Golden Spread buying three GE turbines for new power plants

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative of Amarillo, Texas, is the latest customer to select General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) FlexEfficiency 60 technology, which was introduced in September of this year, said GE on Dec. 11.

The cooperative is purchasing three GE 7F 5-series gas turbines for three new power plants that will enter operation between March 2015 and March 2017, GE said. This turbine is a fully validated member of GE’s FlexEfficiency 60 Portfolio and provides significant fuel savings, lower emissions and operating flexibility, GE added. The Golden Spread projects follow more than $1.2bn in orders GE previously announced for its FlexEfficiency 60 gas turbines, including five 7F 5-series gas turbines for three sites in the U.S.

Golden Spread will install the turbines at sites to be determined in the Texas Panhandle or West Texas, to provide power for its cooperative members who operate in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) electric operating grids.

“Our members depend on us for reliable and efficient power, and we have selected GE’s new FlexEfficiency 60 technology to meet those needs,” said Mark Schwirtz, president and general manager of Golden Spread. “We believe that the 7F 5-series gas turbine will provide a good match for our diverse electricity requirements.”

“As the new order with Golden Spread Electric Cooperative demonstrates, we continue to see strong industry acceptance for our new FlexEfficiency products,” said Paul Browning, president and CEO, Thermal Products of GE Power & Water. “This technology offers an unprecedented combination of baseload efficiency and operating flexibility to address the complex needs of today’s energy grid. The 7F 5-series offers both the flexibility and the proven performance to meet Golden Spread’s wide range of power generation requirements.”

Golden Spread is an existing GE customer and already has a fleet of five GE gas turbines. GE’s Measurement & Control business has provided upgrades and GE Power Generation Services is providing an OpFlex Peak Fire upgrade to 7F 3-series units in the fleet, GE added. OpFlex Peak Fire is an application available in the OpFlex Solutions Suite, a portfolio of advanced controls software applications developed to give customers increased flexibility to improve their power plant technology.

Golden Spread is a consumer-owned public utility, organized in 1984 to provide low cost, reliable electric service for its rural distribution cooperative members, said its website. Its 16 member systems serve more than 199,000 retail consumers located in the Oklahoma Panhandle and an area covering 24% of Texas land area including the Panhandle, South Plains and Edwards Plateau Regions. 

Golden Spread owns the Mustang Station, a 480-MW, gas-fueled, combined cycle generating plant located near Denver City, Texas, as well as Mustang Station Units 4 and 5, two 150-MW combustion turbine-generators located at the Mustang Station site. In 2011, Golden Spread added to its generating fleet the Antelope Station, a 168-MW generating facility made up of 18 quick start engines located near Abernathy, Texas, and Golden Spread Panhandle Wind Ranch, a 78-MW wind facility made up of 34 wind turbines located near Amarillo, Texas.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.