Enews signup

Cleaver-Brooks Delivers Results for Nebraska Public Power District

Case Study

  • Company: Nebraska Public Power District
  • Industry: Energy & Petrochemical
  • Location: Beatrice, Nebraska
  • Profile: The Beatrice plant helps eliminate the need for NPPD to buy expensive power in these situations which - in turn - means more reliable, lower cost power for its customers.
  • Challenge: Help meet future electric load growth in NPPD's native service area. Act as a hedge against an unforeseen extended outage occurring at one of NPPD's major power plants. Give NPPD's electric power generation added fuel diversity.
  • Solution: Using steam generated by its Cleaver-Brooks 23,000 lb/hr, 335 psig operating industrial watertube, NPPD can seal its steam turbine in as little as 4 hours.
  • Results: C-B watertube boilers allow Beatrice to be online at full capcity in less than half a working day and makes it significantly more useful in its service applications. Produces optimal quality steam for the turbine sealing process for faster start-up.

Cleaver-Brooks provides mission critical steam generation for Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) combined cycle electrical generating plant in Beatrice, Nebraska.

At 250 Megawatts, the Beatrice Plant has plenty of capacity, but a key factor is the plant’s ability to start up quickly. This is where the Cleaver-Brooks 23,000 lb/hr, 335 psig operating industrial watertube comes into play.

An important part of NPPD’s long-term energy supply strategy, the Beatrice Power Station was built to:


• Act as a hedge against an unforeseen extended outage occurring at one
of NPPD’s major power plants
• Help meet future electric load growth in NPPD’s native service area
• Give NPPD’s electric power generation added fuel diversity.

The Beatrice plant helps eliminate the need for NPPD to buy expensive power in these situations which — in turn — means more reliable, lower cost power for its customers. NPPD-Beatrice, like all combined cycle plants, uses the heat from its (two) gas turbines to produce steam that drives its 90 Megawatt Siemens/Allstom steam turbine comprised of both low-pressure and high-pressure elements.

Under normal circumstances, getting both elements of the steam turbine to seal properly would take eight to 10 hours. If only one gas turbine is in use, this would result in less than half of Beatrice’s generating capacity being online.

If both gas turbines are needed, the lag time for the steam turbine could result in more than one-third of the plant’s capacity being unavailable until the steam turbine seals.

If normal startup was the only option, the Beatrice plant could take as much as a full working day to produce full power in its combined cycle form. Even if the gas turbines were started immediately, the plant would not be able to operate at full efficiency because the heat energy of the gas turbines would be lost while waiting for the steam turbine to seal.

For an intermittent use plant such as Beatrice, fast startup time is critical since the plant may be called upon to produce electricity for the equivalent of 100,000 homes at very short notice. The bottom line is that the quicker the plant can be operating at full capacity, the better.

Using steam generated by its Cleaver-Brooks boiler, NPPD can seal its steam turbine in as little as 4 hours.

This allows NPPD Beatrice to be online at full capacity in less than half a working day and makes it significantly more useful in its service applications.

The key to faster startup is that the Cleaver-Brooks package produces optimal quality steam for the turbine sealing process using its D-type IWT design, advanced C-B NATCOM burner and Spraymaster deaerator. Nebraska Public Power District benefits because the C-B boiler, burner, deaerator, and PLC-based control are all manufactured and/or integrated by a single supplier, giving NPPD a single source for service, maintenance, upgrades and support.

In addition to its role in plant startup, the C-B IWT boiler is used in more day-to-day applications including heating the buildings on the Beatrice site.

In this added role, the C-B boiler’s fuel-to-steam efficiency and compactness help keep operating costs down.

Cleaver-Brooks provides mission critical steam generation for Nebraska Public Power District’s 250 Megawatt combined cycle electrical generating plant in Beatrice, Nebraska.