Emerson to modernise TVA Power Plant for reliable, clean energy

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has selected Emerson to modernise and optimise its Magnolia power plant that delivers reliable, cleaner electricity to customers. The Magnolia project is part of TVA’s five-year, $110 million investment to install digital technologies across its power generating fleet. Emerson’s software and technologies will support TVA’s efforts to digitally transform the Mississippi plant through advanced operations, enhanced cybersecurity and digital twin-enabled training.

TVA is the United States’ largest public power provider, supplying electricity to companies that serve 10 million people in the seven-state Tennessee Valley region. The 980-megawatt Magnolia plant, in operation since 2003, uses combined cycle technology, generating up to 50% more electricity from natural gas while producing less emissions than other sources.

Reliable, responsible operations are critical to meet the region’s growing power needs, and legacy technologies – which are more expensive and difficult to maintain – present a challenge. Emerson will replace existing systems at the combined-cycle plant with its Ovation automation system and software. Digital twin technologies will provide advanced training to operators, enabling them to respond quickly and safely to power generation demands. Robust cybersecurity technologies are integral to Emerson’s comprehensive solution that is designed to enhance and secure operations at the Magnolia facility.

“These upgrades are part of a larger long-term asset strategy to maintain our existing fleet in such a way that we can depend on their operation for years to come,” said Allen Clare, TVA vice president for gas & hydro operations.

Emerson and TVA are using virtual technologies in place of face-to-face interaction to keep the project moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“TVA is committed to digitally transforming its fleet so it can provide more reliable and cleaner electricity to its customers,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson’s power and water business. “Our technologies have allowed us to keep this critical project on schedule and prioritise the safety of communities and operations.”

The Magnolia project is expected to be completed in 2022. TVA provides power to most of Tennessee and portions of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

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