GE wins business at TVA to supply turbines for Allen plant repowering

General Electric (NYSE: GE) said Jan. 15 that it has won the business to supply gas turbines for the Tennessee Valley Authority‘s planned repowering of the coal-fired Thomas H. Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis, Tennessee.

To take advantage of enhanced technology and help meet environmental requirements, TVA is moving ahead with plans to replace the fossil plant. GE said that it has received an order from the TVA to supply two high-efficiency 7HA.02 gas turbine generators for the new combined-cycle Allen plant.

The new plant will replace three coal-fired units that are being retired as TVA works toward a December 2018 deadline from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce coal-fired emissions. GE said its 7HA.02 gas turbines are the world’s largest and most-efficient 60-hertz gas turbines. In baseload operation, a 2X1 7HA.02 combined-cycle power plant, when compared to a typical coal fired power plant, will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 65% and reduce both SO2 and NOx emissions by over 95%. The repowered TVA Allen plant will have the capacity to generate 1,000 MW in combined-cycle mode.

“TVA has a strong plan to meet its obligations with the EPA while providing its customers with efficient, reliable power generation technologies,” said Vic Abate, president and CEO, power generation products at GE Power & Water. “GE’s H-class technology is transforming the industry, and we feel it is the best power solution for TVA and the greater Memphis region.”

GE’s 7HA technology offers a net combined-cycle efficiency of more than 61%. The HA gas turbines also feature GE’s prime packaging, a modular packaging configuration that helps to enable a shorter installation schedule. The gas turbines are expected to be delivered to the site in August 2016 with commercial operation planned for a May 2018 start.

With the TVA project included in the tally, 15 HA units have been ordered by customers around the world. In addition to the United States, GE’s H-class technology has been embraced by customers in Japan, the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Korea, France, Russia, Germany and Turkey.

The TVA board of directors in August 2014 approved replacing the coal-fired Allen plant. Allen has three coal-fired units with a nominal maximum rating of 330 MW each. The board authorized up to $975m to build a gas plant with a capacity of approximately 1,000 MW. The Allen gas plant will be the seventh combined-cycle gas plant TVA has added to its power portfolio since 2007.

“We evaluated our options from financial, business and environmental perspectives and decided this is the best way to help us meet our cleaner air goals and optimize the generation portfolio,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said at the time of the board approval. “Memphis is our largest customer and we must have a proven source of generation in the city to ensure system-wide reliability while giving us flexibility that allows for future growth.”

The gas-fired plant will be built across Plant Road from the existing coal plant. Memphis Light, Gas and Water will build the pipeline that will supply natural gas to the plant’s two combustion turbines.

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.