General Electric has a customer for its natural gas power plant that nimbly navigates changes in electricity demand.
The company today announced a deal with French energy provider EDF to supply a FlexEfficiency 50 power plant which will be the first connected to a national grid.
GE is touting both the energy efficiency and the flexibility of this new turnkey power plant which it hopes will replace traditional power generators that, like steering bulky ocean liners, take hours to ramp up and down.
The ability to quickly adjust natural gas power production makes the FlexEfficiency well suited to work in tandem with intermittent wind and solar, according to GE. A project developer in Turkey said it plans to use the FlexEfficiency gas plant in conjunction with a wind farm and solar thermal power plant.
The gas turbines at the heart of the FlexEfficiency plants are able to go from zero percent load to 100 percent in 10 minutes. The systems are designed to be efficient, by pushing the waste heat exhausted from the gas turbine through the steam turbine to generate more power from the fuel.
The 510-megawatt plant in Belfort, France will be placed at the site of an existing plant is scheduled for start-up in 2015. It will supply 600,000 French households. GE said it also has orders from customers in Japan and China.