One of the Largest US Coal-Fired Power Plants Increases Efficiency with GE’s Advanced Water Treatment Technology
CARTERSVILLE, GA. and TREVOSE, PA.—May 31, 2011—Georgia Power’s Bowen coal-fired power plant in Cartersville, Ga., has significantly increased efficiency of cooling tower operations during a six-month period with help from GE’s (NYSE: GE) advanced water treatment chemical technology. As a result of this pilot, the plant achieved increases in water efficiency operational savings.
As part of a growing region in Georgia and the Southeast, Georgia Power recognizes the importance of managing water properly. Georgia is among the 10 fastest growing states in the United States and has led the southeastern region in population growth since 1990. Over the next two decades, Georgia’s population is projected to grow by 4.6 million people.
In May 2010, Georgia Power initiated a water conservation pilot project at Plant Bowen to improve water utilization at the facility. The company’s main objective of reducing water requirements for cooling tower operations while maintaining the current level of operational efficiency was aided by utilizing GE’s chemical solutions, including GenGard. GenGard enabled the plant to increase the concentration of solids in the cooling system, which greatly reduced the amount of water withdrawn from the river basin.
“When you consider Georgia’s current and projected population, water use and the drought in the Southeast a few years ago, you realize and understand that water usage and conservation are important for the state,” said Tim Banks, manager of Plant Bowen. “Water is vital for the prosperity of Georgia, and our company wants to continue to contribute to that effort.”
With the proper chemical treatment program, Plant Bowen was able to withdraw less water per day from the Etowah River during the pilot study. In addition, corrosion control of the treated systems improved dramatically, extending the life expectancy of the piping, heat exchangers and other cooling system components in the plant. There was no adverse impact on the condenser performance and there were no operational interruptions or issues. The overall water savings for all seasons and modes of operation are still to be evaluated.
As a result of Plant Bowen’s improvements, the facility has earned GE’s Return on Environment Award. This award recognizes the achievements of industrial users that significantly surpass and improve environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands, and Georgia Power was recognized for its noteworthy reductions in water withdrawal, chemicals and waste.
GenGard, the chemical technology at the center of the solution, offers the capability to reuse water multiple times in the cooling system while avoiding corrosion and fouling problems. This provides savings in operating costs, improves the efficiency of the cooling system and leads to water conservation.
“Georgia Power was selected to receive a Return on Environment Award for its strong commitment to improving water efficiency at Plant Bowen,” said Adrian Peace, North American business leader, chemical and monitoring solutions business—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “We are thrilled to assist Georgia Power to meet its goal to use water more efficiently.”
Water efficiency, including conservation, is part of the overall business strategy for Georgia Power. In April, the company announced it would host an innovative research facility to develop and test water conservation technologies at Plant Bowen. The Water Research Center (WRC) will provide a venue for developing and testing technologies to improve water efficiency by addressing withdrawal, consumption and recycling throughout the power generation process. Georgia Power is collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute to add broader industry perspective and guidance to the project. Expected to be fully operational by August 2012, the WRC will include seven separate research focus areas in water treatment, usage and monitoring.
Georgia Power (www.georgiapower.com) is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy www.ge.com/energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.