“Introduction to Large Thermal Power Generation Plants,” a unique 3-day, introductory course that explained how energy is created through a combination of classroom instruction and the rare opportunity to tour four power plants, was held at Williamson July 12-14 in the Strine Learning Center.
The continuing education course, which was designed for the general public and power industry professionals, focused on large, field-erected steam generators with a 500,000 to 4 million pounds per hour steam-generation rating. Power plant tours included Williamson’s Energy Island; Exelon’s Eddystone Generating Station; Logan Generating Plant, a coal-fired power station near Swedesboro, NJ; and NextEra Energy Resources’ Marcus Hook Energy Center (located within the plant site of the former Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery).
Williamson offered the course because it is known as “Industry’s Workforce Development Partner” and has been producing graduates for over 125 years that have reached the top tier of energy and electric production companies across the U.S., said lead instructor Richard Storm, PE, 6W2, a trustee and senior consultant at Storm Technologies, Inc.
Storm said, “A bonus that we did not expect was that at each of the plants visited Williamson was represented by well-qualifed professionals. At the NextEra plant,we were met by three Williamson men who gave a detailed tour and answered all of our questions. The same was true at the Eddystone and Logan plants. President Rounds also was with us and we know his heart was warmed to see so many successful Williamson men in responsible positions. Interestingly, NextEra espouses similar values as Williamson on ethical human behavior. This fits nicely with Williamson’s character training of the five values: Faith, Integrity, Diligence, Excellence, and Service.”
Storm said the main goal of the course was to demonstrate where our energy comes from and how it is produced because, “Only about one percent of Americans realize that over 90 percent of our daily energy comes from thermal energy — natural gas, nuclear, coal, and oil — and that renewable energy — the sun and wind — only provide 10 percent.
“This course was designed to educate the public on how the energy we use everyday is created and where it comes from. However, most of the participants are employed in the industry in administrative positions that do not provide them access to see a full-scale power plant. I am very pleased with the results.”
Along with Storm, the other instructors, all either Williamson graduates or employees, included John Beaudry, PE, director of power plant technology; Kevin Hatch 0W8, shift supervisor, System Operations, at PJM Interconnection; Stacy Starr 6W8, a retired senior technical service engineer at Sunoco and past president of the Alumni Association; and Tom Reilly 7W8, president, TJR Technical Services.
Storm added, “Our instructors represented a total of more than 125 years of power generation experience. We felt this more than qualified us to present this course.”