GE FlexEfficiency* 60 Natural Gas Turbine Means Cleaner Air and More Renewables0

ecomagination staff | Tue Sep 25 2012

As concerns about CO2 emissions grow, coal-fired power plants are increasingly being replaced with cleaner energy – and new GE technology is aiding the transition.

Today, GE announced nearly $1.2 billion in orders for 19 ecomagination-qualified natural gas turbines from its new FlexEfficiency* 60 Portfolio. The portfolio of power generation products enables more renewables to be integrated into the grid, helps put aging coal-fired power plants into retirement and promises to diversify energy sources overseas.

The announcement was made at GE’s FlexEfficiency 60 Portfolio global launch today at City Hall in San Francisco, Calif., US.

The FlexEfficiency 60 Combined Cycle Power Plant, like its predecessor, the FlexEfficiency 50 Plant, is an ideal partner for renewables. When the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, the turbines can be fired up in a matter of minutes to bring reliable and uninterrupted power to the grid. The FlexEfficiency 60 Plant is built to operate in 60 hertz countries such as the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Japan.

“This is a great milestone for our natural gas portfolio. We stated a year ago that we would bring our FlexEfficiency technology to our customers in places such as the U.S., Middle East, Japan, and Brazil and today we delivered,” said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water. “We continue to invest in and build the broadest gas-fueled power generation portfolio in the industry. From one megawatt distributed power to 300 megawatt baseload power, GE technology helps meet the power needs of people everywhere in the world.”

The FlexEfficiency 60 Plant is the most flexible and efficient power plant of its kind, capable of reaching greater than 61 percent thermal efficiency in combined cycle.

“If just one equivalent-size coal plant was replaced with the ecomagination-qualified FlexEfficiency 60 Plant, the offset carbon emissions would be 2.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of 500,000 U.S. cars coming off the road,” said Mark Vachon, GE ecomagination, Vice President.

Built in the U.S., powering the world

All of the gas turbines for the projects announced today are being built at GE’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Greenville, S.C. – the largest facility of its kind. At Greenville, the turbines are tested off the grid under even more demanding than real world conditions by the same engineers who first envisioned the breakthrough that led to the development of the new turbine.

- Six of the 19 orders are for the new, larger 7F 7-series gas turbine introduced today. These will be shipped to the Chubu Electric Power plant in Japan. Capable of reaching a world’s best 62 percent thermal efficiency, the plant will produce more than 2,300 megawatts in combined-cycle operation.

The remaining 13 orders are for the 7F 5-series gas turbine. First introduced in 2009, the 7F 5-series continues to bring significant fuel savings and lower emissions, along with greater operating flexibility.

- In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, eight 7F 5-series gas turbine-generators will aid the expansion of Saudi Electricity Company’s (SEC) PP12 project. The new turbines will add over 1,990 megawatts of power to help SEC meet its future electricity demands when it enters commercial operation in 2015.

GE’s latest dry low NOx (DLN) combustion technology will also be used at the plant to reduce emissions, extend maintenance intervals and enable the plant to operate more flexibly. PP12 will be the largest combined-cycle project in Saudi Arabia using GE’s F-class gas turbines, and will be the first application of 7F 5-series gas turbines in the region.

In the United States, the 7F 5-series gas turbine-generators will be employed in a variety of locations to replace aging coal-fired plants.

Cherokee Clean Air Clean Jobs Project, Colorado – Two GE 7F 5-series gas turbines will power the Cherokee project in Denver, which will convert an existing coal plant into a cleaner burning, natural gas combined-cycle facility. The Cherokee repowering project is part of Colorado’s Clean Air Clean Jobs Act passed in 2010, which helps retire or retrofit the state’s coal plants. The new plant will be owned and operated by the Public Service Company of Colorado, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy, a major U.S. electric and natural gas company. GE expects to ship the gas turbines in the fourth quarter of 2013, with commercial operation beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015. GE also will supply technical direction, training and spare parts.

Hess Corporation – GE will provide two 7F 5-series gas turbines and a GE D11 steam turbine to Hess Corporation for an upcoming project in the United States.

Western U.S. – GE will provide one 7F 5-series gas turbine for an industrial application in the Western United States. This new combined cycle power plant will repower coal fired steam turbines with cleaner, flexible natural gas.

* Trademark of the General Electric Company