SoCal Edison, GE complete first hybrid gas-storage turbine

Dive Brief:

  • Southern California Edison and GE have completed what they say is the world's first battery-gas turbine hybrid system in Norwalk, California. A second unit is also in development as part of efforts to address gas shortages at the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
  • The hybrid unit integrates a 10 M W/4.3 MWh battery energy storage system with a 50 MW gas turbine, working to combine the resources to generate fast-start power without excess fuel consumption.
  • Combined with new emission controls, the companies say the hybrid turbine provides the flexibility of a peaker while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by 60%.

Dive Insight:

By combining the output of a gas turbine with battery storage, SCE and GE developed a resource that can start up immediately to address load spikes, but does not need to remain in fuel-consuming standby mode.

GE designed the storage capacity of the battery specifically to provide enough time coverage to allow the gas turbine to start and reach its designated power output. The resulting system does not need to burn fuel and consume water in stand-by mode, to be able to dispatch power immediately when demand surges.

GE also said the solution would reduce the consumption of demineralized water by approximately 45%, saving 2  million gallons of water annually and increasing the life of the equipment.

Paul McElhinney, president and CEO for GE Power Services, said in a statement that the company worked with SCE to "address a very specific need, but this solution has applications that go far beyond." The battery-turbine system can provide utilities "greater flexibility when incorporating renewable energy and other quick power needs.”

Last year, SCE announced several storage projects in response to the Aliso Canyon gas storage leak and directives from state regulators to procure additional battery capacity. The utility responded by announcing an 80 MWh battery project with Tesla and a 50 MW virtual power plant with Nest, along with the pair of GE hybrid turbines.

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Filed Under: Generation Energy Storage
Top image credit: GE