General Electric and Southern California Edison Complete Battery-Gas Turbine Hybrid

In April 2017, General Electric completed the world’s first hybrid battery-gas turbine system for Southern California Edison. The demand for grid flexibility requires quicker response times by traditional gas generation entities. Natural gas-storage hybrid systems are slowly starting to appear in the market to fill this void.

 

Key Details

  • Traditional natural gas plants take time to ramp up and meet demand requirements.
  • A natural gas-storage hybrid system provides a solution, as this combination allows for a fast response fulfilled by the battery, and thereby providing time for the gas turbine to reach full output.
  • Large-capacity instantaneous energy storage systems can fill the need during ramp times required by gas generators; however, the costs associated are currently very high.
  • Additional battery storage also allows natural gas plants to increase their revenue streams by supporting voltage needs, frequency regulation, and black start capability.
  • In addition to Southern California Edison, the technology group, Wärtsilä, and Southern Power (a subsidiary of Southern Company) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop two flexible gas power plant projects, which could be as large as 450 MW.

Implications

As renewable generation sources penetrate the market, there is greater value in traditional natural gas-turbine generators becoming more flexible to keep up with grid requirements. Adding storage is one option to increase plant flexibility and improve operational performance.

Additional Resources

Smart Cities Dive: Gas plant makers embrace batteries with hybrid machines

Greentech Media: Younicos Acquired for $52 Million by Generator Rental Firm Aggreko

This report is part of the Clean Tech & Sustainability Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

Additional Contributing Author: Sriram Krishnan

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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