Pumped Storage Project
Along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan lies the city of Ludington, which hosts one of the world's largest pumped storage facilities. Jointly owned by Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison, the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant sits on 1,000 acres and has been in operation since 1973. The 1,872-megawatt plant houses six vertical Francis-type pump generating units with plans for a major overhaul to begin in 2011, about 20 years after the last plant overhaul.
We are helping prepare for this event with a comprehensive condition assessment of all major plant equipment, including inspection of all equipment and non-destructive examination of critical components. We use the index method for physical equipment inspections with vibration testing and heat runs of the generator/motor and main power transformers. Results are used to estimate the remaining life of major components and upgrade capabilities. We are also performing economic modeling to provide a basis for scoping decisions and to value the plant in the MISO system. Logistical surveys include issues related to the manufacture and transport of new pump/turbine runners. We will assist with RFP preparation, development of a bid evaluation methodology and competitive model test criteria and engineering support.