GE markets power plant upgrade systems to U.S. gas facilities

A Midwestern U.S. power plant has submitted the first order for General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) new Dry Low NOx (DLN) 2.6+ combustion upgrade solution, the company said Dec. 10.

The plant is adopting this technology to lower its operational costs and better position itself for current and future power capacity needs in the region it serves. 7F DLN 2.6+, the newest addition to GE’s Power FlexEfficiency* portfolio, was announced Dec. 10 at PennWell‘s POWER-GEN International trade conference.

“The DLN 2.6+ solution was developed as very flexible technology that can be tailored to the varying needs our 7F customers have within their distinctive operating environments,” said Paul McElhinney, president and CEO of GE’s Power Generation Services business. “While helping customers like this one lower operating and maintenance costs, this upgrade can also enable lower emissions and broader fuel flexibility to 7F customers as their operational profiles dictate.”

DLN 2.6+ technology provides the capability to burn multiple fuel types in addition to natural gas including ethane, propane and hydrogen. This flexibility allows plants to purchase fuel based on composition, as well as price, to help save on fuel costs while maintaining low emissions. The upgrade also provides industry-leading durations between maintenance intervals up to 32,000 hours or 1,250 starts. This equates to approximately four years for typical continuous-duty plant operation. GE adapted this solution from its global 9F gas turbine fleet, which has operated with the technology for more than 1.5 million hours.

The upgrades will be installed on two of the site’s GE 7F gas turbine units in spring 2016. The project also includes installation of GE’s Advanced Gas Path (AGP) solution. AGP technology delivers industry-leading upgrade performance. The order marks 54 AGP solutions sold in 2014, and the 127th sold since GE premiered the upgrade in 2012.

GE said its customers across North America, and the globe, adopted Power FlexEfficiency* solutions in 2014 to help achieve their operational and business goals:

  • Alabama Power’s James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant will install AGP and combustion upgrade technologies on four GE 7FA gas turbines in 2015. The solutions are expected to deliver a total output increase of more than 6%, which will equate to 40 MW of extra capacity. GE will help Alabama Power, a Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary, maintain the high performance, reliability and long-term value of the gas turbine assets through an extended Contractual Service Agreement (CSA). 
  • In the southeastern U.S., an unnamed power plant installed AGP technology in 2014 on two GE 7FA gas turbines. In preliminary testing, the upgrades expanded the site’s output by 26 total MWs. The project also featured installation of GE DLN combustion hardware, which, when combined with the AGP solution, will help the plant extend its maintenance intervals up to 32,000 hours of operation. This capability will enable the site to stay online longer to serve its community’s growing power demands. The site also installed GE’s OpFlex* AutoTune DX and Cold Day Performance controls software to help drive higher performance.
  • in 2014, Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) installed the AGP solution on the first of four GE 7FA gas turbines at its Fairless power plant near Philadelphia to increase operational efficiency. The upgrade increased Fairless’ efficiency by about 2% and output by around 6.4% per unit. In 2015, Dominion will install AGP technology on two additional GE 7FA units at its Possum Point plant, and two more in several years at its Bear Garden plant. These plants are both in Virginia. Dominion anticipates an increase in efficiency and output capacity in all four units. GE will help Dominion maintain the high performance, reliability, and long-term value of all eight gas turbines through a CSA.   
  • In New Hampshire, Essential Power is installing AGP technology on two GE 7FA gas turbines to increase facility output and flexibility, while improving fuel efficiency at its Newington Energy site. Essential Power evaluated the environmental benefits associated with AGP and completed a regulatory applicability determination. Based on the results, a permit application was submitted and granted by New Hampshire regulators. Upgrades to the first unit were recently installed, resulting in initial improvements in output, plant fuel efficiency and facility start-up performance. The second turbine will be upgraded this coming spring, after which Newington anticipates total performance improvements of 30-35 MWs along with significant annual fuel efficiency savings. The installation includes several GE controls technologies, including OpFlex* Start Up Agility, to help drive overall improved performance at Newington.
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.