Decentralization, digitization and decarbonization continue to drive dynamic change across the global energy industry as detailed in GE Power’s (GE) white paper, Reimagining Our Electricity Future. Renewable sources of power have grown at double-digit rates for more than a decade and will likely continue to do so. Given the unique and growing needs for flexibility to balance the grid, GE Power sees significant opportunity for its Aeroderivative business and announced that it is investing more than $200 million in the business over the next three years across new product introductions and services capabilities. This commitment is focused on its Houston Service Center and on broadening its Cross-Fleet solutions to repower other original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) aeroderivative and heavy-duty gas turbines.
According to a 2016 study by Technavio, the global aeroderivative gas turbine industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of nearly 5 percent between 2016 and 2020, and aeroderivative turbines are likely to become the go-to technology to provide balancing services for renewable energy. These mounting power imbalances are increasingly forcing conventional generators to operate in a more flexible manner, ramping more frequently to balance intermittent renewables and provide grid-firming services. Given this crucial role in power infrastructure, downtime can be expensive, and it's critically important that operators have plans in place to ensure continued operations and minimal lost time for maintenance and repairs.
“As one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of gas turbine technology, GE is committed to developing the best aeroderivative turbine solutions, which are uniquely positioned to provide the flexible power generation our customers need in such a complex and dynamic environment,” said Martin O’Neill, general manager of Aeroderivative Gas Turbine Services for GE’s Power Services business. “Consequently, it is critical that we continue to inject new investments to create services solutions for greater flexibility, reliability and performance and make these solutions available to power producers and industrial operators with non-GE equipment.”
Cross-Fleet Repowering with GE’s Aeroderivatives Gas Turbines
GE has extended its Cross-Fleet solutions to repower gas turbines manufactured by competing OEMs, such as Siemens, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Westinghouse and Mitsubishi, with GE’s aeroderivative technology. GE unveiled that it’s already achieved more than $15 million in backlog for Cross-Fleet repowers using GE aeroderivative technology.
This latest development benefits from the company’s 40 years of experience in the aeroderivative business—that’s based on GE Aviation’s heritage—as well as the extensive steam turbine, generator and heat recovery steam generator capabilities and expertise GE acquired from the acquisition of Alstom’s Power business in November 2015, including the capacity to service equipment manufactured by different OEMs.
“I’m very pleased that we’ve already inked agreements to advance the performance and serviceability of other OEM’s aeroderivative gas turbine fleets,” continued O’Neill. “We’ve performed repowering projects with aero gas turbines on Siemens, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney units in several countries, including Jamaica, Australia, the Netherlands, as well as on an offshore platform in the North Sea.”
This announcement comes on the heels of GE’s announcement in May when it unveiled Cross-Fleet solutions for other OEM gas turbines, including Siemens’ and Mitsubishi’s SGT-800 and 501F units, and $200 million of orders backlog.
Houston Service Center
Continuing its journey to world class performance, GE Power is investing in capabilities to services units faster at its Houston Service Center (HSC), GE’s largest service center for LM aeroderivatives. Last year, the center applied over 340,000 person-hours to support customers with a broad range of engine overhauls, module upgrades and repairs; supporting more than 470 plant operators in over 60 countries. With today’s commitment to increased investment, the site will improve facilities and shop flow adding approximately 40 jobs, investing in digital capabilities and processes to service more than the current 500 engines and modules per year—more volume than any other GE repair center.
As noted by Rick McPherson, plant manager of Walnut Creek power plant, operated by NRG: “Last year, we sent a supercore module to GE’s Houston Service Center for repair. Management and the technical staff provided an accurate schedule and ‘gate’ updates as the repairs progressed through the system. With a startup time of fewer than 10 minutes, our flexible fleet of aeroderivatives is well-suited to support California's ambitious renewable energy goals. Going forward, we will continue to work with GE’s team at the Houston Service Center.”
In 2018, Walnut Creek’s ownership switched to Clearway Energy as part of NRG’s transition plan to reduce debt. The Carlsbad Energy Center will continue to be owned by NRG until the project goes commercial later this year. Both plants will continue to be operated by NRG.
In addition, GE Power decided to make investments to ensure that its aeroderivative technologies continue to grow as an essential part of the generation picture for their customers, such as Southern California Edison (SCE). GE Power worked with SCE to co-develop the Hybrid gas turbine, which has been in operation for close to a year. With GE aeroderivative and energy storage technologies, SCE’s site has realized a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 50 percent fewer starts.
Source: General Electric (GE)
Date: Oct 9, 2018