Big Rivers owns and operates 1,444 MW of net generating capacity from four power stations:
Kenneth C. Coleman– 443 MW – Hawesville
Robert A. Reid Station– 130 MW – Robards
Robert D. Green Station– 454 MW – Robards
D. B. Wilson Station– 417 MW – Centertown
In addition to the power stations we own, Big Rivers also has contractual rights to 197 MW from the Station Two units owned by Henderson Municipal Power and Light (HMP&L). HMP&L has the contractual right to increase or decrease its capacity reservation from Station Two up to 5 MW each year to meet the needs of the City of Henderson. HMP&L’s most recent reservation is 115 MW through May 2016, 120 MW through May 2017 and 125 MW through May 2020.
A third source of power for the Big Rivers system comes from contractual rights to 178 MW of hydropower from the Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA). The SEPA contract is currently in force majeure due to safety issues at the Center Hill dam, Big Rivers is currently under a “Revised Interim Operating Schedule” also referred to as “Partial Scheduling” in which the amount of energy that can be scheduled weekly by Big Rivers is based on dam maintenance outages and water issues (level or quality). Based on current expectations, Big Rivers will be able to access the full 178 MW of SEPA capacity in the 4th quarter of 2018.
Big Rivers’ total generating capacity is 1,819 MW, including owned assets and contractual rights:
Owned generation – 1,444 MW
HMP&L Station Two – 197 MW
SEPA hydropower – 178 MW
Generating Unit Reliability
As part of our strategic plan key performance indicators, Big Rivers monitors the reliability of our coal-fired generating fleet using several standard industry metrics. This allows us to proactively manage those assets and to economically operate our power plants with a focus on performance and reliability. These key performance indicators include:
Equivalent Forced Outage Rate (EFOR)— the percentage of time a generating unit is unexpectedly offline or unable to reach its rated capacity
Equivalent Availability Factor (EAF)— the percentage of time a generating unit is available for power production at its full-rated capacity
Net Capacity Factor (NCF)— the percentage of time maximum generation capability is actually generated
Big Rivers uses generator availability data from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to determine EFOR for our generating units and to compare their reliability against other utilities. Big Rivers also uses Navigant Consulting to compare our plant reliability against similar units across the country. Our reliability statistics demonstrate outstanding performance. In a five-year benchmarking study completed in 2016, for the period from 2011 through 2015, Big Rivers’ fleet (capacity weighted) performed in the best quartile. This data is shown in the table below.
Big Rivers Units
5.14 % (lower is better)
89.86 % (higher is better)
80.80 % (higher is better)
Generating Facility Maintenance
The scope and expense associated with periodic planned outages are developed through a rigorous review of multiple reports and documents. These documents include previous post outage reports, third-party inspection reports and recommendations, lists of known preventative maintenance tasks and active work orders identifying known equipment malfunctions.
Big Rivers uses a computerized maintenance management system to plan and schedule predictive and preventative maintenance inspections to track the condition of power plant equipment. The results of these tests, inspections, and analyses are used to determine future maintenance needs included in strategic outage plans. Each task included in an outage plan is individually reviewed with time and expense estimated for inclusion in the appropriate outage budget.
Navigant GKS Operational Excellence Awards
In 2015, Navigant recognized Henderson Municipal Power & Light Station Two as the Top Performer with the GKS Fossil Plant Operational Excellence Award in the small plant category when compared to its peers, which includes generating stations with units that average 300 MW or less.
Also in 2015, Navigant recognized Wilson Station as the Runner-Up with the GKS Fossil Plant Operational Excellence Award in the medium plant category when compared to its peers, which includes generating stations with units with a generating output between 301 and 600 MW.
In 2012, 2013, and 2014, Navigant recognized Coleman Station as the Top Performer with the GKS Fossil Plant Operational Excellence Award in the small plant category when compared to its peers, which included generating stations with units that average 200 MW or less. Coleman Station produces a total of 443 MW from its three generating units; an average unit size of about 148 MW each.
Data used in Navigant’s analysis of cost and performance includes more than 650 coal-fired units, or 75 percent of the U.S. electric-generating coal fleet. Plants were evaluated over a five-year period in five areas: efficient management of non-fuel operations and maintenance costs, high availability, improving reliability trend, predictable reliability performance, and personnel safety performance.
These national awards are a testament to Big River’s reliable generating units, efficient operation, effective planning and conscientious employees who embrace the values of safety, excellence and teamwork. We are very proud of each one of the dedicated team members who comprise our production group, as each generating station works together using a system-wide team approach to make investment and maintenance decisions.