GE wins upgrade contracts for plants in Rhode Island, California

General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) Power Services business said Dec. 9 that it has secured two Enhanced Steam Path (ESP) upgrades for power plants in Rhode Island and California.

GE will perform its first-ever ESP upgrade on the GE D-11 Steam Turbine at Entergy‘s Rhode Island State Energy LP plant in Johnson, Rhode Island, potentially increasing the site’s average electrical revenue by more than $4 million per year over the next five years. The upgrade at this 583-MW, natural gas-powered, combined-cycle plant enabled an output improvement of 26 MW over the current machine (609 MW total). The performance improvements also support ISO New England’s short-term need for additional power at a pivotal time as several recent plant retirements have been announced.

In March 2016, GE also will perform an upgrade on the GE D-11 Steam Turbine at the Elk Hills facility in Tupman, California, adding approximately 3 MW to the plant and increasing efficiency by 1%.

The payback period for each site is estimated at two to three years.

“These two projects are great examples of how GE’s advanced upgrades for steam turbines are cost-effective and increase efficiency,” said Paul McElhinney, president and CEO of GE’s Power Services business. “GE has a fleet of approximately 200 D-11 Steam Turbines located throughout the world, and our current ESP offering can be applied to 60 hertz units to help our customers improve long-term reliability, availability and performance in the competitive markets that exist globally.”

With GE’s recent acquisition of Alstom’s Power & Grid businesses, GE’s Power Services offers a comprehensive portfolio of advanced steam turbine service solutions to help utility and industrial power customers optimize the performance and value of their operations across gas, coal and nuclear configurations. GE’s Power Services now can support more than 80 steam turbine OEM brands as well as heat recovery steam generator solutions for all OEM brands.

“GE’s Enhanced Steam Path upgrade will allow us to solve our vibration issues in a cost-effective way while improving performance and adding additional capacity and energy capability to a plant in a capacity constrained region of ISO-NE,” said Andrew Rosenlieb, vice president, Entergy Rhode Island State Energy.

The project and installation is ongoing and scheduled to be completed in December 2015. The equipment was manufactured at GE’s facility in Bangor, Maine. As part of the upgrade package, the unit now will be part of the fleet monitored by GE’s Monitoring & Diagnostics (M&D) Center in Atlanta.

The GE D-11 Steam Turbine at Elk Hills operates in a cogeneration application, delivering electricity to the California ISO grid and steam and electricity for use in oil and gas processing applications. Elk Hills Power LLC is a subsidiary of California Resources Corp., a publicly-traded oil and natural gas exploration and production company.

GE’s M&D Center in Atlanta assessed the Elk Hills steam turbine and identified certain vibration issues and recommended solutions. While Elk Hills had several options to address these issues, a total steam path replacement was recommended as the best value for the site.

“GE’s solution focused on adding value through a significant reduction in our outage cycle, which was achieved through the ESP. Unit reliability and availability are critical to this project as well as the additional megawatts and increased efficiency,” said Bob Bond, team leader at the Elk Hills power plant.

GE anticipates that the project will take place in the spring of 2016, with the rotor being delivered in December 2015 from GE’s Bangor manufacturing facility. GE and Elk Hills Power have a relationship that spans about 15 years.

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.