July was our first month in the 3rd Quarter performance period and despite a single issue on July 1st , we came out looking pretty good. Who can forget starting out the peak quarter with a failed 4160 breaker on Block 2?...we thought this was an ominous sign to begin just after midnight of the first day. Regardless, our month was one of the best on record. We reached 98.7% Equivalent Availability in July which offers us a significant cushion for the remaining six weeks. The APS transformer issue affected us by a production loss of 97,000 MW although for the power we did produce, our Technical Availability was right on target. Standard deviation was back down to the 4's, some development opportunity there but certainly better than the previous month. I would hope your goals are collective and you accept nothing greater than 3 MW going forward.
As always, the complete July 2004 report can be found on the Mesquite webpage at http://www.mesquitepower.com/business/ppt/Jul-04.ppt.
Everyone by now should've heard the good news that our article has run in POWER magazine. Congrats once again for a fine job and I hope you all take something away from this award. Considering who we were up against, being one of the Top Plants of 2004 certainly has its merits: after reading all the adjoining profiles, I can see we're not the only hard working bunch out there. But honestly people, I truly do not know who they've selected as the Plant of the Year. We'll know soon enough with the September issue coming out in just a few weeks.
Combined Cycle Journal will be running an article on us in their Fall issue, scheduled to be released in November with our photo on the cover. Talk about perfect timing. I haven't seen the draft yet but Bob Schweiger assures me it will be a very favorable story for us.
Congratulations to the Shift 3 “bandidos felices” for their capture of the July Recognition award. Never one to be content with mediocrity, Steve Perrizo has planned a few upgrades for the August plan that should further improve equality of the results. I think the most prominent concern this month was the SRP PDO calling to back us off load several times, though we accommodated this with an adjustment to the actual MW produced and by decreasing the weighting of MW in the plan. No doubt, July was an unusual month for production and it seemed to reflect this in the data. Please continue to provide Steve with any feedback, good or bad, that can be used to enhance the program. To make the game a bit more interesting, Ray has suggested an annual award, effective from April through December 2004 that will use your total numbers to produce a winner. Sort of like “Team of the Year”. Good luck.
We're closing in on our annual Maricopa County Air Permit Inspection. This is one of those “surprise” inspections that puts us on the defense, but also one we have to be ready for nonetheless. Should the inspector show at the gate, immediately escort him/her to the lobby and then notify Kevin and/or the senior-most manager onsite. A member of management must be notified when this person arrives and the inspector should be made aware that you are trying to reach management. Do not deny him entry into the site, but rather make him feel at home…feed him donuts and coffee…we have nothing to hide. Maricopa County protocol includes a document of signature that releases them to speak with anyone on site. Know your (new) permit levels. Keep drums and totes where they need to be. Even a small item, though considered a temporary condition by us, could result in an NOV or fine if it is a violation of our permit.
Thanks everyone, for your input to the 2005 Budget. A slight increase over last year but we feel confident we have something that's realistic to go forward with. Our Capital budget, though not yet approved, has a significant portion dedicated to IT upgrades, cooling tower acid feed relocation, and the wildlife habitat (well property) project. In all, there were 21 capital projects identified for next year.
Pretreatment testing continues with the introduction of a higher-acid Ferric Sulfate this past week which should help relegate the feed of this chemical down to something more palatable. As with any new process, we continue to experience issues and are learning how improvements can be made before committing to a permanent installation. Soon after Labor Day, we expect to begin feeding the PureFloc solution into the west RW tank which will further reduce chemical usage rates. I want to make it clear that this is just the preliminary “Beta” testing process we're going through. It's unnecessarily impulsive to jump to conclusions after only a few weeks, given the historical experiences we've had with 16 months of cold lime softening (we all remember how much fun that was). It's often easier to judge a “snapshot” of results than it is to step back and look at the big picture, knowing that you're working to make a difference. This temporary-built installation is strictly for the purpose of qualifying a chemical process. Dosage rates will change and even perhaps the chemistry itself will be different once it's all said and done. Ask questions and learn what's going on out there…don't make the mistake of not understanding.
It's possible we might swap a generator rotor out from one of the Copper Mountain units to relieve our STG4 schedule. This would convert a projected 40-day outage into 14 days, allowing us to send our existing rotor for repairs and then reinstall it in the Copper Mt unit. At this point the decision is one for corporate to make, and we won't know for certain until late next month. Additional work scope for the outage is retrofitting the 230 Kv breakers which will require a day of Black Plant on 12Kv backfeed. If we do get the rotor swap, plan on being fully back in service around the 16 th of November.
We have leaks in the crossfire tubes of GT1 and 2, requiring a planned outage on each of these units for repairs. We expect to shutdown GT1 on Sunday 8/29 and the second unit on Sunday 9/5. Other than cooldown, the actual work should be taken care of within the day. We have roughly 88 hours of Q3 to work with before affecting our bonus target.
Senior Official training is scheduled September 1 st for a specified group of individuals. Attendance is a requirement for those who have received the notice. We also expect to have Buckeye Valley Fire Department onsite September 20 th for their annual site tour.
Keep up on your CBT and PQS work. The year is fast coming to a close.
Be safe, work safe, and pay attention to the details.