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Tallahassee utility celebrates 10 years with no lost-time accidents

From the June 14, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 14, 2013

By Jeannine Anderson

A power plant owned by the city of Tallahassee, Fla., recently marked a safety milestone: 10 years without a single lost-time accident. The utility reached the 10-year milestone on April 28 at the city's 504-MW Arvah B. Hopkins Generating Station.

"The Hopkins employees achieved this remarkable milestone by working 10 years and over 1.25 million hours without any lost-time accidents," said utility General Manager Rob McGarrah. "This is an extraordinary accomplishment, rarely, if ever, achieved in the industry."

The accomplishment "far exceeds industry standards and equates to more than $1 million in savings for our customers," said City Commissioner Scott Maddox, lead commissioner on the City’s Financial Viability Target Issue Committee.

Tallahassee staff celebrating the safety record included, from left to right: Triveni Singh, manager of power production; Greg Shierling, Hopkins plant electrical and instrumentation technician; Clark Sheehan, Hopkins plant manager; Lee Perdue, city of Tallahassee safety specialist; Rick Fernandez, city of Tallahassee assistant city manager, utility services; Rob McGarrah, electric utility general manager; Pat Faircloth, Hopkins assistant plant manager; Charles Smith, Hopkins plant water analyst, Alex Ramirez, senior inventory parts specialist; John DeMontmollin, Hopkins power plant operator apprentice; Jason Bennett, Hopkins plant maintenance mechanic; Gail Shuffler, city of Tallahassee risk manager; and Jennifer Hill, city of Tallahassee safety administrator. Photo courtesy of City of Tallahassee

Built in 1971, the Hopkins power plant was expanded to more than double its original size in 1977 with construction of a second boiler and power generator. The city converted the Hopkins Unit 2 conventional steam-generating unit to a more efficient combined-cycle system under the Hopkins Unit 2 Repowering Project. In 2011, Unit 2 of the Hopkins plant was profiled by Power magazine as a "top plant." Each year, the magazine designates half a dozen of the most noteworthy gas-fired power plants worldwide for the top plant designation. The other gas-fired plants recognized as top plants by the magazine that year were plants in Turkey, NYC, United Arab Emirates, Germany and France.

The Tallahassee Electric Utility was recognized earlier this year under APPA's Reliable Public Power (RP3) program for demonstrated excellence in reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. The municipal utility is the 2012 winner of APPA's Scattergood System Achievement Award, the highest award presented to a member utility.


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