First U.S.-made JAC turbines operating commercially

By Jack Burke26 May 2022

Replaces coal-fired facility

The first two Mitsubishi Power M501JAC gas turbines manufactured in North America are operating commercially at the 1200 MW Jackson Generation Project, a combined-cycle power plant in Illinois USA.

The Jackson plant dispatches power into the PJM regional transmission organization, modernizing and diversifying the Illinois power grid and generating enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes. The project supports Illinois’s commitment to renewable energy by providing efficient, flexible natural gas generation to complement wind and solar energy. It also reduces the state’s dependence on coal-fired generation. The turbines were manufactured at Mitsubishi Power’s Savannah Machinery Works. The facility opened in 2010 and today manufactures key gas turbine parts, provides complete steam turbine services, and manufactures advanced fuel-efficient gas turbines. The facility employs more than 180.

The owner of the plant, J-POWER-USA, along with Mitsubishi Power and the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor Kiewit Power Constructors Co. (Kiewit) together developed and signed a charter to commit to honest and professional behavior, individually and as a team to build the new plant. The Charter highlights the team’s ability to achieve safety, quality, budget, schedule, stakeholder management, and teamwork as a measure of its success.

The first two Mitsubishi Power M501JAC gas turbines manufactured in North America have reached commercial operation at J-POWER USA’s Jackson Generation Project, a 1200 MW combined-cycle power plant in Elwood, Illinois. (Image: J-POWER USA Development Co. Ltd.)

“The engineering, project execution, and teamwork for Jackson Generation have been exceptional,” said Mark Condon, President and CEO of J-POWER USA. “Mitsubishi Power and Kiewit have worked closely and transparently with the Jackson commissioning crews throughout the global pandemic to overcome the impact that it has had across the entire supply chain. We are proud to enter commercial operation on time with the first American-made M501JAC gas turbines and one of the most fuel-efficient natural gas power plants in the world.”

Mitsubishi Power said the JAC is the world’s leading gas turbine, with an efficiency greater than 64% in combined cycle and the lowest emissions in its class. The Jackson Generation plant will be up to 50% more efficient than peaking plants and will produce more than 65% less carbon dioxide than a legacy coal-fired power plant. Mitsubishi Power’s TOMONI intelligent solutions will further optimize plant performance and reliability, while providing flexibility to respond to fluctuating energy demand and renewable energy supply. Remote monitoring services for Jackson Generation will detect anomalies and diagnose plant performance. These features along with a 25-year service agreement will enable J-POWER USA to reduce maintenance and operating costs as well as emissions.

“While we have executed this project during a challenging period with significant supply chain and labor interruptions, it has been one of our most efficient power plant startups for all makes and models of equipment,” said Steve Burris, senior vice president, New Generation Systems Project Execution, Mitsubishi Power Americas. “That’s a testament to the corporate entities—owner, EPC and OEM—working together as a solid group and executing with a common focus. We truly align with the charter that we all signed at project inception, which begins by stating that we will successfully design, procure, construct and commission Jackson Generation through open communication, mutual respect, trust and cooperation at all levels, and will proactively plan our work, coordinate with each other and be flexible.”

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