Repairing. Rebuilding. Replacing. Whatever you call it, CBS Northeast has personnel with the expertise and experience necessary to get failing utilities back to work.
To address ongoing failures at National Grid’s gas turbine generation site in Holtsville, NY, CBSNE had been performing small repairs. But these small repairs weren’t enough to fix the bigger problems of the 45-year-old electrical equipment’s poor condition across 10 generator automated control (GAC) switchgear houses for these gas turbine units.
“As a utility generating company, it was critical for National Grid to have this equipment available, but failures of the roofing and bus ducts going into the generators caused forced outages,” says Tim Kelly, vice president of sales and marketing for CBSNE. “Not only did they have to deregulate the equipment, it also meant that they wouldn’t get the revenue this site would generate or have available from these units.”
National Grid performed an analysis on how to maintain availability while repairing the faulty conditions. Designing a completely new system would mean increasing its footprint on an already compact site, as well as extending outages for long periods.
Instead, CBSNE bid on a turnkey project for the 10 GAC house units that involved replacing the roofing systems, bus duct enclosures, and insulation systems — all done around National Grid’s outage schedule during the winter months, when generation wasn’t as critical.
“This generation site had several owners over the past 30 years, and over time they cut their maintenance,” Kelly says. “Inevitably it turned around to bite them.”
CBSNE spent three years on the project, which required many hours of overtime in an already tight timeframe as technicians developed solutions on the spot to repair additional problems they found. By repairing and replacing existing systems rather than redesigning them and expanding the site, CBSNE saved National Grid between $5 million and $7 million and prevented hundreds of hours of downtime on each unit. In fact, lack of maintenance represents one of the biggest business opportunities for CBSNE. “Over the last three to five years, we’ve seen utilities start to reconnect because of the cost of downtime and system reliability failures of mechanical and electrical systems,” Kelly says. “We bring the skill set and experienced team necessary to deal with the surprise maintenance problems related to mechanical or electrical failures or old infrastructure issues. When replacing equipment and/or components is not the best option for 24/7/365 customers, we can offer various, complex solutions to extending the life of existing equipment.”