HOUSTON, March 1 (Reuters) - The 1,280-megawatt Unit 2 at the South Texas Project nuclear station in Texas is expected to be back in service by mid-April, well before the state's peak electric demand, NRG Energy officials told investors this week.
The unit has been shut since Nov. 29, when the main generator malfunctioned due to a ground fault that resulted in damage to rotor and stator coils, South Texas Nuclear Operating Co officials said previously.
The 72 coils have been replaced and the damaged rotor is being refurbished at a Siemens facility in North Carolina.
The Texas grid agency and regulators are watching the state's generating supply after a heatwave in 2011 sent electric demand soaring, straining resources. The grid operator was forced to curtail power to some industrial customers on certain days, but avoided rolling outages.
The 1,280-MW Unit 1 has continued operating at full power. -------------------------------------------------------------
PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: Texas COUNTY: Matagorda TOWN: Bay City, 90 miles (145 km) south of Houston OPERATOR: STP Nuclear Operating Co OWNERS: NRG Energy, 44 percent; City of San
Antonio's CPS Energy, 40 percent; City of Austin's
Austin Energy, 16 percent CAPACITY: 2,700 MW UNITS: 1 - 1,280 MW pressurized water reactor
2 - 1,280 MW pressurized water reactor FUEL: Nuclear DISPATCH: Baseload
TIMELINE: 1976 - Start of plant construction 1988 - Unit 1 enters commercial operation 1989 - Unit 2 enters commercial operation 2007 - NRG files license application to build two new
Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR) at the site 2010 - STP files application to renew operating licenses
for units 1 and 2 for an additional 20 years 2011 - NRG ends investment in new reactors after
Fukushima accident; COL process continues 2011 - Regulators approve amended ABWR design 2027 - Unit 1 license to expire unless renewed 2028 - Unit 2 license to expire unless renewed (Reporting by Eileen O'Grady; Editing by Dale Hudson)