About 125 construction workers spent Tuesday morning driving backhoes, welding and cleaning and installing large nuts to secure a 149-foot tall boiler stack at the Lodi Energy Center. The natural gas power plant is located on 4.4 acres at the city of Lodi's White Slough wastewater plant and will generate 280 megawatts of power of which Lodi will receive 30.
The entire project costs $452 million and will be paid for through bond financing. Lodi Electric Utility users will pay down the utility's $41 million share of the bond debt in their electric utility rates.
The Northern California Power Agency will construct, own and operate the plant, and it will pay the city of Lodi to rent the land and to use Lodi's wastewater in the plant.
On the worksite, carpenters, boilermakers, electricians, pipe fitters, operating engineers and laborers race against the clock to get some key portions of the project done before the rain comes.
For example, the contractors are hoping to pour concrete before the ground gets wet. When they poured the foundation for the heat recovery steam generator, it took about 12 hours and used 1,800 cubic yards of concrete, said Ed Warner, project manager for the center.
The combined-cycle power plant will suck in air to combine with hot gas to create combustion to power a generator, said Jim Bittner, the site superintendent. Then, the heat will be combined with wastewater from White Slough to create steam and then put that through a second generator.
The remaining steam will go through a seven-cell cooling tower and then will be injected 4,500 feet into the ground, so it is no where near the water table, Bittner said.
The $140 million power island was purchased from Germany-based Siemens Energy. The plant will provide up to 175 construction jobs, and nine permanent positions when it is operational.
Parts of the power plant will be combined with an existing 14- year-old plant, like the control room, Bittner said.
"We are trying to gain efficiently by using what is already there," he said.