Emerson is upgrading the Magnolia gas-fired power plant using Ovation technology. Image courtesy of Emerson.
The 980MW Magnolia combined-cycle power plant is located near Ashland, in Benton County, Mississippi, US.
The electricity from the Magnolia combined-cycle power plant is transmitted though a 500kV line.

The Magnolia power plant is a 980MW gas-fired, combined-cycle power generating facility located in Mississippi, US.

Owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the power plant has been operational since 2003.

The gas-fired plant is undergoing a £82.39m ($110m) upgrade as part of TVA’s five-year plan to install digital technologies for advanced operations, enhanced cybersecurity and digital twin-enabled training.

The Magnolia power plant  upgrade is expected to be completed by 2022. It is one of the first power plants in the US to be recognised by the Department of Energy (DOE) for meeting ISO 50001 Energy Management Standards.

Location and site details

The Magnolia combined-cycle power station is located on a 374acre-site near Ashland, in Benton County, in northwest Mississippi, US.

Magnolia combined-cycle power plant upgrade

The natural gas-fired power station upgrade involves the replacement of the existing systems with Emerson’s Ovation™ automation system and software. The Ovation technology incorporates the distributed control system (DCS), safety instrumented systems (SIS), and the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

The software will also employ digital twin technologies for quick response to safe power generation demands. The Ovation™ technology also supports integrated vibration monitoring, generator excitation control, virtualisation, and embedded simulation for optimising plant operations.

The upgrade at the power generation facility will utilise robust cybersecurity technologies to enhance and secure operations at the power plant.

The Ovation technology solution has also been designated as Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Magnolia power plant make-up

The Magnolia natural gas-fired power plant consists of three combined-cycle units of 1x1x1 configuration. Each unit is equipped with one combustion (gas) turbine, one steam turbine, and one heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The other components of the power plant include cooling towers, chimneys, and warehouses.

Each HRSG includes a natural gas duct firing capacity to increase the steam flow during peak power demand.

All of the three units are equipped with dry low-NOx burners and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system for emissions control.

While General Electric (GE) supplied the gas turbines, the steam turbine generators were procured from Alstom. The heat recovery steam generators were provided by Foster Wheeler.

Contractors involved 

Emerson was contracted by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for the digital modernisation of the Magnolia combined-cycle power plant in December 2020.

Magnolia gas power station background

The Magnolia combined-cycle power plant was acquired by TVA from Kelson company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kelson Energy, for £267.06m ($436m) in August 2011.

Built in 2002, it is TVA’s fifth gas-powered plant which is a state-of-the-art facility with zero emissions of NOx and SO2. All the three units of the power plant were placed into operation in 2003.

The electricity generated by the plant is evacuated into the Tennessee Valley Authority grid through a 500kV power transmission line.

The Magnolia gas-fired plant serves electricity to approximately 10 million people in the seven south eastern states Tennessee Valley region including Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.