GE, Southern California Edison team on battery/gas turbine hybrid projects

General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Southern California Edison (SCE) on Oct. 4 announced a plan to install the world’s first battery storage and gas turbine hybrid.

The two-project solution first calls for installation of a battery energy storage system from GE’s Current division, followed by upgrades to a GE LM6000 gas turbine to integrate the two systems. The LM6000 Hybrid EGT, which is scheduled to be deployed at two SCE sites in the coming months, was developed in response to changing regulations and grid requirements in the wake of California’s Aliso Canyon gas storage crisis earlier this year and will ultimately support increasing renewable energy capacity on the California grid.

“GE’s new LM6000 Hybrid EGT product fits well with SCE’s objective of providing cost–effective, innovative solutions that enhance grid reliability, flexibility, and fast response for our customers,” said Phil Herrington, Vice President of Generation for Southern California Edison.

The solution, which will qualify for the California Independent System Operator’s tariff for contingency reserve, answers a critical need for Southern California, where regulations on natural gas usage and storage are changing in the wake of the Aliso Canyon crisis. GE’s Power Services and Current businesses worked to develop the joint solution in a competitive offer in collaboration with Wellhead Power Solutions LLC.

“This was truly a best-in-class joint effort by Southern California Edison, our partners at Wellhead Power Solutions, and multiple GE businesses to enhance our technology and add Current’s battery storage system to existing GE turbines,” said Eric Gebhardt, Chief Platforms & Operations Officer for Current. “As a team, we worked together to quickly provide a complete scope of the challenge and find a solution in a very short time frame. Now we can bring this same technology to other GE gas turbine customers around the world.”

The LM6000 Hybrid EGT product integrates a 10-MW battery energy storage system from Current and an existing GE LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine with control system upgrades provided by GE’s Power Services division. The system will allow the turbine to operate in standby mode without using fuel and enable immediate response to changing energy dispatch needs. By eliminating the need to constantly run the turbines at minimum loads to maintain spinning reserves, the LM6000 Hybrid EGT will save fuel, reduce maintenance costs and cut down on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“We are excited to launch this innovative hybrid solution to provide immediate power, increase the flexibility of our gas turbines, leverage new software controls solutions and increase customer competitiveness,” said Paul McElhinney, President and CEO of GE’s Power Services. “With our total plant solutions capabilities, we are able to help California increase its grid efficiency and help SCE deliver more affordable energy in a changing marketplace.”

The LM6000 Hybrid EGT offers ancillary and grid support at a lower cost and smaller GHG footprint than traditional resources, plus it can provide 50 MW of GHG-free spinning reserve, flexible capacity, and peaking energy; 25 MW of high-quality regulation; and 10 MVA of reactive voltage support and primary frequency response when not online.

The battery energy storage system is expected to be installed and operational by the end of 2016, and the updated and integrated turbine controls are scheduled to be operational in early 2017.

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.