The Penal Power Station is situated at Syne Village, Penal. This site was chosen because of the abundance of natural gas which had very little commercial value at that time. Construction of the plant began in 1950 with the establishment of a 11,400 Volt Busbar System and the installation of a 5 MW steam turbine which was commissioned in 1953.
Water for steam production and condenser cooling for the plant is obtained from surface water collected from the Moora Dam. Steam for the steam turbine was supplied by a boiler rated at a steam flow of 60,000 lbs. per hour, steam pressure of 400 lb/inch² and super-heater outlet temperature of 740°F. In 1955, another 5 MW steam turbine was commissioned.
The year 1957 saw the addition of a 20 MW steam turbine with its boiler rated at a steam flow of 240,000 lbs. per hour, pressure of 620 lb/inch² and super-heater outlet temperature of 865 °F.
With the anticipated expansion of the generating capacity of the Penal Power Station, two important developments took place between 1958 and 1960: (i) a 33,000 volt (33kv) Busbar System was installed; and (ii) The Mora Dam having a storage capacity of approximately 200,000,000 imperial gallons was built to accommodate the accompanying increased demand for water.
In 1960 and 1962, a further two 20 MW steam turbines, with similar boiler ratings were commissioned bringing the total installed capacity of the Penal Power Station to 70MW. In 1976, two 20 MW gas turbines were added, increasing the total installed capacity of the Penal Power Station to 110 MW and providing “Black Start Capability” which is the ability to start up independently of the power grid.
The largest development took place at the Penal Power Station during the period 1982 to 1985 with the construction of a 66,000 volt (66kv) Switch-house utilising Gas Insulated Switchgear and a 196MW Combined Cycle Plant. This plant consisted of two GE Frame 7 Gas Turbines, each exhausting into a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) and one GE steam turbine, having design steam conditions of 850 lb/inch² and temperature of 950°F.
PowerGen commenced an upgrade of the gas turbines at the Penal combined cycle plant in March 2016, these new gas turbines were commissioned on November 3rd, 2016. This resulted in increased power output from the plant by 34MW, improved heat rate and enhanced reliability. This historic project was the first of its kind to be done outside of the United States of America and represents the Company’s deep commitment to sustainability and continued growth. The present total installed capacity of the Penal Power Station is 234 MW.