GE and Southern California Edison recently unveiled the world’s first battery-gas turbine hybrid system in Norwalk, California. This is the first of two units that GE has delivered for SCE only months after announcing initial deployment plans of this innovative technology.
This system, the LM6000 Hybrid Electric Gas Turbine (Hybrid EGT) supports SCE’s increasing renewable energy capacity by providing a quick start, fast ramping capabilities when needed. The unit integrates a 10 MW, 4.3 MWh battery energy storage system capable of immediately providing power with GE’s proven 50MW LM6000 aero-derivative gas turbine.
Among the speakers that attended the event were Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board (CARB), Jill Whynot, Deputy Executive Officer, Operations South Coast Air Quality Management (SCAQMD) and Tom Doughty, Vice President, California Independent System Operator (CAISO).
“The new system will help SCE better use resources on the grid, provide enhanced reliability, reduce environmental impact, and reduce the cost of our operations and customers,” said SCE President Ron Nichols. “This technology also allows us to continue to expand our use of wind, solar, and other renewable resources.”
GE and SCE developed this system in response to changing energy needs in California. The state has committed to deriving 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The Hybrid EGT helps balance variable energy supply and demand, including during evening hours when the sun sets and solar power production falls while electricity usage surges as customers return home and turn on lights and appliances.
At the heart of the Hybrid EGT is a control system which seamlessly blends output between the battery and the gas turbine. The energy storage capacity of the battery has been sized to provide enough time for the gas turbine to start and reach its designated power output. As a result, the system need not burn fuel and consume water in stand-by mode to dispatch power immediately when demand surges.
“As the electrical grid network continues evolving, with more variable renewables being added every day, products such as the Hybrid EGT can help smooth out the delivery of electricity,” said Reinaldo Garcia, President and CEO of Grid Solutions from GE Energy Connections. “Storage and the ability to quickly push power to the grid also play a key role in emergency situations, dispatching energy immediately to the grid ensuring that we are able to help keep the lights on for everyone.”
This innovative combination, along with new emission controls, provides enhanced flexibility in the operation of the peaker while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by 60 percent. In addition, demineralized water consumption will be reduced by approximately 45 percent, saving two million gallons of water annually and increasing the life of the equipment.