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 September 22, 2015 - 8:00 AM EDT
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GE to Upgrade California’s Mountainview Generating Facility, Highlighting Utility Sector’s Efforts to Balance Renewables with Natural Gas

  • New DLN2.6+ Combustion System Helps Lower Site’s Emissions without Using Additional Water
  • Advanced Gas Path Solution to Boost Turbine Performance While Reducing Startup Times and Fuel and Water Consumption
  • Project is Part of North American Utility Sector Trend to Boost Efficiency, Output of Existing Natural Gas Power Plants
  • By Combining GE Hardware and Software, U.S. and Canadian Operators Achieving Greater Output and Longer Periods between Maintenance Cycles

GE’s Power Generation Services business (NYSE:GE) today announced it has signed a multiyear services agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) to upgrade the utility’s Mountainview Generating Facility, a 1,054-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power plant in Redlands, California. Highlighting a growing trend with North American combined-cycle power stations, the upgrade project will reduce the facility’s startup times, lower its emissions without using additional water and help to balance the growing role of renewables on the grid.

“Our Mountainview station will be much more flexible, enabling it to more quickly respond to the needs of the California ISO system that is highly penetrated with solar power and other renewable sources,” said Stuart R. Hemphill, senior vice president, Power Supply & Operational Services, Southern California Edison. “GE’s solution also gives us a more efficient plant, creating greater value and savings for our customers.”

GE’s technologies will boost the station’s output by about 48 MW, increase its efficiency and offer longer intervals between maintenance outages. By boosting Mountainview’s flexibility, the project will help SCE protect the grid from the intermittency of the state’s rapidly expanding renewable energy supplies while strengthening the facility’s competitive position in California.

Renewable energy has grown so rapidly1 that it accounted for most new U.S. electricity production added in 2014. California’s share of electricity from renewables has more than doubled to 25 percent today, up from 12 percent in 2008. California also has signed contracts with its leading utilities to ensure that more than 33 percent of the state’s power comes from renewables by 2020. Gov. Jerry Brown also set a new state target of 50 percent renewables by 2030.

“We are excited to support SCE’s upgrades to the Mountainview Generating Facility,” said Paul McElhinney, president and CEO of GE’s Power Generation Services business. “This agreement underscores their confidence in our generation and combustion technologies and capabilities to execute an extremely complex project while increasing plant availability. With natural gas playing a growing role in power generation around the world, we are committed to helping operators squeeze every megawatt they can out of their existing facilities while also reducing their site emissions and water consumption.”

SCE’s Mountainview Generating Facility features four 7FA.03 units, two D-11 steam turbines and associated generators in combined cycle. As part of the new extended service agreement with SCE to upgrade the site’s generating equipment, GE will supply six Advanced Gas Path (AGP) sets; six sets of its Dry Low NOx 2.6+ (DLN2.6+) combustion system as well as its OpFlex* software package; and four new unit rotors. GE also is providing extended steam turbine coverage as well as premium generator coverage.

The Mountainview upgrade project reflects a broader commitment by SCE and other California utilities to curtail their water consumption to help the state battle chronic drought conditions. The DLN2.6+ combustion system will enable SCE to further reduce the Mountainview plant’s emissions without the need for using additional water in the process. Moreover, using GE’s technology, SCE can reduce both water consumption and emissions, helping them comply with tightening environmental regulations while also reducing their operating expenses.

GE’s Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics Center in Atlanta, which oversees the company’s installed base of gas and steam turbines, will play a crucial role in enhancing the environmental compliance of the Mountainview Generating Facility’s combustion technology.

GE is scheduled to begin installing its technology solutions at the Mountainview Generating Facility in 2016 and complete the project by May 2017. GE’s equipment is expected to be supplied by its gas turbine facility in Greenville, South Carolina.

Located about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, Mountainview Generating Facility generates enough power to meet the needs of about 685,000 average U.S. homes.

SCE’s upgrade of the Mountainview Generating Facility is just one of a growing number of combined-cycle power plants that GE is helping to upgrade throughout North America as operators seek to strengthen their financial and competitive positions in a changing energy landscape. Other projects include:

  • In July 2015, Nova Scotia, Canada-based energy company Emera Energy selected GE to upgrade the Tiverton Power station in Rhode Island to increase efficiency, capacity and long-term availability of the power plant and reduce its operating costs and environmental impacts. The 265-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant provides electricity to Rhode Island and the surrounding area through ISO New England.
  • Illustrating that Canadian operators have similar requirements, GE was selected in March 2015 to help modernize the 874-MW Goreway Power Station in Brampton, Ontario, to increase its reliability, flexibility and efficiency. GE will upgrade the facility’s existing 7FB gas turbine to more efficient 7FB.04 gas turbine specifications. GE’s solution will include its AGP and DLN2.6+ combustion technologies as part of a multiyear service agreement that includes premium extended generator coverage.

The SCE, Emera Energy and Goreway power plant upgrade projects illustrate the benefits of packaging GE’s service solutions. By combining GE’s AGP, DLN and OpFlex solutions, operators can increase their output more than through just installing AGP. Furthermore, combining AGP and DLN can help operators extend their maintenance cycles by aligning hot gas path and combustion inspection intervals, while installing only AGP or DLN does not allow the operator time to reach an extended outage to do all the work at once and reduce downtime.

To download a photo of Southern California Edison's Mountainview Generating Facility, click here.

About GE

GE (NYSE:GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

Follow GE Power & Water and GE Power Generation on Twitter @GE_PowerWater and @ge_powergen, and on LinkedIn.

* Trademark of General Electric Company; may be registered in one or more countries.

1 Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2015, “Op-Ed: Renewable Energy is a California Success Story.”

GE Power & Water
Shaun Wiggins, +1 518-385-5992
GE Power & Water - Power Generation Services
Laura Aresi, +39 02 67335622
M +39 335 6978871

Source: Business Wire (September 22, 2015 - 8:00 AM EDT)

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