CCUG – Combined Cycle Users Group

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


Photo taken: 2019 Conference in St. Louis, MO

Front row, left to right: Jimmy Daghlian, NV Energy; Phyllis Gassert, Talen Energy; Steve Hilger, NAES Corp. – Dogwood Energy Facility; Brian Fretwell, Calpine
Back row, left to right: Robert Mash, GE – River Road Generating Plant; Aaron Kitzmiller, Luminent; John Baker, City of Riverside Public Utilities; Mike Bishoff, Cleco – Teche Power Station

2021 Chair: Phyllis Gassert, Talen Energy
2021 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.

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Photo - Brian Fretwell 2
Brian Fretwell – 2021 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

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Photo - Phyllis Gassert
Phyllis Gassert – 2021 Chair
Director – Asset Management PJM Fossil, 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. Her knowledge grew with a shift to Talen Energy located in Allentown, PA, where she has had many roles such as Fossil and Hydro Group Outage Manager, Asset Manager of the Northeast Region and Regional Business Manager for PJM Gas. Phyllis current position is Asset Manager within the PJM region. Her overall power experience spans 20 years in combined-cycle activities, such as HRSG upgrades, outage planning, 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

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Steven Hilger, P.E.
Plant Manager – NAES Corporation, Dogwood Energy Facility

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

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Aaron Kitzmiller
Principal Engineer – Vistra, Fayette Power Company, LLC

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

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Robert Mash
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

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Jonathan Miller
Maintenance Manager, CLECO, Acadia Power Station

Jon began his career as a mechanical integrity inspector in the refinery and chemical processing industry in Westlake, Louisiana for Conoco Phillips and Sasol North America, formerly known as Condea Vista Chemical Co., in 1993. As his career and knowledge expanded in the mechanical integrity field, he earned the following American petroleum inspection certifications; API 570, 510, and 650 which are accreditations for piping, pressure vessel, and tank inspectors.
In late 2000 an opportunity presented itself for Jon to broaden his knowledge in industry and that is when he joined the Calpine construction management team. The Calpine team was contracted to build the Acadia Power Station. He accepted the position as an assistant project engineer providing oversite specifically for the piping construction and the HRSG erections based on his mechanical integrity knowledge. Upon construction completion and commissioning acceptance of Acadia Jon joined the operating team and later accepted the Maintenance manager position. In 2007 Jon joined the Cleco team after they obtained full ownership of Acadia. His daily duties include management of E&I, EC&C, mechanics, daily planning, and project planning. Other responsibilities include project management, outage management, budgeting for both Capital and Routine O&M, as well as gas turbine LTP management.

Committee member since 2021

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Marih Salvat
Operations Manager, Tenaska, Virginia Generating Station

Marih Salvat is the Operations Manager at Tenaska Virginia Generating Station, where she has been since 2016, previously holding the position of Plant Engineer at the station. At her current position, in addition to management of daily operations, she manages environmental programs, management of change and training. Outside of the power industry she worked as a Maintenance Supervisor at a biotechnology manufacturing facility. Marih previously was in the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion and Surface Warfare Officer and has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez.

Committee member since 2021

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Ben Stanley
Plant Manager, DGC Operations, LLC, CPV Valley Energy

Ben works for DGC Operations, LLC (a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation) and is the Plant Manager at the CPV Valley Energy Center in Middletown, NY which is a Siemens SGT6-5000 (F4) CC Plant. Ben has over 25 years of power generation experience. Over his career Ben has been lucky enough to move up in roles of increasing responsibility with Calpine, Roseville Electric, Pacific Gas and Electric and DGC Operations. Ben has worked with multiple technologies and OEMs such as Mitsubishi, Pratt and Whitney, GE, Siemens and Toshiba.

Committee member since 2021

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!

Save the Date: August 29 – September 1, 2022

Information coming soon…

The Individual Achievement Award 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 turbines.

2022 Individual Achievement Award Nomination Form

Deadline to submit a nomination form is Friday, May 27, 2022.

Meet our Past Award Winners:

2019 Individual Achievement Award Winners:

  • John F. D. Patterson, formerly with BASF and a founder of the Frame 6 Users Group
  • Steve Royal, PG&E
2018 Individual Achievement Award Winners:

  • Robert Krowech, HRST
  • Dr. Robert Mayfield, Tenaska
2017 Individual Achievement Award Winners:

  • Chuck Casey, Riverside Public Utilities
  • Kevin C Geraghty, NV Energy
  • William J Gillis, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co
  • Michael David Hoy, Tennessee Valley Authority

Article in CCJ-Online.com: https://www.ccj-online.com/issue-54/ccug-gug-stug-salute-users-for-their-leadership-and-contributions-to-industry-knowledge/

2016 Individual Achievement Award Winners:

  • Rodger Anderson, Manager of Gas Turbine Technology, DRS-Power Technology, Inc.
  • J Edward Barndt, Senior Vice President, Rockland Capital
  • Andrew M Donaldson, PE, Vice President of Projects, WorleyParsons
  • Wayne T Kawamoto, Plant Manager, CAMS Juniper CA LLC’s Corona Cogeneration Plant
  • Rick Shackelford, Division Director, Power Plant Operations, NAES Corp

Article in CCJ-Online.com: https://www.ccj-online.com/combined-cycle-journal-number-50/combined-cycle-users-group-2016-individual-achievement-awards/

2015 Individual Achievement Award Winners:

  • Robert W Anderson, Principal, Competitive Power Resources Corp.
  • Pierre D Boehler, Senior Engineer, Gas Turbine Engineering, NRG Technical Services
  • William F O’Brien, Executive Advisor, IHI Power Services Corp.
  • Daniel C Sampson, Senior Technical Consultant, WorleyParsons
  • Paul M White, PE, Consulting Engineer, Dominion Resources Services, Inc.

Article in CCJ-Online.com: https://www.ccj-online.com/combined-cycle-users-group-honors-distinguished-users-consultants/

2014 Individual Achievement Award Winners:

  • Harry Carbone, Principal Engineer, Duke Energy
  • Raymond Martens, Managing Director, Klamath Cogen and Peakers, Iberdrola Renewables
  • Andrew McNeil, Executive of New Generation, NV Energy

Article in CCJ-Online.com: https://www.ccj-online.com/3q-2014/combined-cycle-users-group/

2013 Individual Achievement Award Winners:

  • Clyde Maughan, President, Maughan Engineering Consultants
  • Patrick Myers, Plant Manager, Ceredo Generating Station, AEP
  • Peter So, Project Development Manager, Calpine Corp.
  • William Wimperis, Director, Constellation Energy (Exelon)
Info coming soon…

Conference dates: July 2021

Conference dates: November/December 2020

Conference dates: August 26-29, 2019

  • Annual Conferences (GUG, CCUG and STUG) and 2nd Controls Symposium (PPCUG) with shared meals and vendor fair
  • 193 Users – CCUG = ??; GUG = ??; STUG = ??; PPCUG = ??
  • 88 Exhibitors represented at Vendor Fair

Vendor Fair: Monday, August 26, 2019 – 88 Exhibit booths

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 22-25, 2016

  • Combined Conference with GUG, CCUG and STUG
  • 135 Users – GUG, CCUG and STUG attendees
  • 70 Exhibitors represented at Vendor Fair

Vendor Fair: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – 70 Exhibit booths

Conference dates: August 24-27, 2015

  • Combined Conference with CCUG and STUG
  • 142 Users – CCUG and STUG attendees
  • 68 Exhibitors represented at Vendor Fair

Vendor Fair: Tuesday, August 25, 2014 – 68 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)




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