Gas-Fired Power Plant Project Defies Challenges to Deliver Safe, Reliable Power | Black & Veatch

Gas-Fired Power Plant Project Defies Challenges to Deliver Safe, Reliable Power

Gas-Fired Power Plant Project Defies Challenges to Deliver Safe, Reliable Power

Project Name
Barry 8 Combined Cycle
Bucks, Alabama
Alabama Power

Alabama Power delivers on its commitment to bring customers safe, reliable, and resilient power. In November 2023, the utility completed its state-of-the-art combined cycle generation facility, Plant Barry Unit 8 (Barry 8). The combined cycle unit uses Mitsubishi Power’s M501JAC advanced-class combustion turbine technology and can generate up to 727 megawatts (MW) to power more than 200,000 homes. As the turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, Black & Veatch and partner Mitsubishi Power completed the project on time and within budget while achieving 1.9 million man-hours with zero lost time incidents.

“This project showcases Black & Veatch’s full depth of skill and scale to bring a combined-cycle natural gas power plant from greenfield to start-up and commissioning,” remarked the Black & Veatch Barry 8 Project Manager, Rick Janik. “But what I’m most proud of is our team, and their commitment to safety. Despite the sheer size of the project, and its many challenges, we achieved an exemplary safety performance on this project, logging 1.9 million man-hours with zero lost time incidents.”

Engineer Turned Trusted EPC Provider

Initially contracted for engineering services only, we successfully transitioned a past project to a full EPC execution and delivered it within the set timelines and budget. Our excellent performance and flexibility on this project led to a trusted and ongoing partnership with Alabama Power.

Start of Barry 8 coincided with the start of a global pandemic; but this did not deter the project team. With a solid foundation and a commitment to safety and quality, the team overcame unexpected challenges, such as construction during COVID-19, and a one-year switchgear delivery delay. Once again, undeterred by the setback, Black & Veatch promptly secured temporary switchgear to keep the project moving forward without affecting the schedule.

“The entire team from Black & Veatch (project team and executive leadership) was committed to success and to Alabama Power’s needs the entirety of the project,” said Joey Steele, Barry 8 Project Manager for Alabama Power. “We found them to be professional and execution-driven with safety and quality as a key focus.”

Diverse Expertise Leads to Streamlined Solution

Black & Veatch’s and partner Mitsubishi’s full scope for Barry 8 included engineering, design, manufacturing, procurement of all materials and equipment, construction, startup and commissioning, and performance testing for the facility. Black & Veatch deployed skilled professionals from their in-house Grid Solutions and Commercial & Industrial teams to design and build a 230 kV collector yard and deploy a pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) to house administration, which lent to the project’s seamless and efficient execution. In addition, Black & Veatch delivered external infrastructure, including an access road with a bridge, underground utilities, makeup water supply pumps, and tie-ins to the existing plant. Black & Veatch worked with Built Robotics to perform part of the trench excavation using a robotic excavator, which streamlined workflows, supplemental workforce and increased safety in rugged terrain.

“Incorporating AI technology into Barry 8 allowed us to vet an emerging technology that has the potential to reduce manhours in the field and work more safely. We can now look for additional opportunities to deploy on future projects to bring the same efficiencies and safety mindset,” said Janik.

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