The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Magnolia power plant is a 24-hour facility located in the small town of Ashland, Mississippi. Built in 2002, it is TVA’s largest combined-cycle gas plant. TVA provides electricity through its local public power companies to nine million people in parts of seven states. The Magnolia site features cooling towers, turbine areas and warehousing to service the town and the surrounding area’s power and energy needs.
As an energy provider, the plant’s management needed to ensure it was operating efficiently from a lighting perspective. It was using 12-year old high intensity discharge (HID) fixtures throughout the facility that were beginning to cause significant maintenance and safety issues for the plants’ workers.
Ballasts were failing frequently and a lift was required to install new ones. This not only created safety issues because of the ceiling height, but also resulted in additional costs for lift rental. The lighting was also inadequate, causing problems, such as trip hazards, for operators throughout the evening hours.
There were even more challenges with the lighting. The current HID fixtures were letting rainwater in due to loose seals in the housing. To eliminate this issue, the facility needed wet-location listed fixtures.
Finally, the fixtures took approximately 10 minutes to heat up to full light output. Workers would typically leave the lighting on in order to avoid long start-up times, leading to energy waste.
Changes for the Better
As a way to address the power plant’s unique challenges, a total of 782 LED fixtures were installed throughout the plant with integrated sensors from Acuity Controls.
More than 500 Petrolux LED luminaires from Holophane® were installed since the luminaires are a reliable, low-maintenance lighting option for both harsh, demanding environments including wet locations.
In addition to their durability and controllability, the Petrolux LED luminaires are instant-on – which reduced the start‑up time the facility experienced with its previous HID fixtures. The embedded occupancy sensors save significant energy in areas of the plant being unoccupied for two to three days at a time.
The TVA continued with additional lighting upgrades. Sixty-five Phuzion LED high bays from Holophane were also installed in the warehouse, which are ideal for high ceilings because of their high vertical lighting levels. The long-life of the fixtures helps reduce maintenance.
LED floodlights and LED wall packs from Holophane were also installed throughout the facility in its outdoor areas and warehouse.
A Better Light
Since its installation in September 2014, the new lighting system has saved the facility about $60,000 in energy usage and maintenance work. Additionally, the increased safety factor increases the overall benefit of the project.
Before installing the LED fixtures, the plant had to put up additional light in order to have sufficient lighting when working at night. With the installment of the new lamps, extra lighting is no longer necessary.
Feedback from plant employees has been extremely positive. Citizens of Ashland have also noticed the difference in the power plant’s lighting system.
TVA Magnolia was the first power plant in the network to complete a facility-wide upgrade. The project has inspired other sister plants within the TVA network to begin work on similar lighting retrofits.