Spring 2019 Fossil Best Practices Awards

The Fossil Best Practices Awards were established by the EUCG Fossil Generation Committee as part of its mission to share best demonstrated practices that continuously improve safety, environmental responsibility, reliability, and economics in coal, oil, and gas fleet generation.

Thank you to everyone for their Best Practice submissions. All submissions were evaluated by a team comprised of members of the Fossil Steering Committee.

The winners of the Spring 2019 EUCG Fossil Best Practices Awards are:

CMS Energy

Spring 2019 Fossil Best Practices Award for Continuous Improvement to Consumers Energy's J.H. Campbell Coal Plant for its invention of a lapping machine for its coal pulverizers.

The lapping machine was originally conceived to address ergonomics concerns: thrust bearing surfaces had to be finished by hand on the bearing in the mill, an awkward task that required the worker to be in the mill for extended periods of time. The plant's Maintenance Mechanics invented and built a lapping machine that mounts directly to the bottom of the mill. The machine can achieve a 99% contact fit for a thrust bearing adapter plate inside the gear section of the pulverizer. The invention has achieved the original goal of reducing ergonomic stress. It has also reduced the cost of mill repairs, reduced the time needed for lapping, and increased the mean time between failures.

Southern Company

Spring 2019 Fossil Best Practices Award for Regulatory Compliance to Southern Company for its use of high-resolution site characterization (HRSC) for groundwater plume delineation and remediation.

Groundwater data in downgradient monitoring wells at a plant site was exhibiting increasing trends and elevated concentrations of inorganic constituents. Southern Company used HRSC to identify preferential groundwater flow pathways in a large area of the site, which allowed a more accurate determination of potential leak locations and a more focused approach to remedial implementation. The information acquired allowed them to isolate and repair system infrastructure and design a well network to monitor improvements to groundwater as the comprehensive remedial action plan was implemented. To date, constituent concentrations in groundwater continue to decrease, indicating effective, ongoing remediation of the site.

Tennessee Valley Authority

Spring 2019 Fossil Best Practices Award for Safety Improvement to the Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin Fossil Plant for its Work Control Center.

The plant had experienced three clearance violations due to human performance in the space of a year. In response, the plant removed all clearance and confined space activities away from the control rooms and established a Work Control Center with a dedicated staff to administer the Clearance Process and Confined Space entry process. Separating these processes reduced distractions for the Clearance Team and for the control room operators. The Clearance Team has performed without a human performance event for 830 days and counting. The timeliness of hanging clearances has improved, which allows maintenance personnel to be more efficient. Outages have benefitted from this improvement through more timely clearance administration and better communication.

The winners of the Spring 2019 Fossil Best Practices Awards were recognized at the EUCG Spring 2019 Workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Presentations from the award-winning utilities are available in the Fossil Member section of the EUCG website.