600 on site for Sandow work
More than 600 contractors are now on the Unit 5 site for a variety of routine maintenance projects, plus a larger task that’s been long awaited.
Ashley Barrie, Luminant Corporate Communications Manager, told The Reporter that contractors have begun a major noise abatement project on the three-year old unit.
Residents of the area south of Rockdale began complaining about noise and vibrations at Unit 5 immediately after the 581- megawatt steam powered power generation unit went on line in August, 2009.
BAFFLES—“The key part of this project involves removing a section of existing duct work and replacing it with soundreducing baffles,” Barrie said.
“The baffles are designed to help mitigate noise coming from the unit when it is in operation,” she said.
In November, 2009, Unit 5 was shut down for 12 days as a company contractor installed steel plates in an attempt to reduce noise and vibrations.
That project was credited with helping lessen the long-range effects of Unit 5 vibration and sound but closer-in neighbors, especially those in the adjacent Champions Drive area, continued to lodge complaints.
Luminant had stayed in touch with residents of the area and promised another noise abatement project. The company had acknowledged a “steady hum and low-frequency vibrations.”
In the weeks after the unit went on-line in August, 2009, area residents reported vibrations so intense that “walls shook and water jiggled in a glass.”
Barrie said once contractors complete work on Unit 5, they will begin standard maintenance projects on Unit 4 “to help ensure optimal operation of the unit and its existing environmental controls in advance of the peak summer months.”