500 Biomass, ESI fluidized bed
21.2% capacity increase
In early 2013, Akeida Capital Management Group awarded Deltaway Operation Services, LLC a contract to provide management and operations for two 12.5-megawatt biomass plants in Central California, one in Merced, the other in nearby Chowchilla.
The plants, which Akeida acquired in 2011, were built in the 1980s to a similar design, to be fueled by a mix of agricultural and urban construction waste. Prior to the acquisition, both plants had suffered from years of deferred maintenance and declining performance. Modifications by previous operations contractors had introduced substantial differences between the plants, sacrificing opportunities for maintenance synergy.
In selecting Deltaway, Akeida found an experienced partner with the performance improvement tools and knowledge of best practices to optimize the plant and reduce its operating costs. Deltaway reviewed plant performance audits and prepared for outages to perform a complete inspection and plant testing. Meanwhile, a full-time Deltaway plant manager revitalized the plant’s project team.
As the makeover progressed under the oversight of its technical team, Deltaway’s contributions were measured by sustainable improvements in availability, steam cycle efficiency, and safety and environmental performance, and rewarded through a pay-for-performance model.