Customers of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. rely heavily on Power Plant 1 for almost all of their power needs, based on the recently released “Renewable Energy Integration Study” commissioned by CUC.
CUC operates three power plants, all of which are oil-fueled diesel engines. Power Plant 1 has seven engines varying from 7,000 kW to 12,000 kW—all supplying power at 13.8 kV.
Power Plant 2, meantime, has five 2,500 kW units supplying power at 2,400 kV. This power plant is being overhauled and is available.
Power Plant 4 has units ranging from 900 kW to 2,600 kW units supplying power at 2400 kV. Total capacity is 101,000 kW. This power plant is on standby in case more than one large unit at Power Plant 1 is offline.
According to the study, all load is normally supplied by Power Plant 1 using two small units and three large units, while a fourth large unit serves as a standby.
CUC power is distributed via eight 13.8 kV feeders. Feeders 1, 2, K-4, and K-2 serve the densest load areas along the western coast. Feeder K-1 serves the airport and surrounding developed areas.
The study bared that CUC’s peak load in 2012 was 35,000 kW, with a minimum load of 24,000 kW and an average load factor below 0.71.