UCC was recently contracted to decommission a raw cooling water intake structure located approximately one mile offshore of Lake Michigan. As part of the power plant closure, the UCC Wisconsin office worked closely with the fossil fuel power generation utility owner to complete the structure demolition. UCC’s Wisconsin team has been providing general marine diving services at the site for over a decade. The UCC project team used existing knowledge of the intake system and past experience from other site fossil decommissioning projects to overcome the decommissioning challenges on and in open water.
As of 2022, nearly 360 U.S. coal plants have shut or plan to shut, compared with about 170 plants that remain active. Over the years, UCC has been an integral part of many of these important decommissioning projects. One of Wisconsin’s largest coal-fired power plants in Kenosha County shut down in 2018, and UCC was there to help
In order to complete the decommissioning services, UCC performed power plant diving services within the underwater intake/discharge infrastructure. We also provided underwater cutting, debris removal, and underwater welding. Overall, UCC ensured the functional intake structure was safely dismantled and removed from the water. The intake structure was removed to lake bottom grade and isolated as required by governmental and permitting agencies.
“Our project development team and utility owner worked together in a design-build fashion to budget and develop the safest and most economical structure removal possible. As an alternative to mobilizing heavy marine construction equipment the team developed a plan to remove, rig, and transport the structure assembly to shore and then to an approved disposal area utilizing two UCC dive vessels already located in Southern Lake Michigan” says Nick Stathakis, UCC’s Midwest Sales Manager. “The cost savings were significant and quite beneficial along with being environmentally conscious of limiting environmental impacts for our customer.”
The project was a great success. UCC completed the work within the allotted time and budget, and without any complications. UCC informed the city and local marinas of our work before starting the project. They were pleased with UCC’s minimal impact on the community while completing the necessary intake removal. “This project was developed and completed as a wholly UCC performed evolution. Environmental and safety requirements were exceeded with no incidents throughout the duration of the project.”
UCC looks forward to many successful coal-fired power plant decommissioning projects in the near future.