GE touts initial operation success for Golden Spread’s new GE turbine in Texas

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative began using General Electric‘s (NYSE: GE) 7F.05 gas turbine model in commercial operation at its Elk Station power plant in June 2015.

The plant, located near Lubbock, Texas, marks the first 7F.05 startup in the United States and the first 7F unit to operate on GE’s advanced DLN2.6+ combustion system, GE said in a Sept. 9 statement. This system allows for even lower emissions compared to GE’s previous combustion technology.

“We need tremendous amounts of energy to run the irrigation pumps and add reserve power to the grid to support wind generation in the region,” said J. Jolly Hayden, chief operating officer of Golden Spread Electric Cooperative. “GE’s 7F.05 really delivers—we affectionately refer to it as ‘The Beast.’ It’s big and it’s fast. The 7F.05 provides the efficient, flexible and reliable power we need, right when we need it.”

Due to its flexibility, the Elk Station 7F.05 unit can integrate with wind energy by providing over 75% of full load capacity within 10 minutes. This means that when the wind’s not blowing, power can be replaced on the grid quickly to help meet the energy needs of consumers.

“Emissions typically go up as utilities increase or reduce output. Fortunately, the 7F.05 remains emissions compliant while it ramps up at 40 megawatts (MW) per minute and turns down to 38 percent of maximum output,” said Monte Atwell, general manager of power generation product management at GE Power & Water. “As the wind fluctuates, the 7F.05 gas turbine can quickly provide the power needed while being cleaner and better for the environment as compared to previous GE technology. “

In addition to its flexibility, the 7F.05 gas turbine has a rated ISO simple-cycle output of 231 MW at nearly 40% efficiency, higher than previous F-class models. This can translate into a lower cost of electricity and increased revenue across a wide range of operating conditions.

During testing at Elk Station, the 7F.05 with the new DLN2.6+ combustion system achieved 4.8 ppm NOx at site baseload—the first time to achieve this low level. This represents a 46% reduction in NOx emissions at the then current base load conditions. The 7F.05 continues to demonstrate NOx at the rated performance below 5.0 ppm.

GE has an operating fleet of more than 4,500 air-cooled heavy-duty gas turbines with accumulated operation of more than 180 million hours. GE F-class technology advancements are fueled through the long history of its Aviation business and innovations from its Global Research Center.

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Amarillo, Texas, is a tax-exempt, consumer-owned public utility, organized in 1984 to provide low-cost, reliable electric service for its rural distribution cooperative members. Its 16 member systems provide service to approximately 282,000 member-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’s generation facilities include Mustang Station near Denver City, Texas; Antelope Elk Energy Center near Abernathy, Texas; and Golden Spread Panhandle Wind Ranch near Amarillo, Texas.

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

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.