Combined-Cycle Power Plant Expansion Provides Reliable Power

Stanley Consultants provided design for the 250 MW plant expansion of the Kyrene Generating Station. The design resulted in an unobtrusive generating station, completed on schedule, which quietly, cleanly, and efficiently supplies the power needs of Tempe, AZ.

During the summer of 2002 hundreds of thousands of air conditioners throughout the East Valley were cranked full blast.  Due to the new expansion at the Kyrene Generating Station, the subsequent draw on electrical resources didn't cause officials at Salt River Project (SRP) to break a sweat.

Salt River Project (SRP) supplies power to over 727,000 customers in the Phoenix area, one of the nation's fastest growing urban areas.  This growth spawned an urgent need for additional electric capacity to meet the demand and ensure system reliability in the East Valley.  In June 2000, SRP and the City of Tempe agreed that construction of a 250 MW plant expansion to meet this growing need would create a win-win situation for everyone involved. 

Stanley Consultants was hired by SRP to design the plant.  Over the years Tempe has grown to surround the Kyrene facility.  The first challenge lay in designing the expansion to be a low-profile neighbor. Extensive measures were taken to minimize the plant's impact, including traffic access modifications and extensive landscaping of perimeter corridors, as well as significant noise control and abatement provisions.  By installing a smaller, highly efficient facility and limiting the use of the existing facility, total air emissions from the site are lower than before installation of the new generating capacity.  The plant meets all air quality standards to protect public health, and meets Tempe's noise ordinance requirements.  Treated water from the City's wastewater treatment plant is used as the plant's primary water source, conserving the limited water resources.

To meet peak summer demands it was imperative that the plant be operational by June 2002.  Stanley Consultants and SRP used several measures to successfully meet the schedule.  When possible, modularized and pre-fabricated components were used rather than building components on the construction site.  For example, pre-assembled and pre-wired power distribution buildings were brought to the site, set on their foundations, connected to power, and placed in service.

Concurrent engineering and construction was also used.  Typically, all design work is completed before construction begins.  However, to save time, construction began while the plant was still being designed.  For example, concrete foundations were being poured while other elements of the plant were still being designed.

The result is an unobtrusive generating station, completed on schedule, which quietly, cleanly, and efficiently supplies the power needs of the East Valley.  "As a whole we are extremely happy with the project.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I would call it a 10," according to Bill Rihs, SRP Project Manager.