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Dell Power Plant

Outdoor image of the Dell power plant at dusk

Dual-fuel Dell plant provides power to members

Associated Electric's Dell Power Plant is a 580-megawatt combined-cycle, natural gas-based plant that is located on 100 acres near the town of Dell, Ark. — about 9 miles south of the Arkansas-Missouri border.

In 2011, the power plant was modified to alternatively use fuel oil to increase operating flexibility and reliability of the plant for member systems. The plant has the ability to switch fuel from oil to gas and from gas to oil while it continues operating.

The low-emissions power plant provides power during periods of higher electricity use for Associated Electric's six owner generation and transmission cooperatives and the 51 local distribution cooperatives they serve.

Associated Electric purchased the partially constructed Dell Power Plant in August 2005 and finished it for less than half the cost of building a combined-cycle plant from the ground up. Dell began commercial operation in August 2007.

The plant consists of three generating units: two gas combustion turbine generators capable of producing 170 MW each and one 240-MW steam turbine generator.

Dell also includes two heat-recovery steam generators that use waste heat from the combustion turbines to make steam that drives the pressure steam turbines. This heat-recovery system increases the efficiency of the unit to 58 percent, compared with 33 percent efficiency of a simple-cycle plant.

Other plant components include the cooling tower, a large fiberglass structure that acts as a heat-exchange system to remove waste heat from the steam turbine condenser. Water is cooled through evaporation and recirculated through the cooling system.

Under Associated Electric’s direction, EthosEnergy provides daily operation and maintenance of the unit. Because the plant is highly automated, about 20 skilled employees are needed to operate and maintain the plant.

Dell Power Plant, Dell, Ark.

Units 1 and 2 - 2007 General Electric combined-cycle, gas-based units (modified in 2011 to alternatively use fuel oil). Two gas turbines, net capacity of 170 MW each; one steam turbine, net capacity of 240 MW.

AECI contracts with EthosEnergy to operate the plant.

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