Pasadena Water & Power

Glenarm Repowering Project

 GT5 Operational 

Project Description
Power Plant Location
Objectives Of The Glenarm Power Plant Repowering Project
Features and Benefits
How It Works  
Agenda Reports and Presentation 

Project Description

In December 2016, Pasadena Water and Power completed the Glenarm Repowering Project, an extensive power plant upgrade that includes the replacement of a 51year old steam generating unit, Broadway 3 with a more efficient combined cycle turbine unit known as Gas Turbine 5 (GT-5). Now fully operational, GT-5 provides Pasadena with 71 MW (approximately net 68 MW) of clean, natural-gas fueled power that is the most efficient and environmentally “clean” unit in its class.

The project was officially unveiled on February 24, 2017 at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Glenarm Power Plant. To view a recap of the event, click here.

GT-5’s quick-start capability provides Pasadena with the flexibility needed to help maintain electric reliability as it can generate power within minutes as opposed to the 72-hour start up time needed for Broadway 3. It also operates at the lowest emissions limits of any generator in its class.

With its powerful combination of flexibility, efficiency, and low emissions, GT-5 provides the upgraded infrastructure needed to embrace advances in renewable resources while generating local, reliable power. The project is a key component of PWP’s Power Integrated Resource Plan, which sets a 20-year strategy to provide reliable and environmentally responsible electric service to Pasadena while reducing its dependence on outside energy sources.

Additional information regarding the Glenarm Repowering project can be located by clicking here

Power Plant Location

The City of Pasadena’s power plant is located on a 14 acre site in the southwestern portion of the City. The site consists of two groups of generating facilities bisected by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Gold Line tracks: the Glenarm Plant to the west of the Gold Line and the Broadway Plant to the east.  

Objectives Of The Glenarm Power Plant Repowering Project

  • Maintain the City’s ability to generate power locally, when needed, to make up for an electricity shortfall resulting from import or distribution system limits;
  • Reduce operating, maintenance, and fuel expenses for the local plant;
  • Meet generating capacity planning and operation requirements to support the reliability of the regional power grid operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO); and
  • Provide a flexible generation source to accommodate unexpected changes in load or generation and provide backup for intermittent renewable resources like wind and solar.

Features and Benefits

  • Clean, highly efficient, natural-gas fueled 71 MW combined cycle unit 
  • Less emissions per kWh of energy produced
  • Rapid start and shut down, to generate electricity as needed
  • Provides a stable source of power as a backup for intermittent renewable resources
  • Lowers dependency on outside sources for energy
  • Lowers carbon footprint

How It Works

The upgraded unit is a combined cycle unit that combines gas turbine and steam technologies into one unit. 

Gas Turbine
A gas turbine, similar to those used in jet airplanes, compresses air and mixes it with natural gas, then burns the resulting air-fuel mixture.  The combustion gas expands through the turbine blades which spin and drives the electric generator.  The generator converts mechanical energy into electricity.

Steam Turbine
Exhaust heat from the gas turbine passes into a once-through steam generator (OTSG).  The OTSG is a boiler that uses the heat from the exhaust gas to convert the water into steam.  The steam is then delivered to the steam turbine to produce additional energy for the generator, therefore creating additional electricity.  

Local Hiring

The Glenarm Repowering Project utilized a Local Participation Plan which focuses on the inclusion of local business and residents into the potential contracting and hiring opportunities.  The plan calls for 15% of the subcontracting and procurement on the project to be satisfied by Pasadena businesses; and 25% of the payroll to be satisfied by Pasadena residents. The local subcontracting and procurement component is facilitated through a good-faith effort.  The local hiring component is facilitated through a Project Labor Agreement with the Los Angeles and Orange County Construction and Building Trades.   

Through the Project Labor Agreement between ARB, Inc., and the Los Angeles and Orange County Building and Construction trades, the City was able to secure a local hiring goal of 25% of the certified payroll for the project. Separately, there is a goal of 15% local subcontracting and procurement. As of July 2016, Pasadena residents account for 20.01%, or $2,159,340.10 of the reported certified payroll, and Pasadena businesses account for 34.50% or $2,289,390.20 of the total contracting and procurement.  

"Powering Pasadena" Newsletter

Mailed monthly to plant neighbors and available on this webpage, “Powering Pasadena” explains the status of the Glenarm Repowering Project construction in detail and provide important updates


Water Usage Gauge