenge they are working to overcome today. Striking this desired balance between new and old – facilitating the energy transition for tomorrow while ensuring energy security today – requires power generators to optimize their operations and incorporate new technologies into their everyday workstreams.

A first step to achieving these goals is improving upon any inefficiencies within current plants and modifying or replacing old equipment and parts. Planned outages are a key time to perform necessary maintenance, repairs, overhauls and replace critical equipment and parts. In addition to ensuring that a plant is continuing to operate to the best of its ability via this ongoing maintenance, by replacing old and inefficient parts, power generators can also reduce carbon emissions.

Proper ongoing maintenance can ensure safe and consistent operations are supported, and when Wood is providing full life cycle solutions – from engineering to construction to decommissioning – power generators can achieve those highly sought-after cost savings. For example, Wood has provided maintenance and operations solutions to a primary power generation company in Florida for 25 years and recently renewed this contract for a three-year period.

This year to-date, Wood has contracted over $30 million in maintenance and operations work across the U.S. power sector, and the industry is not signalling a slowdown in demand for this work anytime soon. Power generators are seeking total solutions on a design and engineering basis and innovative design, as well as overall project management from start to finish as facilities address modifications, installs and repairs.

In addition to conducting regular cost preventative inspection and maintenance of HRSG and associated equipment, power generators are seeking full range of steam generation equipment and aftermarket products and services. And by working with Wood, who delivers fit-for-purpose comprehensive solutions, they can optimize their plant performance while reducing costs that would typically be incurred from engaging multiple contractors.

As power generators across the Unites States gear up for a demanding summer season and beyond, Wood is continuing to work alongside them to secure reliable and affordable energy for the future.

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