Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Project

Leprino Foods | Greeley, Colorado

To offset electricity costs and augment steam production, Leprino Foods Corp (LFC) desired a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at their Greeley, Colorado, cheese-production facility. The project involved several challenges: minimizing down time to keep production running and protect stored product, integrating into a complex existing facility, and locating the unit in an extremely congested area of the plant.

Merrick teamed with MasTec Power Corp (MPC) to develop an EPC project for Leprino. The project was based on Siemens STG-300 combustion turbines exhausting into Cleaver-Brooks heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs). Natural gas supplied to the project was boosted in pressure through two 100% capacity gas compressors supplied by UE Compression. The 20MWe nominal project was fully integrated into the existing facility, including:

  • Upgrade of their existing feedwater system, including upgraded pumps and a new “split” feedwater system that allows the existing boilers to operate independently of the new HRSG feedwater system
  • Steam pressure let-down valve to allow installation of a future steam turbine generator
  • Integration into their existing 15kV switchyard
  • Miscellaneous utilities integrated into their existing systems

Minimizing Down Time

At a cheese production facility, any down time means a loss of profits because production of the product stops. For this project, down time also could require a loss of power, so refrigerated storage (and all stored product) is lost. Because of this, outages or interruptions in service require extensive planning and considerations of financial impact. The Merrick/MPC steam developed the project to allow the integration of the CHP facility with minimal impact to the existing plant operations.

Designing in 3D to Minimize Potential Conflicts with Existing Structures/Systems

Placing a new system in the middle of a complex facility creates many possible conflicts with existing systems: piping, electrical conduits, and steel supports, etc., all must be accurately checked and recorded so the new system fits with the existing. To solve this issue, Merrick used LiDAR scans to provide highly accurate as-built information for all project areas (including inside buildings), and then designed completely in 3D, using CADWorx modeling software. All disciplines worked within the model, minimizing concerns of conflicts between existing and new work. Minimizing these interferences in the design phase leads to fewer RFIs in the construction phase, which translates to less work stoppage and less down time for the production line.

Integrating New Design into Congested Area

The CHP is located in an extremely congested area of the plant, with many critical underground systems and components that could potentially interfere with the foundation. Merrick’s team developed foundation designs to ‘bridge’ the sensitive underground areas.


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