- About Us
- Steering Committee
- Mission Statement
- 2019 Individual Achievement Awards
- 2019 Annual Conference
- Previous Conferences
The Combined Cycle Users Group (CCUG) was launched in fall 2011, at its first meeting in San Antonio, as an independent, user-directed group to serve owner/operators of combined-cycle, combined heat and power (CHP), and cogeneration plants. The CCUG is distinguished by the logo shown here and not affiliated with any other group of the same or similar name, nor is it associated with any other industry event.
The organization’s meetings are dedicated to formal presentations and attendee-driven discussion sessions focusing on the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the integrated plant. Additional topics addressed include NERC and other regulatory impacts on planned operation, environmental rulemakings, plant mods to achieve performance goals, safety initiatives, professional development, skills training, etc.
Combined Cycle Users Group Steering Committee
Front row, left to right: Jimmy Daghlian, NV Energy; Brian Fretwell, Calpine; Steve Hilger, NAES Corp. – Dogwood Energy Facility
Back row, left to right:John Baker, City of Riverside Public Utilities; Robert Mash, Puget Sound Energy; Aaron Kitzmiller, Luminent
Camera Shy: Phyllis Gassert, Talen Energy; Ben Stanley, DGC Operations, LLC
2019 Chair: Phyllis Gassert, Talen Energy
2019 Vice Chair: Brian Fretwell, Calpine Corporation
The success of our user group is due to our members and to the industry leaders who have volunteered their time.
Prior to joining the City, John was Operations & Maintenance Manager for Calpine Corporation Bethpage Energy Center in Hicksville, NY, were he was responsible for two combined cycle plants and one simple cycle peaker. He started his power career with Calpine in Watsonville, CA. Later working at the company’s Agnews and Los Esteros facilities before moving to the east coast. Prior to Calpine, John was in boiler operations at Foster Wheeler Energy Corp in Martinez, CA. John has been with the power industry for twenty seven years.
Committee member since 2014
Mike is the Operations Manager at Coughlin Power Station with CLECO Power and has 32 years of Power Generating experience. He started his career in the US Navy as an Engineman working with diesel engines and auxiliary boilers. Mike has worked in both Maintenance and Operations in the startup and commissioning of coal fired cogeneration and Gas Turbine Combined Cycle. The majority of his experience has been working with Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Technology.
Committee member since 2019
Jimmy’s career started working for Alstom as a field service engineer before working at PacifiCorp as their corporate combustion engineer. After a brief stint with Clyde Bergemann in burner project development, Jimmy worked in Morocco as engineering support for TAQA Global before moving back to the US. Jimmy’s expertise is mainly in boiler & HRSG systems. He currently holds the Director, Generation Support position at NVEnergy working predominantly on combined cycle power plants. He has a BS and MS degree in chemical engineering from University of Utah and an MBA from Westminster College.
Committee member since 2014
Brian Fretwell – 2019 Vice Chair
Director, Mechanical Services – Engineering & Construction, Calpine Corporation
Brian Fretwell is a Director of Mechanical Services in Calpine Corporation’s Engineering and Construction group. He has been with Calpine for over 13 year where he has provided engineering, project management and field technical advisory services for its gas fired fleet. He currently manages several compliance and reliability initiatives and programs including: Boiler & Pressure Vessel Compliance, Catalyst Management, Covered Piping Systems (High Energy Piping) Assessment Program and Heat Recovery Steam Generator Assessment Program. Prior to joining Calpine, he was with Chevron USA Products at one of its California refineries. He was with Chevron for 11 years where he held a variety of engineering and management positions including Operations Assistant, Project Engineer, Lead Engineer, Plant Support Engineer and Process Hazards Analysis Coordinator. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. He is a licensed Professional Engineer (Mechanical Engineering) in California.
Committee member since 2013
Phyllis Gassert – 2019 Chair
Asset Manager, Northeast Region, Talen Energy
Phyllis’s career began as a design engineer for WorleyParsons in Reading, PA in the mechanical engineering department. She then joined Ontelaunee Energy Center in Reading, PA, owned by Dynegy, as the Senior Plant Engineer. Phyllis moved to Talen Energy as the Fossil and Hydro Group Outage Manager in Allentown, PA. Her current role at Talen Energy is the Asset Manager of the Northeast Region. Her overall power experience spans 16 years in combined-cycle activities, such as HRSG upgrades, outage planning of CT Majors, LTSA management, and business/budget planning. Phyllis holds a BS degree in Mathematics from Davis & Elkins College as well as a BS in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University.
