TDS Turbine Services to Oversee Aero-Derivative Technology for El Paso Electric

TDS Working with El Paso Electric

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Technical Diagnostic Services (TDS), an industry leader for electrical testing, commissioning services, and equipment rentals, is pleased to announce its partnership with El Paso Electric to provide service to their new power facility running state-of-the-art aero-derivative technology.  This new investment by El Paso Electric will generate enough power to provide electricity to approximately 160,000 households.

El Paso Electric (EPE) will build the Montana Power Station, a state-of-the-art power generating facility, consisting of four 106 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle aero-derivative combustion turbines.  The aero-derivative technology is more fuel efficient (powered by natural gas), provides quick start capabilities (going from offline to fully loaded in less than 10 minutes) and increases power grid stability.  EPE signed TDS to perform the installation and commissioning oversight of four new LMS100 turbine packages.

“This investment ensures that El Paso Electric has the electric generation capacity to meet our region’s growing needs for reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible electric service,” said Tom Shockley, CEO of EPE. “Technology was chosen to specifically meet our customers’ electric usage during peak times and adapt to the increased use of solar generation by our customers.”

True to the TDS commitment of providing qualified staff and exceptional service at affordable rates, the service and talent level of TDS turbine engineers is identical to that of OEM’s while saving the client a considerable sum of 40% with the OEM warranty intact.  EPE and TDS worked with GE to ensure that there are no risks to the OEM warranty when TDS performs the turbine installation oversight.  The TDS billing is a simplified one-fee pricing structured to eliminate double-time, premium pay and shift differentials that OEM’s charge. Cost estimates are highly accurate based on man-hours.  This provides TDS clients the maximum value with the highest level of quality.

The Genesis of TDS Turbine Services

TDS Turbine Services was spearheaded by Frank Finnie, this division of TDS is the latest addition to the wide range of services offered by TDS.  Frank is the Director of Commissioning and Testing Services at Technical Diagnostic Services (TDS).  He is responsible for corporate management of all field and site start-up and commissioning operations as well as development and provision of future TDS services to all sectors of the power generation industry. He was recently assigned as the Director of Turbine Services for TDS.

Frank is nationally recognized as a leading Project Manager and Startup and Commissioning expert in the power industry. He has years of extensive experience and expertise in power plant construction, start-up and commissioning of combined cycle, simple cycle gas turbines, sub-critical and supercritical coal-fired generation, oil and natural gas power generation, environmental retrofits (Air Quality Control Systems AQCS, Wet Flue Gas Desulfurization WFGD, Selective Catalytic Reduction SCR), plant repowering, fast-track project execution, facility operations, EPC and design-build projects.

His wide range of activities include project management, commissioning and site management, due diligence, case studies, feasibility studies, safety assessments, startup testing services, safety and training, procedures development and operational performance improvement assignments. He worked on roles as technical advisor, project manager, owner’s engineer, site manager, startup manager and commissioning manager.

Frank has served in key project management positions in a number of power industry projects. He has performed services for El Paso Electric, Salt River Project, Xcel Energy, Hovensa, NV Energy, Black & Veatch, Dayton Power and Light, PacifiCorp, NAES, TVA, Cogentrix, Zachry, Aker Kvaerner and many others.

As proof of his outstanding performance, among the awards where he was significantly involved in are:

  • Winner of Top 5 Gas Fired Power Plants of 2008 by Power Magazine – with role as Owner’s Startup Manager
  • Winner of Power Plant of the Year 2007 by Power Magazine – Commissioning Technical Advisor and Commissioning Safety Manager
  • Winner of Power Plant of the Year 2005 by Power Magazine – Commissioning Operations Manager and Site Safety Coordinator
  • Project of the Year 2005 (Honorable Mention) by Power Engineering Magazine
  • Winner of Golden State Safety Award 2005 by Cal/OSHA – Commissioning Operations Manager and Commissioning Safety Coordinator
  • Winner of Project of the Year 2000 by Power Engineering Magazine – Owner’s Team Member
  • Winner of Power Plant of the Year 1996 by Power Magazine – for the New Madrid Power Plant – Owner’s Team Member.

A testament to his exceptional work, here is what the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ProEnergy Services has to say about Frank: “Frank is one of the industry’s best Start up Managers. Frank and I go way back, as I recruited Frank on his first contract job as Start-up Operator. Since that time, Frank has grown his career to unimaginable heights. Frank’s achievements can best be charted by the fact that many customers ask for Frank back by name. I would gladly hire Frank tomorrow and recommend him to anyone. Frank is a true Professional.”

With the newest addition to the services offered by TDS, Turbine Services has recently been signed to perform the installation and commissioning of gas turbines for El Paso Electric. As Director of TDS Turbine Services, Frank continues to uphold his role in the development and provision of future TDS services. TDS is proud to have somebody of Frank’s talent, experience and dedication in the team.


About El Paso Electric

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 394,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico.  Their vision is to provide safe, clean, affordable and reliable energy through superior production, acquisition and delivery.

About TDS

Technical Diagnostic Services (TDS) is an integrated family of companies with almost fifty years of successful experience in the power and energy industry. Our customers include some of the world’s premiere energy-related businesses – and our success and longevity reflects our focus on safety, quality and performance. 




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