Energy/Industrial: Best Project: Mustang Energy Center
Mustang Energy Center
Owner: Oklahoma Gas & Electric
Lead Design Firm/General Contractor/Civil/Structural/MEP Engineer: Burns & McDonnell
Despite changes that compressed the project schedule by eight months, the team building the Mustang Energy Center completed the project on time and $55 million under budget.
Mustang Energy Center is a gas-combustion turbine-power facility designed to maintain grid stability in a region also powered by wind farms and solar energy.
Oklahoma Gas & Electric, which serves 850,000 customers and is the state’s largest electric utility, owns the facility. It replaced the 1950s-era Mustang Power Plant.
To improve grid reliability, the utility decided to retire its 60-year-old combustion units in 2017, creating an urgent need to replace that power-generating capacity before the 2018 summer cooling season began.
The facility’s new power units can begin generating power and adding it to the grid in less than 10 minutes, compared with 10 to 20 hours for the previous units, among the oldest in their class.
Since the facility went into service in late 2017, all seven units have been dispatched a total of 685 times through the end of April, generating nearly 180,000 megawatt-hours of electricity. This compares with a total of 22 starts for the now-retired Mustang units for all of 2017. All the new units run almost daily, with some units starting up and shutting down six times a day in response to fluctuating power demand on the grid.