Starting a generating unit involves bringing the plant from a shutdown condition up to synchronizing the electrical generator to the transmission network. Depending on the temperature of the boiler and turbine, startup times vary from an hour to several hours; however, the unit must always synchronize within a +/-five-minute window of the instruction time. Starting up a power plant requires a sequence of operations to be performed to bring auxiliary plants into service and to warm the boiler along a profile that matches thermal constraints of construction materials. Optimizing the process requires a careful balance between minimizing the startup energy costs and limiting plant damage. Traditionally, the startup of a coal-fired unit has been performed manually by highly skilled operators. However, analysis of the startup methodology using OIS (PI) revealed significant variances in the techniques employed. The presentation will cover the tools and techniques developed by RWE npower to optimize startup procedures and reduce costs.