- General Electric (GE) unveiled its Digital Power Plant, which adds its internet of things (IOT) cloud-supported software to its line of natural gas-burning turbines and other technologies to increase flexibility and efficiency, Greentech Media reports.
- The first Digital Power Plants will be new natural gas facilities built for New Jersey's Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and upgraded nuclear, natural gas and wind facilities for Exelon. State-of-the-art natural gas-burning turbines will have improved ramp capability to meet grid operators’ increasing need to balance the variability of growing wind and solar power fleets.
- The new software will allow the GE Digital Power Plants to be as responsive as batteries and could therefore open new opportunities in grid operators’ capacity and ancillary services markets, according to a company spokesperson.
Digitizing central power generation transforms equipment data into useful knowledge. That knowledge can detect operational patterns, rationalize them, and provide insights for proactively addressing inefficiencies. The result can be as much as $100 million in value for new wind farms, as much as $230 million in value for new combined cycle natural gas-burning facilities, and as much as $50 million in value for existing natural gas-burning plants, according to GE.
The power sector’s future is a new digitized value chain that allows multidirectional power and information flow, GE explains. Targeted incentives will add value, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, resilience, and sustainability “through information sharing, openness, collaboration, and coordination between stakeholders,” according to its “Powering the Future” whitepaper.
The new value chain will have three key elements: (1) digital centralized fossil fuel and renewable generation, (2) a digital grid that connects generation and consumption and enables multidirectional flows of energy and information, and (3) digitization that streamlines the use of distributed generation and storage.