Phased Upgrade to Grayson Power Plant is Advised.
The city is pursuing a re-powering plan for the Grayson power plant to produce 250
megawatts of power for the city’s peek electrical demand of 350MWs. The plan is to
retain Unit 9, a recently installed 50MW gas turbine driven generator and at once to
replace the old generators that depend on steam with gas turbans to supply an
additional 200MWs of power. The plan’s estimated cost is $350,000,000. Because state
law, at the time of the plan, required 30% of the energy portfolio to consist of
renewables, the remaining 100MWs of the 350 would come from wind, solar and the
We recommended not to re-powered all at once; but, rather to re-power in phases. For
example, Grayson’s oldest steam units 1 and 2, and units 8a, 8b and 8c that work in
tandem with them and supply approximately 100MW could be replaced with the General
Electric LMS100 model gas turbine. Its cost is in the neighborhood of $100,000,000 and
it generates from 50 to 100MWs without significant efficiency loss, It’s environmentally
cleaner than existing Grayson units. Installation costs would be significantly less than
those under the plan. With Unit 9, 150MW would be supplied by gas turbines The old
steam driven, units 3, 4 and 5, if needed and if kept in good repair, could supply
approximately 100 additional MWs.
Because of fast-paced technological advances, particularly in electric storage (some of
which are reported in the October 11, 2015 Business Section of the LA Times) and
because of increased governmental regulations regarding use of renewables (with their
decreasing costs), the plan, could saddle Glendalians with a $350,000,000 debt for a
plant whose electric generating capacity exceeds the needs of the city. So we
On October 8, 2015 the Los Angeles Times reported that the State now requires 50% of
the energy portfolio to consist of renewables by 2030. Thus, only 175MWs could be
supplied by Grayson; but, the plan will re-power to supply 250MW at a cost of
We urge the City to consider re-powering Grayson in phases which would reduce costs
from $350,000,000 to approximately $100,000,000 to $150,000,000 and would allow
flexibility in adapting to new technological and regulatory advances.
By Larry Moorhouse, retired manager of the Grayson power plant and Harry Zavos board member of the Glendale Coalition for Better Government.