Thursday, August 30, 2012

Turbine Removal Work Continues on Holly Unit 2

Holly Power Plant Decommissioning Update: Removal of the turbines from Holly Generating Units 1 and 2 continues. This includes removing the principal pieces that compose the electrical generating system for the plant.

The images below show Holly 2’s generator rotor being shipped off the site and the turbine crew removing the low pressure turbine rotor. The full removal of the plant will be completed by spring 2013. Website:

The Holly 2 generator rotor is loaded onto a trailer for shipment off site.

The generator rotor is tightly braced onto the trailer.

The truck trailer rig moves onto the weight scale to take note of the rotor weight leaving the plant.

The Holly 2 generator rotor leaves the plant and the steel will be recycled.

The Holly 2 low pressure turbine sits between the generator on the right and the high pressure turbine on the left. The white color seen on the turbine is a coating used to bond any loose particulates to the turbine casing.

The low pressure turbine casing sits ready to be lifted and removed.

The low pressure turbine casing is placed on the turbine floor.

The low pressure turbine rotor sits exposed and ready for lift off.

A worker is directing the low pressure turbine to the truck bay.

The low pressure turbine bottom casing with its stationary blades sits empty and rotorless.

The low pressure turbine rotor is maneuvered into the truck bay.

The workers direct the low pressure turbine rotor in the truck bay so that it can be removed into the chopping and loading area.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crews Complete Repairs to Damaged Transmission Towers

Austin Energy crews recently used a specialized torch to cut the top section off of five 95-foot-tall steel transmission poles near Columbus damaged last year when a crop duster hit the lines attached to the poles and crashed (details:

These lines bring power to Austin from the South Texas Project and had to be de-energized for repairs. Since the poles, which were constructed in two sections, are major structures, crews cut the damaged portions off to preserve the integrity of the 35-year-old towers. A new section of pole was slipped over the top section of each after it was cut. 

This is the first transmission repair of this type ever performed by Austin Energy. The job required the use of 100-ton cranes and bucket trucks reaching 170-feet high.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting Ready For Formula 1 Weekend

Public information professionals from the City of Austin and other agencies responsible for providing critical services information on Formula 1 race weekend (November 16-18) toured the Formula 1 site last week as part of an orientation.

Preparations are under way for the expected 300,000 visitors. City of Austin staff will be redoubled at the airport and other locations. For instance, some 10 cargo planes loaded with racing cars and equipment will begin arriving in early November that will each require twenty-six 18-wheeler sized trailers for transporting the cars and materials to the race track.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Biogas To Power Wastewater Treatment Plant

A new 60,000-pound biogas generator that utilizes methane from the sludge treatment process at Hornsby Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant is currently being installed and will be able to consistently generate 700 kilowatts (kW) of power, more than the 500 kW needed to run the treatment plant. The excess electricity produced and fed back into the electric grid will enable Austin Water, which manages the treatment plant, to receive a credit on its electric bill. See photos.

Because the generator uses the methane and not a fossil fuel, the electricity produced is considered renewable energy. It is estimated that more than 4.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity will be generated annually, the equivalent of powering 370 average-sized Austin homes year round. The clean generation also will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,867 tons or the equivalent of avoiding 5 million vehicle miles traveled in Austin.

The generator is funded separately from a federal stimulus grant awarded Austin Energy but is related to green infrastructure improvements currently under way at Hornsby Bend by Austin Water to enhance the energy efficiency of the biosolids processing and increase biogas production. Hornsby Bend receives the sewage solids reclaimed from the millions of gallons of wastewater that Austin’s wastewater plants treat every day.

All of Austin’s sewage solids are pumped to Hornsby Bend where they are treated to kill pathogens and the resulting biosolids are recycled as the compost product ‘Dillo Dirt.’