GE’s Renewable Energy Friendly Gas Fuelled Power Plant

GE Energy has flipped the switch on a breakthrough gas-fuelled power plant which can cycle up and down at a rapid pace, allowing for increased flow of more renewable energy resources such as solar and wind into national electricity grids.
   
A new report from the International Energy Agency has found that flexibility of energy resources is an essential part of a global transition to a low-carbon economy.
   
GE says that by rapidly ramping up and down in response to fluctuations in wind and solar power, their new FlexEfficiency 50 Combined Cycle Power Plant will enable the integration of more renewable resources into power grids. This will ensure electricity supply meets demand at all times.
   
The 510 megawatt (MW) plant can produce up to twice the power of standard facilities, due to a combined gas turbine and jet propulsion system that can ramp up at a rate of more than 50 megawatts per minute with a fuel efficiency rating of 61 percent. 
   
GE says that while traditional power plants usually offer either efficiency or flexibility, the FlexEfficiency 50 provides both, effectively balancing the grid with the variable nature of renewable energy technologies while providing enough electricity to power 600,000 homes. The company says the power station can also run at lower loads while maintaining emissions guarantees and uses a smaller amount of gas during times when electricity prices drop below the marginal cost of generation
   
According to Paul Browning, vice president of GE Thermal Products, the issue of energy resource flexibility is an example of the increasing clean energy market. 
   
“As our customers seek to increase their use of renewable energy, the challenge of grid stability sharpens. They are under added pressure to achieve higher levels of efficiency and lower emissions for natural gas power plants. The FlexEfficiency 50 plant creates an immense growth opportunity in a new segment for our gas turbine technology and is in lock-step with our commitment to build a cleaner energy future.”