Committee member since 2012
Steve has worked in the power industry for 25 years. He started his career at Black & Veatch as a Mechanical Engineer. Steve has worked for Calpine at the Aries Power Plant (now Dogwood) as the Plant Engineer; KCP&L as the Plant Superintendent of South Harper Peaking Facility, Nevada Energy Center and Crossroads Energy Center; AECI as Principal Mechanical Engineer in the Gas Turbine Department and currently at NAES as the Plant Manager at Dogwood Energy Facility.
Steve has been involved in many components of power plant operation throughout his career, including design, construction, startup, operations, and layup. The majority of his experience and work has been focused on combustion turbines and combined cycles. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University and maintains his professional engineering license in both Missouri and Kansas.
Committee member since 2018
Principal Engineer – Fayette Energy Facility, Luminant
Aaron has worked in the power industry for 19 years. He has worked at two coal fired power plants in his past as an engineer and is presently at a Combined Cycle Power Plant in Masontown, Pennsylvania for the past 10 years where he is the Principal Engineer. He specializes in water treatment, environmental compliance, safety and day-to-day operational challenges.
Prior to the power industry Aaron was involved in many aspects of water/sewer design and has been a manager of a water and sewer utility. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University.
Committee member since 2018
Plant Manager, GE Power Services, River Road Generating Plant
Robert is the Plant Manager at the River Road Generating Plant in Vancouver, WA and has 29 years of power generation experience. He started his career in the U.S. Navy as a Boiler Technician. Robert spent several years with Calpine and General Electric participating in the construction, commissioning and commercial operation of simple cycle and combined cycle plants ranging from 310 MW to 1214 MW. He is also a member of the Clark County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Committee member since 2017
Currently the Plant Manager at the Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda, NY (a 680MW combined cycle facility). Ben has over 20 years of experience in geothermal, hydroelectric, simple cycle, combined cycle, merchant, municipal and large scale utility electrical generating facilities. Ben has been involved with the construction, commissioning and operations of over 2800MW’s of combined cycle generation on the west and east coasts with DGC Operations, Pacific Gas and Electric, Roseville Electric and Calpine.
Committee member since 2018
Mission Statement for the Combined Cycle Users Group
Our aim is to be the predominant combined cycle users group by serving in an exceptional manner the interests of Users, customers and the public by pursuing progressive business strategies by integrating our growing knowledge on plant operations and maintenance, customer needs, user-industries and engineering applications.
This site is managed by Users for Users!
Individual Achievement recognition is earned by industry professionals who have demonstrated excellence throughout their careers in the design, construction, management, operation, and/or maintenance of generating facilities powered by gas and/or steam turbines.
Deadline to submit a nomination form is Friday, May 24, 2019.
8th Annual Conference
August 26-29, 2019
Marriott St. Louis Grand
Conference dates: August 27-30, 2018
- Annual Conferences (GUG, CCUG and STUG) and 1st Controls Symposium (PPCUG) with shared meals and vendor fair
- 217 Users – CCUG = 92; GUG = 47; STUG = 58; PPCUG = 20
- 88 Exhibitors represented at Vendor Fair
Vendor Fair: Monday, August 27, 2018 – 88 Exhibit booths
Conference dates: August 28-31, 2017
- Annual Conferences (GUG, CCUG and STUG) with shared meals and vendor fair
- 172 Users – CCUG = 69; GUG = 49; STUG = 55
- 76 Exhibitors represented at Vendor Fair
Vendor Fair: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 – 76 Exhibit booths
Conference dates: August 18-21, 2014
- 64 User attendees
- 59 Vendor attendees (no vendor fair)
Conference dates: September 3-5, 2013
- 80 User attendees
- 40 Vendor attendees (no vendor fair)
Conference dates: October 16-18, 2012
- 36 User attendees
- 26 Vendor attendees (no vendor fair)