In France, electricity giants team up to develop efficient gas-fired plant

energy efficiency, clean energy US electricity giant General Electric (GE) and French utility Electricité de France (EDF) have got together to develop a combined cycle gas turbine power plant. The facility will be the first FlexEfficiency 50 plant to be connected to a national grid, the companies said in a statement.

GE said the plant combine flexibility and efficiency with low emissions. It is to be located in Bouchain in northern France, which is already an EDF power plant site. The output of the new plant is set to reach 510 megawatts, enough electricity to cater for 600,000 households. GE said that $500 million of research and development had gone into the cleaner and more efficient energy of the FlexEfficiency 50 plant.

GE Energy Thermal Products group president and CEO Paul Browning lauded the partnership. “Like GE, EDF recognizes the value of technology innovation, and we are very pleased to team with them to develop this milestone power plant,” he said. “Our strategic relationship with one of the world’s largest utilities signifies the continued interest in and advancement of our FlexEfficiency portfolio of efficient and low-carbon technologies.”

Long history

GE Energy’s regional president and CEO added that the new deal represents the latest in a long line of projects between the two companies. “EDF and GE have worked together for nearly 40 years, and both companies are committed to reinventing and reinforcing the strength of this alliance. As a cutting edge technology, the FlexEfficiency 50 plant will allow us to improve supply side energy efficiency and reach emission reduction challenges,” he said.

Greater efficiency

The new plant is set to attain more than 61 percent efficiency at base load. The partner firms claimed its operational efficiency would allow it to adapt to changing needs in grid demand, and would “pave the way” for the use of more renewable sources like wind and solar power.

EDF chairman and CEO Henri Proglio praised the technology of the planned plant. “The production of this cutting-edge combined-cycle gas turbine is a testimony to the current modernization of EDF’s fossil-fired plants and the EDF Group’s commitment to innovation. It also consolidates EDF’s position as the benchmark architect–assembler in the international electricity market,” he said.

The proposed plant is set to help France reach its 2020 clean energy targets. The plant will include a next-generation 9FB gas turbine, a 109D-14 steam turbine powered by the gas turbine’s waste heat, a W28 generator, a Mark VIe control system and a heat recovery steam generator.

This announcement follows further GE efficient plant projects in Turkey, China and Japan.

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