Power plant gets digitalisation makeover

11 December 2020

Emerson has been selected by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to modernise and optimise its Magnolia power plant.

The Magnolia project is part of TVA’s five-year plan to install digital technologies across its power generating fleet. Emerson’s software and technologies will support its efforts to digitally transform the 980-megawatt plant which has been in operation since 2003. It uses combined cycle technology, which is said to generate up to 50% more electricity from natural gas while producing less emissions than other sources.

Reliable, responsible operations are critical to meet the region’s growing power needs, and legacy technologies – which are more expensive and difficult to maintain – present a challenge. Emerson will replace existing systems at the combined-cycle plant with its Ovation automation system and software. Digital twin technologies will provide advanced training to operators, enabling them to respond quickly and safely to power generation demands, while cybersecurity technologies are integral to Emerson’s solution.

“These upgrades are part of a larger long-term asset strategy to maintain our existing fleet in such a way that we can depend on their operation for years to come,” said Allen Clare, TVA vice-president for gas & hydro operations.

Emerson and TVA are using virtual technologies in place of face-to-face interaction to keep the project moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic and the project is expected to be completed in 2022. 

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