Underscoring the growing trend to use abundant, cleaner burning natural gas for power generation, GE (NYSE: GE) announced it has received more than $1 billion in orders for heavy duty and aeroderivative gas turbines for projects throughout North America since year-end.
GE made the announcement in Houston, where it also bared its newest aeroderivative gas turbine, the FlexAero LM6000-PH, created to provide flexible, efficient power to businesses and remote communities everywhere without the need to use water.
Several factors drive the strong interest in natural gas, noted Steve Bolze, president and CEO, GE Power & Water.
“The recent increase in production has helped to ensure reliable supply and a consistent price structure, making natural gas an economically viable, dependable option for power generation needs. It also is the cleanest fossil fuel and a strong fit for the flexible, efficient power generation that our customers need to enable the integration of more renewable resources into the power grid.”
Today’s announcement builds on GE’s legacy of leadership in the gas turbine industry. GE has been creating high-technology gas turbine solutions for more than half a century and currently has more than 14,000 gas turbines in operation. These units have surpassed a combined 300 million hours of operation in a broad range of power projects worldwide.
In addition to the 50-megawatt FlexAero, GE recently announced the breakthrough FlexEfficiency 50 Combined Cycle Power Plant, a 510-megawatt plant created to enable the integration of more renewable resources into the power grid.
Among the highlights of GE’s recent North American gas turbine activity is the supply of five LMS100 aeroderivative units to Edison Mission Energy for the 500-megawatt Walnut Creek project in Southern California. These are among 19 LMS100 machines that GE will ship for projects in Southern California between now and the end of 2012.
The new gas turbine plants will replace less efficient steam boilers that will be retired, significantly reducing emissions and improving the health of Southern California’s coastal marine environment. The new projects will total nearly two gigawatts of highly flexible power generation to integrate renewables and provide grid reliability, helping Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power achieve their goals to generate 33 percent of their energy by 2020.
GE’s aeroderivative business, headquartered in Houston, modifies highly reliable GE aviation engines to use natural gas and/or biofuels for efficient, reliable energy.
These jet engine-based power generation units, which range from 18-100 megawatts, help energy companies take advantage of the growing trend to use abundant, cleaner-burning natural gas to power a cleaner, more productive world.