How to become a Power Generation Plant Operator

Power generation plant operators control and operate a range of machinery and instruments used in the electricity supply industry (ESI) for generating electric power. This may involve mechanical, electrical or chemical processes.

Personal requirements for a Power Generation Plant Operator

  • Logical and thorough approach to work
  • Able to follow procedures and committed to safe work practices
  • Good at mechanical and/or electrical activities
  • Able to accept responsibility and make decisions.

Duties & Tasks of a Power Generation Plant Operator

Power generation plant operators may perform the following tasks:

  • Control the flow of fuel to boilers and make sure that the machinery is working properly
  • Control the flow of water in hydroelectric power stations and ensure that the machinery is working correctly
  • Operate control instruments to switch off lines or equipment and to connect alternative circuits
  • Check instruments and switchboards to make sure that all systems are working efficiently to detect line disturbances and to check the flow of power
  • Find faults and perform basic repairs in mechanical, electrical and process control equipment and coordinate specialist repairs
  • Shut down or start up boilers or turbines to decrease or increase power output
  • Operate power switches for safety of crews and to avoid interruptions during repairs
  • Undertake safe work procedures to isolate plant machinery and equipment for maintenance and repair
  • Compile records and reports on equipment performance, instrument readings and switching operations
  • Clean, lubricate and repair equipment
  • Control processes and equipment associated with inputs for power generation such as fuel, chemicals and water
  • Control processes and equipment associated with management of by-products to minimise their environmental impact
  • Respond to emergencies such as fire and environmental hazards.

Working conditions for a Power Generation Plant Operator

They work in control rooms, operating a controlling console, and also out in the plant. Shiftwork is required.


Specializations

Power generation plant operators may specialise as hydroelectric power station operators or power generation turbine room operators.


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