NV Energy gets industry accolades for safety

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The Edison Electric Institute has recognized NV Energy's Fort Churchill Generating Station with its "Safety Achievement Award" as the nation's safest fossil-fueled power plant.

The nation's safest fossil-fueled power plant has operated more than 25 years without a lost-time accident. (PRNewsFoto/NV Energy)

The 226 MW natural gas-fueled Fort Churchill plant has been in operation 25 years without a lost-time accident -- the longest safety record in the nation for generating stations of its type.

The Fort Churchill plant utilizes two Babcock and Wilcox boilers to produce high pressure steam to drive two General Electric turbine generators. According to NV Energy, in the event of an interruption in natural gas service, this plant can switch to an on-site fuel oil to provide temporary service.

"What is especially remarkable about this safety record is that our Fort Churchill Station employees work around the clock engaging in many activities that require strong safety vigilance, and this milestone means that they've done so successfully every day for 25 years," said Michael Yackira, NV Energy president and chief executive officer.

For some perspective, 25 years ago Ronald Reagan was president and a gallon of gas sold for less than $1.

Over those 25 years, the plant addressed more than 1,500 safety suggestions, proving its seriousness about and commitment to plant safety. Plant personnel have worked approximately two million man-hours without a lost-time accident.

The plant's safety record was set during a time of change in the mission of the plant, according to Greg Bushman, Fort Churchill Manager of Production, when Fort Churchill went from being a base-load unit (starting and stopping just three or four times per year) to completing 537 starts since October 2008.

In 2011, NV Energy produced 36.9 percent of its energy from company-owned gas-fueled generating units at its Tracy and Fort Churchill power stations in western Nevada.

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