By Chris Eversole
With U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas at his side, OG&E’s CEO Sean Trauschke clicked a mouse and turned on the Rolls Royce of power generation Friday.
Within 10 minutes, the Rolls Royce engine that powers one of seven new generators at Oklahoma Gas and Electric’s Mustang Energy Center was quietly humming.
“Being able to ramp up and down allows us to service our customers a lot better,” Trauschke said.
In addition to operating efficiently, the natural-gas powered engines provide only a shimmer of exhaust.
“We are being good stewards of the present so we will have a good future,” Lucas said.
The engines are identical — with slight modifications — to ones that power Boeing 777s.
Siemens Energy made the turbines that produce electricity from the engines at the plant, which is inside Oklahoma City, but is partially in both the Yukon and Mustang School Districts.
OG&E chose them for the energy center, located off SW 10th Street and east of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike, for good reason, said Greg Snyder, Siemens’ vice president and regional executive.
“The end result is a clean, highly efficient, reliable power plant that will integrate into the renewable portfolio for Oklahoma and OG&E,” Snyder said.
The Mustang operation using the Siemens’ technology is second only in size to one in New Jersey that provides power to New York City.
The quick start-up of the 80,000-horsepower-engines is quite a change from the 10 hours the engines they replaced — which went into operation in 1950.
“When the wind dies down and production from our wind turbines suddenly drops, we can replace it quickly,” said Project Manager Steve Blansett.
In addition to the seven generators that can create 462 megawatts of power, the Mustang Energy Center houses a 2.5-megawatt solar farm.
This generating capacity is tied into the company’s other power plants and wind farms.