AMEA-Sylacauga Plant

AMEA-Sylacauga Plant

AMEA-Sylacauga Plant

In 2004, AMEA became the first organization in Alabama in more than 80 years to build a power generation plant owned by a municipality. The AMEA-Sylacauga Plant, which is owned collectively by the 11 municipal electric systems that comprise AMEA, utilizes two aeroderivative General Electric (GE) combustion turbine generating units fueled by natural gas with a generating capacity of 95,000 kilowatts, which is enough energy to supply approximately 70,000 homes. The GE LM 6000 gas turbine is a stationary gas turbine that is derived from the family of jet engines. The aircraft version of the engine is used to drive several types of commercial aircrafts like the Boeing 747-400. The AMEA-Sylacauga Plant is capable of being started and brought to full load operations in less than 15 minutes. This capability makes the plant cost effective for peaking operations. The AMEA-Sylacauga Plant plays a critical role in the economic generating mix required to supply the dynamic hourly energy demand. Peaking facilities, like the AMEA-Sylacauga Plant, are usually dispatched on a short notice to operate during extreme conditions when the demand is greater than the current on-line generation, for example, the hottest or coldest hours. Also, a peaking facility may be dispatched to generate if a large facility, such as a nuclear plant, unexpectedly trips off-line.