If you have never been to a power plant I can promise you that you will be blown away by its size. We are talking about tunnels hundreds of meters into a mountain, turbines with a 2 meter radius, transformers that are twice the height of an average man. In school I learned all about how hydropower plants turn the potential energy in water into electricity. I also learned about the different components the stations are made up of and how they function. But I have to admit I have never really thought about the size of the equipment that is needed to produce the electricity.
Skjomen power station
Working with Asset Ownership, a prerequisite of doing a good job is to have a great understanding of how a power station works. To build up such a competence, one has to see different power stations. I was therefore invited to Narvik to visit one of Statkraft’s many power plants. The plant I was invited to see was Skjomen, one of the biggest power plants in Norway. This power plant produces on average 1,1-1,2 TWh of electricity per year. Which makes up almost 1% of the total consumption in Norway.
Skjomen power station is located south of Narvik. The drive to the power station took us, me and two statkraft people visiting from Peru, about an hour. This is pretty central, compared to many of our other plants which it takes 4-6 hours to travel too. On our way we visited the regional power group in Skjomen, which is responsible for operation of the station. They told us about their work and how they had implemented “Lean”, continuous improvement, at their facilities. After this talk, we went to see the station ourself!
HSSE is the number one priority
Before entering we had to change into our working uniform and put on helmets. We also had to write down our names, so to keep a track of everyone inside in case of an emergency. HSSE is taken really seriously at Statkraft and we are taught from the first day that it is our number one priority.
Seeing the action
Skjomen powerplant consists of three units, where each unit can produce up to 300 MW. This is equivalent to 140 000 horsepower! I have included some of the pictures I took during the visit.