Natural gas breakthrough from GE set to boost renewable energy
25 May 2011
GE has announced a first-of-its-kind power plant engineered to deliver an unprecedented combination of flexibility and efficiency. By rapidly ramping up and down in response to fluctuations in wind and solar power, the technology will enable the integration of more renewable resources into the power grid. The FlexEfficiency 50 combined cycle power plant is rated at 510MW and offers fuel efficiency greater than 61 percent.
The plant is the result of an investment of more than $500m in research and development by GE and a key part of its ongoing work to create and manufacture technologies around the globe that deliver cleaner, more efficient energy.
While power plants today can provide flexibility or high efficiency, this power plant will deliver an unprecedented combination of both. GE calls this combination of flexibility and efficiency ‘FlexEfficiency,’ which is essential if renewable power is going to cost-effectively integrate into power grids around the world on a large scale.
GE drew from the company’s jet engine expertise to engineer a plant that will ramp up at a rate of more than 50MW per minute, twice the rate of today’s industry benchmarks. Operational flexibility at these levels will enable utilities to deliver power quickly when it is needed and to ramp down when it is not, balancing the grid cost-effectively and helping to deploy additional renewable power resources like wind and solar.
A typical FlexEfficiency 50 plant will deliver enough energy topower more than 600,000 EU homes.
Learn more here and here.