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Power Engineering Project of the Year award won by the John L. Featherstone Plant

Amec Foster Wheeler was engaged by Hudson Ranch Power 1, LLC (Owner) to provide design engineering for a 49.9 megawatt geothermal plant constructed at a project site near Niland, California. The facility was a triple flash plant using Crystallizer Reactor Clarifier (CRC) technology to process the geothermal brine and steam from the Salton Sea production wells. The plant’s electrical output was connected to the local community-owned utility,Imperial Irrigation District (IID) transmission system at 230kV. The facility will be operated via a commercially-available Distributed Control System (DCS). The plant also included an administration building and separate machine shop and warehouse.

The overall scope of this project was very diverse. The plant was subdivided into the following two main areas: the Brine Processing Facility and the Turbine Generator Facility. These areas were full of energy conservation methods to extract every possible ounce of energy from the geothermal source.This holistic approach by Amec Foster Wheeler allowed the reduction of parasitic load on the plant, making the plant more profitable for the client.

Brine Processing Facility

  • Consisted of a number of production wells on a single well pad, the brine/steam pipelines, the CRC system, and the injection system
  • Processed the brine to generate turbine quality steam at three pressures (high pressure, standard pressure and low pressure) for the Turbine Generator Facility
  • This complex interaction of steam pressures was key to maximizing the energy production, and required non-standard equipment and trade skills.
  • The brine continued through a series of vessels and the main brine injection system to return the heat-depleted fluids to the geothermal reservoir
  • Included the solids handling system, the steam scrubbers, and the aerated brine injection well
  • The brine injection system also conveys heat depleted brine to a number of injection wells located offsite

Turbine Generator Facility

  • Included power production equipment along with the turbine generator set, electrical distribution/transmission, heat rejection equipment, fire protection, condensate injection, water treatment and disposal systems
  • The facility's auxiliary system included instrumentation service air, cooling tower chemical addition, disturbance control standard (DCS), service/utilities/potable water,service water pond, gas extraction, and condensate injection system
  • The Hudson Ranch I plant operates as a base load merchant plant delivering 49.9 MW of continuous net export electric power under summer design point conditions

The plant was designed with installed spare capacity, redundancy, and other features to achieve an annual capacity factor of 98%. The design of systems and equipment was intended to provide maximum reliability. All rotating and condensate equipment was provided with installed spare capacity unless otherwise specified. Critical spares such as brine system control valves and critical turbine spare parts are kept in Owner’s on-site inventory.

Location:Niland, California, US
Client:Hudson Ranch Power, LLC
Value:US$6 million (Amec Foster Wheeler)
Scope:Design engineering
Date:2009 - 2012