Congratulations on a hugely successful November; commercial operation of Block 2 and our second-best month for generation. Block 1 produced 304,537 MW at an average Heat Rate of 6997 Btu/Kwh, less than 10% shy of our high month in July. That alone should signify a distinction in how we operate… when our neighbors are shutdown during these colder, off-peak months, we're still churning out power like it was summertime. Plan on a strong winter following January 1st as our CDWR contract ramps to 1900 MW delivered.
Last week I attended the SER 4th Quarter Energy Forum and Plant Manager's meetings in San Diego. On behalf of SER management, I would like to convey their commendation and recognition for an outstanding job well done on going commercial this month, and best wishes for a winning future. I've been told the Sempra Board of Directors still rave of their visit to our facility and have been convinced of the company's future by what they observed here. As a result, you can expect more tours like that of Osaka Gas, a potential investment partner looking for opportunity in a solid, well-performing business. This is an extraordinary time to be with Sempra Energy, one of the few companies looking at growth rather than minimizing their business as a means to stay afloat.
Significant targets for November as follows. You can also see these (since June) on our Mesquite server website that Bill updates for us.
I sent out the 2003 Bonus program last week and for those of you who have already read it, please note that our bonus Availability Factor is a function of unplanned (forced) outages only. Our current YTD Availability Factor is only 85%, but once the scheduled outages are excluded, we sit around 91%, comfortably above our bonus maximum.
BVZ will be officially offsite this coming week. We still have one outage on Block 2 ahead of us (12/18-21) where we hope to have BVZ address the “significant issues” before they become warranty problems for us. In addition, this outage is expected to qualify the repairs made to STG4 condenser. I know a Mesquite work list is being floated around so if you have anything that should be done during this time on Block 2, please make sure we all know about it.
We have a green light to proceed with an upgrade to the BWRO and Demin/RO systems, essentially doubling their size to accommodate the realistic needs of our facility. Ionics is placing orders now for substantial equipment and we plan to have installation completed before peak-2004. This new system will be installed perpendicular to the existing units in the open area (east end) of water treatment. A very close second to this will be the project of connecting the Clarifier surge tank to a Raw Water tank, allowing a reserve of effluent to be collected during off-peak hours and augment cooling tower demand flow during the day. This would enable us to keep the clarifiers at a steady flow rate 24/7 and actually mitigate reduced load when the clarifiers “max out”. Regardless, this project would hinge upon some optimistic successes of near-term testing with the Densadegs and cooling tower silica inhibitors. Something that's on my Christmas wish-list.
Due to the issues with Gate 1 this past week, I'm not sure everyone has had an opportunity to test the double top-secret code we have. When we're finally past these mechanical problems, I assure you the system works just fine. Ask someone from Mesquite for the code (it's only for us) if you don't have it. Please keep all exterior gates, with the exception of Gate 1, locked with minimum of our lock+BVZ lock if required for their access. On January 1, we will remove all BVZ locks.
Status of Mesquite joining the California ISO will be known this week following a vote on the 18th. Despite a favorable vote, it would still take several months for the hardware to be ordered and installed. I'll keep you posted.
The official Mesquite Power dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Wednesday March 10th, 2004 in Warehouse 3. Since we still have to permit this building, let's not put too much of our excess supplies in there before that time.
As the end of 2003 comes to pass, we need to finalize our training schedules for next year. Cheryl has contacted several schools that we want people to attend and has been working toward putting these schedules together. If you know of a school, seminar, conference, or workshop that interests you or has some relevance to what you do for a living, please give this information to her. Otherwise, you know me… I'll just pick you.
Everyone, thanks for a super year. It was a long trip, probably nothing like what you expected but certainly made you feel honest about taking home the paycheck. You should all feel proud, confident, and blessed. I know I do. Have a safe and happy Holiday Season.